Farai's blog

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Find out more about my books, political reporting and broadcasting, public speaking, and teaching.

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Since 1995, when she began appearing on cable news as an analyst for CNN, Farai Chideya has given thousands of speeches and hosted hundreds of events. Her bookings have included Ivies Harvard and Yale, large state universities and regional colleges, events at the United Nations and on Capitol Hill, and …

One with Farai

Podcasts with global visionaries.

RIP, Chinua Achebe

via Reuters: http://reut.rs/10stEyp

The influential novelist Chinua Achebe passed away, leaving behind a legacy of fiction, poetry, and political discourse. He’s the author of the seminal novel Things Fall Apart.

I spoke with him in 2007 for NPR’s News and Notes. Unfortunately we had a vexingly bad phone line. But listen carefully to his words not just on human nature and creativity, but also politics and the Biafra Civil War.

Audio is here.

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March 22, 2013 Blog No Comments

Where I Come From, Blogging Wise

So to understand why I am a commercial non-success at blogging, you have to understand the moment. That moment would be the early/mid ’90s, when Thuh Internetz were new and most people had not a clue how to use them.

I was working for MTV and freelancing doing political analysis for CNN. Then, having been hanging around early online community pioneers like Omar Wasow, I started a blog. (Omar designed it.)

So: I went to the Wayback Machine (a project of the Internet Archive, which I adore) and pulled some of the early images from this site. The one at the top is from 199

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March 12, 2013 Blog No Comments

A New Ambitious, Possibly Insane Project: Dear 2050

This is a picture of my family — myself, Mother, sister, and my beloved grandmother, Mary Catherine Stokes. We were enjoying a mini-family reunion to celebrate my sister’s med school graduation.

Grandma passed away almost a decade ago at the age of 82, after being misdiagnosed for symptoms of the colon cancer that, once caught, had progressed too far to save her. I wonder if she would still be alive now if the doctors had done their job. And no, my family did not sue. We thought it best to focus on what was important — healing our family from the loss of our matriarch and champion-in-chief, and living lives she wou

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March 11, 2013 Blog 3 Comments

No Class, Just Stereotypes

I was not a poor black child. I grew up in Baltimore, on a street with big shingled houses and leafy trees. But after my father left and returned to Zimbabwe, my mother, sister and I lived in a state of persistent, low-grade economic anxiety. One year we could not get heating oil delivered so we all slept on the floor by the gas fireplace to stay warm. (I actually cherish the memory, because we snuggled together.) My mother enrolled us in summer academic programs, sometimes working two jobs and once doing a brutal night shift. I felt ashamed to see her exhausted, and worried I caused her distress. To help out, I took jobs I loathed, as a catering waitress and a telemarketer. So, we were not poor, but we were part of the fearful working class, worried that we might not be able to keep up with our bills or achieve our ambitions. Of course, so many people today are in the same boat that my family was back then.

I can’t help but think

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December 16, 2011 Blog 4 Comments

Dueling Videos of Herman Cain And Accuser Ginger White = Soap Opera

With the allegations that Herman Cain had a 13-year affair, the Presidential campaign has outdone the soap opera. The new accuser is named Ginger White. In her interview with Atlanta Fox 5, she says: “It was pretty simple. It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”

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November 28, 2011 Blog No Comments


Bigger Than Technology: An Interview with Joi Ito on One with Farai

21 Aug 2014

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, explains how a sense of play and experimentation inform their cutting-edge work. As a child, Joi Ito went back and forth between Japan and US cities, including Detroit, forging an international identity; a fascination with technology; and also for community. He explains how passions …

Living History, Exploring Nature: An Interview with Betty Reid Soskin on One with Farai

15 Aug 2014

At 92, Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest full-time National Parks service ranger, teaching about racial and gender equality as well as nature. National Parks ranger Betty Reid Soskin has worked for women’s and civil rights; run a “race record” music store; and now helps tell the history of gender and industry …

Music (and Dance) for All: An Interview with Bill Bragin on One with Farai

8 Aug 2014

Bill Bragin, the director of public programming for the famed Lincoln Center, on bringing free and adventurous music, dance, and art to all. Farai Chideya speaks with Bill Bragin, the Director of Public Programming for Lincoln Center, about what it takes to bring great music and art to crowds for free… and also …

Equality — A Survivor’s Guide: An Interview with Urvashi Vaid on One with Farai

1 Aug 2014

Activist Urvashi Vaid talks about how LGBT politics relate to other rights struggles, plus her journey surviving two rounds of cancer. Farai Chideya speaks with Urvashi Vaid, author of books including “Virtual Equality” and a professor at Columbia Law School. Born in India, raised in America, she details how LGBT issues connect …

First Nations Filmmaking: An Interview with Bird Runningwater on One with Farai

25 Jul 2014

Bird Runningwater of the Sundance Institute on innovations in Native and indigenous film. Farai Chideya speaks about the work of the Sundance Institute — the mentoring, training, and career-building sister to the Sundance Film Festival — with its Native American and Indigenous Program Director, Bird Runningwater.

Digital Diplomacy and Global Economy: An Interivew with Alec Ross on One with Farai

18 Jul 2014

Author and former U.S. diplomat Alec Ross on globalization Alec Ross helped define “digital diplomacy”, and logged nearly a million air miles for work — as Senior Advisor of Innovation to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He talked with Farai Chideya about technology and the future of globalization.