The so-called "#lakshmeme," a tribute to the newscaster who inspired me to pursue a career in public radio, has amassed hundreds of portraits, posted and shared on Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. It even landed on the front page of Current, public media's trade publication.
Since mid-December, I have been taking photos of public radio personalities, producers and strangers on the street wearing a hat that that makes an obviously false claim: “I AM LAKSHMI SINGH." At a live event last week, NPR newscaster and personal hero Lakshmi Singh finally wore the hat, admitting the meme was exactly her kind of crazy. By the end of the event, audience members departed with their own Lakshmi Singh hats, doubling the meme's half-life.
The meme drew to its satisfying, crazy conclusion - a public radio spelling bee and piñatas were involved - live in The Greene Space on May 26 when Lakshmi talked about her career in public radio and discussed the importance of diverse voices, names, and faces in media. We were joined by current This American Life and former Snap Judgment producer Stephanie Foo and "The Whiteness Of Public Radio Voice” author and Clemson University communications professor Chenjerai Kumanyika.
THE LAKSHMI SINGHERS PERFORM "TUESDAY"
THE LAKSHMI SINGHERS PERFORM "OLD RADIOS"
THE FIRST ANNUAL PUBLIC RADIO SPELLING BEE:
WATCH THE ENTIRE EVENT: