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The United States of Anxiety

The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history, and its grip on our future. Each week, host Kai Wright invites listeners to gather for intimate conversations and deeply reported stories about the choices we’ve made as a society -- and the new choices we can imagine now. We’re learning from our past, meeting our neighbors, and sharing the joy (and the work!) of living in a plural society.Our inbox is also open for your voice memos—send them to anxiety@wnyc.org. And you can keep up with Kai on Twitter @kai_wright.WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other great podcasts including Radiolab, Death, Sex & Money, and On the Media.

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Alone Together During COVID-19: Live Call-in

Part of the mission of our show is to address our collective anxieties. The COVID-19 pandemic has already drastically reshaped our lives, our politics, and our health -- both physical and mental. Right now, it's not clear if or when things will feel normal again. In this bonus episode, host Kai Wright teams up with Anna Sale of Death, Sex & Money to take listener calls, and to talk about how everyone is coping so far.

1hr 16mins

13 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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40 Acres in Mississippi

Elbert Lester has lived his full 94 years in Quitman County, Mississippi, on land he and his family own. That’s exceptional for black people in this area, and some family members even say the land came to them through “40 acres and a mule.” But that's pretty unlikely, so host Kai Wright goes on a search for the truth, and uncovers a story about an old and fundamental question in American politics -- one at the center of the current election: Who are the rightful owners of this country’s staggering wealth? - John Willis is author of Forgotten Time - Eric Foner is author of The Second Founding - The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is located in Montgomery, Alabama. For more information about documented lynchings in Mississippi, and elsewhere, visit the Equal Justice Initiative's interactive report, Lynching in America. You can navigate to each county to learn about documented lynchings there. The United States of Anxiety’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at RWJF.org.


30 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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Two Schools in Marin County

Last year, the California Attorney General held a tense press conference at a tiny elementary school in the one working class, black neighborhood of the mostly wealthy and white Marin County. His office had concluded that the local district "knowingly and intentionally" maintained a segregated school, violating the 14th amendment. He ordered them to fix it, but for local officials and families, the path forward remains unclear, as is the question: what does "equal protection" mean? -  Eric Foner is author of The Second Founding Hosted by Kai Wright. Reported by Marianne McCune.


6 Feb 2020

Rank #3