Karen Frillmann

Editor-At-Large, WNYC Narrative Unit

Karen Frillmann appears in the following:

How "Bich" Became “Beth” – An American Tale

Monday, March 21, 2022

What’s in a name? A lot. A listener's voicemail inspired us to explore the sometimes complicated relationship between our names and our racial and ethnic identities.

People Feel Unsafe–and It’s More Than Crime

Monday, March 14, 2022

The social fabric is torn. People nationwide are scared, some going so far as to arm themselves. What can we learn from our history as we react to this fear? 

Why the ‘Reagan Regime’ Endures

Monday, March 07, 2022

Presidencies are rarely transformational, and neither Biden nor Trump have lived up to their supporters’ dreams. So what does it take to really change our politics?

Brian Lehrer on Productive Discourse

Monday, February 28, 2022

Democracy won’t work if we can’t talk to each other. So how do we do have conversations across cultural and political divides?

Why So Many Are Stuck in the “Other” Box

Monday, February 21, 2022

The U.S. Census named “some other race” as the second-largest racial group in the U.S. Mona Chalabi talks us through the data, and the stakes, of that statistic.

Black People Are From Outer Space

Monday, February 14, 2022

Afrofuturism is an old idea that’s reaching new people. We travel from Seneca Village to Wakanda, from Sun Ra to Lil Nas X as we learn this cosmic vision of Black freedom.

David Byrne on Musical Democracy

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The former Talking Heads frontman explores the challenges – and beauties – of human connection while breaking down his hit Broadway show, American Utopia. 

How to Avoid the ‘Affirmative Action’ Ploy

Monday, February 07, 2022

Biden vowed to finally put a Black woman to the Supreme Court. President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center Fatima Goss Graves, Court scholar Elie Mystal, and listeners react.

Revisiting Nothing You Do Alone Will Save the Climate

Monday, January 31, 2022

New science finds we’ve got less than a decade to avoid catastrophe. Activist and author Bill McKibben says the only solutions that can beat that deadline are collective.

A Conservative View of the Vigilante Right

Monday, January 24, 2022

Mona Charen discusses the true meaning of conservative and the radical shift in the GOP. Then, a listener mailbag begs us to explore how "normal people" became part of the Jan 6. attack.

A History of Voter Suppression

Thursday, January 20, 2022

A conversation with historian Dr. Carol Anderson about how Black Americans have fought for their right to participate in the democratic process safely and make their votes count.

Is Love the Most Transformative Political Act?

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis makes a case for the radical potential of love in our MLK Weekend show. Then, meet one of the 40 students who are on a hunger strike for voting rights.

How to Spot the End of Democracy

Monday, January 10, 2022

NYT columnist Thomas Edsall helps tackle that question, as callers tell us how anxious they are about the state of our democracy. Then, is the right better at the internet than the left?

Lynn Nottage: Unexpected Optimist

Monday, January 03, 2022

Playwright Lynn Nottage breaks down her remarkable career and shares how, as an optimist at heart, she finds the light and resilience in unexpected stories.

What Does Black Ambition Sound Like?

Monday, December 27, 2021

Composer Jason Moran takes us on a musical journey back to 1918, when a group of Black soldiers reinvented American music.

Face the Darkness, Welcome the Light

Monday, December 20, 2021

Do you need a revival? On the longest night of the year, join us to celebrate Yalda, a poetic Persian tradition. Then, a conversation about those we’ve lost with artist Gregory Porter.

A Year of Performing Humanity, Reviewed

Monday, December 13, 2021

A.O. Scott, co-chief film critic of the New York Times, helps us review the year in culture. What can we learn about our struggling effort to live together from this year’s art?

The Supreme Court v. Our Rights

Monday, December 06, 2021

Another year of the SCOTUS is coming to a close. But can we still trust our nine appointed justices to be the final arbiters of the law?

An Anti-Racism Refresher

Monday, November 29, 2021

Anti-racist work snuck into the mainstream last year. But ever since, it’s received a huge backlash. Why, and what did right-wing media have to gain?

The Myth of a ‘United’ States

Monday, November 22, 2021

History shows that our country’s been divided from the start. So should we just break up already? Plus, what to do when the divide gets real at the Thanksgiving table.