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Commentaries

KPR Web Operations Monday, February 21st

February is Black History Month. This year, KPR enlisted the help of Shawn Alexander, the director of the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas, to explain some of the history of the event and some of the most important landmarks in the struggle for equality. While many people know about the importance of the Brown versus Board of Education case, far fewer are aware of a much earlier Kansas-based case that also had a profound legal impact on segregation and the rise of Jim Crow laws. Shawn Alexander is the interim director of the Langston Hughes Center at KU. For more...

KPR Web Operations Friday, February 18th

The Kansas Arts Commission is slated for elimination on July 1st, unless state lawmakers act to save it. Arts supporters have launched a campaign to save the state agency, but they face an uphill battle. State government is running out of money and lawmakers are looking for ways to cut the budget. Commentator William Jennings Bryan Oleander says they might be able to kill the Arts Commission... but they can't kill art itself. The comments of William Jennings Bryan Oleander, otherwise known as Tom Averill, author and writer-in-residence at Washburn University. His work is a regular feature on...

KPR Web Operations Wednesday, February 16th

If you've been around Kansas very long -- or ever seen The Wizard of Oz -- you've undoubtedly heard that there's "no place like home." But how do you know where home is? When does "where you live" become a defining part of "who you are?" Commentator Roger Martin, who was born in St. Louis, is still trying to figure that out. Commentator Roger Martin is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrence. Production assistance for this commentary was provided by Justine Greve (GREEVE), a KU graduate student from Topeka.

KPR Web Operations Monday, February 14th

February may be Black History Month....but throughout the year, there are several events that will be receiving particular attention because of their importance. Shawn Alexander is the interim director of the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas. He explains why 2011 is such a landmark year for remembering some of the people, places and events that had such a profound effect on the African-American struggle for freedom. Shawn Alexander is the interim director of the Langston Hughes Center at KU. For more information on the Center, on African-American history and some of the...

KPR Web Operations Monday, February 14th

February is Black History Month. While many people are aware of the month's designation and meaning, not so many are aware of just how Black History Month came to be commemorated nationwide. To find out, we asked Shawn Alexander of the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas, to explain how the event got its start. The theme of Black History Month for 2011 is "African-Americans and the Civil War." Shawn Alexander is the interim director of the Langston Hughes Center at KU. For more information on the Center, on African-American history and some of the events planned in connection...

KPR Web Operations Thursday, February 10th

State funding for the arts is under attack in Kansas. The governor has signed an executive order abolishing the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency. Taking its place would be a private organization, which would be largely responsible for securing its own funding. Guest Commentator Barbara Yoder believes the governor's decision is a bad idea. Guest Commentator Barbara Yoder is a writer and arts educator. She lives in Lawrence. The governor's order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission will take effect July 1st, unless the Kansas Legislature rejects the idea.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, January 25th

This Saturday, Kansas celebrates its 150th birthday. The state will actually be celebrating this milestone all year long, with various events and activities. Commentator Rex Buchanan has been thinking about the state -- its beauty, its challenges and its future. Commentator Rex Buchanan is a frequent contributor to Kansas Public Radio. He's also the Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey at the University of Kansas. KPR news intern Mark Arehart (AIR-hart), a KU senior from Omaha, helped produce this commentary.

KPR Web Operations Tuesday, January 25th

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KPR Web Operations Thursday, January 6th

The 2011 session of the Kansas Legislature will begin next week with state government facing a $550 million budget deficit. Since education funding makes up more than half the state budget, there will invariably be calls for further cutbacks at public schools. Guest commentator Blake West hopes that before any more cuts are made, lawmakers will pause to consider the connection between the quality of the state's educational system... and the condition of the state's economy. Guest Commentator Blake West is the President of the KNEA -- the Kansas chapter of the National Education Association,...

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