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

The Marsh Theatre

Don Reed is a nationally renowned comedian - maybe you've caught him during his warm-up act on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He started his career doing stand up, performing around the country with comedians like Chris Rock, Robert Townsend, and Damon Wayans. But, he says,  when it came to getting big gigs like they did, he never made the cut. The feedback was always the same says Reed, "I'm too white." 

Reed isn't white though, he's black. Talent agents thought his act wasn't black enough. 

Ladin Awad

 

Sudanese Americans and expats in the Bay Area are spending their days and nights online these days – getting little sleep, calling home multiple times a day, checking on the safety of their family and friends, hoping for good news.

Including myself.

And the news is disturbing.  

Black Power TV

Oct 3, 2013
Photographer: Morris Alston, http://blackpowertv.com/

When you turn on your television set today, you're bombarded with all kinds of shows - sitcoms, reality shows, news, sports, and political debates. And, you’ll probably see a lot of different kinds of people. Today, television is culturally diverse, but it wasn't always so. African Americans didn't really have a strong television presence until- well, what's the first black TV show you remember?

For 25 years, Ann Dyer was a successful touring and recording vocalist, singing jazz and other styles. But around 6 years ago, she took a hiatus from performing to devote herself to a deep study of yoga, especially Nada Brahma, or the yoga of sound. Originally she thought she would take about a year off, but actually, she never really returned to her old performing life. She opened a yoga studio in Oakland, and made teaching there the focus of her career.

AAYSP-MI

Not long ago, I attended a lecture at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, the law school. It was just before sunset and about 100 Yemeni Americans – mostly young men – filled the room to see and hear their countrywoman, 34-year-old Tawakkul Karman. She’s the activist and revolutionary, who won the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for sparking the revolution that ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdalla Saleh.

50 years beyond the dream

Aug 28, 2013

It was 50 years ago today that over 250,000 people gathered in Washington for the Jobs and Freedom March. On that day, Martin Luther King JR made one of HISTORY’S most famous speeches: “I Have a Dream.”

At 23 years old, Safiya Martinez was looking for a job teaching in public schools in New York. To get her credentials faster, she chose to teach at one of the toughest middle schools in the South Bronx, in a program for challenged kids.

Ian Babour

California’s cap and trade program creates a market place to buy and sell the rights to pollute. The system sounds simple, but there are some complex rules that must be followed. San Francisco Public Press have taken it upon themselves to break it all down and simplify what cap and trade means and how it really works. And what better way to simplify a complex system than turn it into a board game? Public Press executive director Michael Stoll and reporter and illustrator Anna Vignet joined KALW's Hana Baba to teach her the rules of the California Cap and Trade game.

A new exhibit called Muslima: Muslim Women’s Arts and Voices takes a deeper look at Muslim women and explores how they are one of the most misrepresented communities in the world. It’s currently showing at an online museum called The International Museum of Women.

After leafing through local newspapers from the 19th century, local author Jan Batiste Adkins found stories of African Americans who helped shape San Francisco. She dug deeper and decided to write a book about the city’s black history, African Americans of San Francisco. The photo book chronicles the lives of significant black pioneers from the Gold Rush to today, covering everyone from escaped slaves who landed in the city, to the Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris. Jan Adkins joined KALW’s Hana Baba to talk more about that history.

Under CC license by Flickr user Ian Barbour

Thirty years ago, it was rare for a kid to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Today, about five million children carry that diagnosis -- and more than two million of them are taking the drugs used to treat its symptoms.

Methylphenidate is a pharmaceutical most commonly-prescribed for ADHD. Its most well known trade name is Ritalin. It’s a psycho-stimulant drug that’s also used to manage obsessive-compulsive disorder, narcolepsy, and depression. But, pediatrician Sandy Newmark thinks it’s over-prescribed.

This is the week of Juneteenth – the holiday commemorating the day all black slaves in America were officially freed. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers captured Galveston, Texas. They brought news that the war had ended to slaves in Galveston who had not heard.

http://www.musikilumojeed.com/

Musikilu Mojeed is a Nigerian investigative journalist who has been reporting on his country’s oil sector for over a decade, risking his safety to uncover massive corruption that was found at the highest levels of government. He is now here at Stanford University on a one-year fellowship, where he is learning how to create an online database that will allow journalists in his country to access government files more freely. Mojeed spoke with KALW's Hana Baba. 

