Hana Baba

News Reporter/Host

Hana Baba is a reporter and host of Crosscurrents, KALW's evening newsmagazine. She's also part of KALW's project The Spiritual Edge.

She interviews and reports on ethnic communities, poverty, health, culture, religion, arts, and the global nature of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Her work also appears on NPR programs, PRI's The World, BBC World Service, and New America Media. A Sudanese-American, Hana also reports from and about Sudan and Sudanese.

Ways To Connect

Baraka Blue (Facebook Mobile Upload)

The religion of Islam has been showing up in hip hop and rap music for decades.  Artists like Mos Def are open about their Muslim faith, and how it influences their music. And there are many others too -- Big Daddy Kane, Lupe Fiasco, and some members of the iconic 90s hi hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Similarly, hip hop artist Baraka Blue draws inspiration for his music from Sufi Islam. But unlike these artists who are African American -- he’s white.

SF Public Press

San Francisco's housing crisis has been making headlines for a while now. It’s hard to avoid the numerous news reports on skyrocketing rent prices, controversial evictions, or horror stories of terrible housing situations. But, there’s been far less coverage of what actual solutions there might be for these issues.

Photograph by www.kvandco.com

Choreographer Namita Kapoor grew up in the East Bay town of Moraga, dancing jazz, tap, and ballet. She says, at the time, there were no dance classes in her surroundings that reflected her Indian heritage. It was when she went to college that she discovered Indian dance, and as she did her research, she discovered a fascinating link between classical Indian dance and American Jazz dance. In the 1940s and 1950s, theatrical jazz dance legend Jack Cole invented a dance form called Hindu Swing: jazz dance that draws on ancient Hindu tradition and form. You may remember this from dance numbers he choreographed in films like the 1955 film Kismet

Takei was one of the first stars to portray Asian Americans in a positive light on the small screen. But he’s been a role model in other ways too. In 2005, at the age of 68, he came out as gay and became a fierce advocate for marriage equality. He’s also spoken out against the kind of hatred that landed him and his family in the a Japanese-American internment campo during World War II.

In her new film 'To Be Takei', Jennifer Kroot takes a close look at Takei’s life, spanning from his recent activism to his internment as a child. Kroot spoke with KALW's Hana Baba.

 


These days, a lot of people prefer the word “spirituality” over “religion”. Many people associate religion with dogma handed down by inflexible institutions that don’t keep up with the times. 

Courtesy of blackgirlscode.com

Electrical engineer and computer programmer Kimberly Bryant says that when she was in college, she was one of only a few women, and the only black woman, in her class. When she had her own daughter, Kai, she wondered what she could do to get more young girls of color into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. The answer came in April of 2011, when she launched a company called Black Girls Code to teach girls how to build their own websites, make computer games, and train them for careers in the tech industry. Kimberly Bryant and her daughter, Kai, who has been through the program, joined KALW’s Hana Baba in the studio.

The Marsh- SF

 

Dezi Gallegos is a playwright who is searching for God. He's only 18 years old, but says he's already lived through numerous tough life experiences that led to him asking the question: is there a loving God? And if so, why are these bad things  plagues, he calls them  happening to me and my family? 

New Americans Campaign

Last February, the federal government announced a new form to apply for citizenship -- one that is twice as long and more complex than the previous one. The price to apply for citizenship, or naturalization, has gone up from $200 in 2000, to $680 today. That means a family of four will have to pay over $2,700 to apply. And it's one reason so many eligible immigrants are putting off citizenship.

http://www.anamericanmosque.com/

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to 250,000 Muslims. They work in tech, medicine, commerce, the service industry. And if you drive two hours north of San Francisco, to Yuba City, you’d find a Muslim farming community that’s been there for nearly a century. Pakistani immigrants made their way to Yuba City in the 1920s and today grow almonds, oranges, alfalfa, and prunes. Lots of prunes. The community was living peacefully until one fateful day in 1994, when disaster struck. Oakland filmmaker David Washburn’s new film An American Mosque tells their story. I spoke to Washburn about making the film.

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