Mandalit del Barco

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Elizabeth Martinez was a leading social justice activist, a feminist writer and historian. She was 95 when she died this week in San Francisco. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

Muslims are very rarely depicted in movies, and when they are, it's usually as a stereotypical terrorist, what Oscar nominated actor Riz Ahmed calls a "dangerous trope." Having spoken out about this issue for several years, he's been looking for hard data. Now's he got it. This week, The University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative came out with the report he asked for.

In the Heights is Lin-Manuel Miranda's ode to the Latino neighborhood near where he grew up. The musical won a Tony on Broadway, and now, director Jon M. Chu and his team have translated the story from stage to the big screen.

After 20 seasons of being reality television royals, the Kardashian-Jenner family is moving on. Thursday marks the end of their E! series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which chronicled their many marriages, babies, and scandals — and inspired 10 official spinoffs.

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Actor Clarence Williams III has died from colon cancer. That's according to his manager. He was 81 years old. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this remembrance.

(SOUNDBITE OF AL CAIOLA'S "THE MOD SQUAD THEME")

Nnenna and Phil Freelon were a power couple: He was the lead architect for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History & Culture, and she was a Grammy-nominated jazz singer, composer, actress and playwright. They enjoyed an exciting, full life of work, travel, friends and family.

Updated May 26, 2021 at 10:12 AM ET

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Amazon has made a deal to buy Hollywood studio MGM for almost $8.5 billion. It's the second-largest acquisition for the company after purchasing Whole Foods.

Action star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a pitch on Wednesday for audiences to return to movie theaters. It's been more than a year since COVID-19 first shuttered cinemas. Some will never reopen. The industry shed hundreds of thousands of jobs.

TV host Ellen DeGeneres is pulling the plug on her successful daytime TV variety/comedy/talk show at the end of this season. For more than 18 years, she has famously danced with her guests and the audience, played games and pranks with them and given away prizes. She has interviewed everyone from Hollywood A-listers to precocious children. But now, she and Warner Brothers Television have said The Ellen DeGeneres Show will end in 2022.

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Before Little Richard, there was Lloyd Price, a pioneer of rock 'n' roll.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PERSONALITY")

LLOYD PRICE: (Singing) 'Cause you've got - walk - talk - smile...

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Chloé Zhao has won the Oscar for directing Nomadland, becoming the first woman of color to win the award and the second woman to win (Katheryn Bigelow, was the first). Zhao was also the first woman to get four Oscar nominations in a single year, in the Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture categories.

The makeup and hairstyling team from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom has won an Oscar. Hairstylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson are the first Black women to win in this category. Makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera is also part of the Oscar-winning team.

Citizen Kane is often regarded as the greatest film ever made. The fictionalized story of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst didn't win a Best Picture Oscar in 1942, but it did win a Best Original Screenplay award. Hollywood still loves a story about itself, and this year, Mank, a film about Citizen Kane's screenwriter, Herman Mankiewicz, earned 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. It also received a nomination for Amanda Seyfried for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Marion Davies.

The film Judas and the Black Messiah has already made history at the Oscars. It's the first Best Picture nominee with an all-Black producing team, which includes two Kings and a Coogler: Ryan Coogler, Shaka King and Charles D. King, who brings a new vision for Hollywood.

Season two of the hit TV series Bridgerton will roll out for fans without its hunky star, Regé-Jean Page, who played Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Set during the Regency era in 1813 London, the show's first season was a steamy love story between Simon and Daphne Bridgerton. Their storyline ends with the birth of their first child. But the duke will not be appearing in upcoming episodes that follow other members of the aristocratic Bridgerton family.

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Singers Beyonce and Taylor Swift made history last night at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, which was, of course, socially distanced. Four of the top awards went to women. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

The online game platform Roblox plans to go public on Wednesday. During the pandemic, it's become a de facto playground, with more than 32.6 million people across 180 countries playing every day. Like them, my nine-year-old has been playing with her friends nonstop. They can't be with each other in person, but on Roblox, they enjoy online roller coasters and water slides together. They pretend to go to school, adopt pets and play dress up. Mostly, they follow each other around in different environments, meeting friends along the way.

"It was the worst of times. It was the worst of times." Author Annabelle Gurwitch now scoffs at those opening lines of her new memoir — she had no idea just how bad it would get.

In You're Leaving When? Adventures in Downward Mobility, Gurwitch finds herself divorced after a 22-year marriage, an empty-nester with no retirement plan. After losing her union-sponsored health insurance, her payments balloon from $600 a year to $1,200 a month. Her parents have died. Then the pandemic hits. And her cat dies. But wait — there's more.

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The Sundance Film Festival begins today in Park City, Utah. And because of the pandemic, thousands of film lovers will go to premieres, panels and parties mostly online. NPR's Mandalit del Barco has this preview.

Mexican film directors have enjoyed success at the Academy Awards in recent years. Alfonso Cuarón won an Oscar for directing Gravity in 2014, and for Roma in 2019. Alejandro González Iñárritu won one in 2015 for directing Birdman and the following year for The Revenant. And Guillermo del Toro won his Oscar for directing The Shape of Water in 2018. Now, the "Tres Amigos," as they're known, may welcome uno más: up-and-coming filmmaker Fernando Frías de la Parra.

Pixar's new animated film Soul is the story of Joe Gardner, a middle school school music teacher with big dreams about performing jazz onstage. "Music is all I think about, from the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I fall asleep at night," he says. "I was born to play."

Las Musas, a collective of writers, held its first celebration of Latinx children's literature in December in a two-day, virtual festival featuring more than 140 authors and illustrators.

Organizers say they created the event to amplify their voices — and to help counter statistics: The Cooperative Children's Book Center found that only 479 of the 4,035 children's books published in 2019 were by or about Latinx people, who make up 18% of the country's population.

When she moved to the U.S. from Argentina in 1967, Elsa Calandrelli gave herself a stage name in Quechua, the indigenous language of the Andes: Suni Paz, which means "lasting peace." That's because, she says, lasting peace is what she wants for the world. The 85-year-old singer and songwriter has dedicated herself to singing for and about indigenous and working-class people, and children of all backgrounds.

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Big, live fashion shows are not happening in this time of COVID-19, and Gucci — whose influential creative director already wanted to curtail the madness of fashion's

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In the category of "Beloved Trivia Game Show Hosts," there is one very clear answer: Who is Alex Trebek? For 36 years, Trebek quizzed Jeopardy! contestants on history, geography, hip-hop lyrics, "Potent Potables" and "Potpourri."

Just like everything else this year, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is different. One commemoration in East Los Angeles included a socially distanced car parade. Decked-out lowriders cruised down Whittier Boulevard in a caravan, past Evergreen Cemetery, all the way to Self Help Graphics & Art in Boyle Heights.

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In a new documentary, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of "Hamilton," pays tribute to his father, Luis Miranda, who's a well-connected political consultant in New York City. It airs on HBO tonight. NPR's Mandalit del Barco talked to both Mirandas at Sundance, where the movie premiered. And this piece is an encore.

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The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, begins today. It's celebrated around Asia and also in the U.S. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on some celebrations of the harvest moon.

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