Hana Baba

Learning music and playing it is one thing, but teaching it is whole other can of worms, especially when you’re teaching kids – and especially when there are 850 of them.

That’s what Ivan DeSouza does every week. He’s been the music teacher at Delaine Eastin Elementary School in Union City since its birth 12 years ago. It's part of New Haven Unified School District that recently won $29 million  in the President's Race to the Top program.

http://www.thecjm.org/on-view/currently/storycorps-storybooth/about

StoryCorps founder Dave Isay joined KALW’s Hana Baba live by phone to revisit some memories recorded in San Francisco.

"I went to this meditation class recently…and I meet this woman and she's like, 'My name is Jennifer, but I prefer if you call me by my Sanskrit name, "Shavasana,'" opens comedian Dhaya Lakshminarayanan during one of her comedy sets. "Okay Jennifer, maybe you didn't know this, but Shavasana in yoga class just means lie flat on your back. Did your boyfriend give you that name?"

Lakshminarayanan performs with Samson Koletkar. Koletkar's stage name is Mahatma Moses, claiming he is "the only living Jewish Indian comedian in the world."

Older generations often want to teach lessons to those that follow. Sometimes, though, those discussions break down and younger generation are left to fend for themselves. Chris Johnson found this to be a particular struggle for black men.

Image courtesy of http://festival.sffs.org/

Tonight is opening night for the San Francisco International Film Festival – the longest running film fest in the Americas is in its 56th year, and this is its first run under the executive direction of film producer, Ted Hope, the new head of the San Francisco Film Society. Hope produced or executive produced 69 films over a span of four decades, including American Splendor, 21 Grams, and In the Bedroom. He is considered by many to be a father of the independent film movement in the U.S. He came by our studios to talk with KALW’s Hana Baba about independent films and what’s in store at the festival.

Just over a week ago, gusts up to 65 miles per hour toppled trees and power lines around the Bay Area and wreaked havoc on coastal roads. Winds that strong here can classify somewhere between a tropical storm. While they let up for the rest of the week, they returned Monday night, in force.  

Last summer, the people of Richmond were in shock from the explosion and following fire that broke out at the Chevron oil refinery in their city. Black plumes of smoke hovered over the Bay, and people filled local emergency rooms with respiratory complaints. Chevron blamed the explosion on a ruptured pipeline.

Dan Barbus http://www.flickr.com/photos/utnapistim/73429019/

School districts are increasingly teaching technology as part of their regular curriculum, but the high cost of computers and tablets can hinder that effort. Last year, the federal government pitched in to help some schools out. Hundreds of school districts participated in the Race to the Top program, which is awarding major technology education funding to three school districts in California. One is in the Bay Area, Haven Unified, which serves Union City, in Alameda County.

Courtesy of brava.org

Bay Area artist Rhodessa Jones has been described by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee as "an artistic powerhouse whose work has transformed and saved lives." The teacher, singer, writer, and activists took theatre to places it seldom goes – producing theatre for female prison inmates, and HIV positive women.

Her current performance, “The Resurrection of SHE”, chronicles her life through storytelling, dance, song, and visual imagery.  “SHE” dives into the realities of being black and female in America today, while reaching deep within her history and telling her own story. Rhodessa Jones joined KALW’s Hana Baba studio to talk about her life and "The Resurrection of SHE."

Courtesy of citizensreachout.org

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In the past decade, we have heard from people with varying perspectives on the war: politicians for and against it; anti-war activists; foreign governments; and the United Nations – and we’ve heard the stories of military veterans coming home.

Mary Willis

A decision is due today on the issue of whether City College of San Francisco will lose its accreditation. City College of San Francisco students, teachers, and staff launched a rally outside City Hall on Thursday to express their growing concerns with the college's administration and possible shutdown.

This past Monday, Riverside County experienced a magnitude 4.7 earthquake. That’s not really news for Southern California, but this is: an earthquake detection system accurately predicted it.

The immigrant experience is meant to be a smooth one, full of promise. Ideally, people from developing countries come to America for better work, education, human rights and, overall, and a better future for their children.

However, many of these stories turn out to be not as polished as that narrative. Immigrants often need to learn a new language, navigate a new system, face realities they never have before, and find their way in a new adopted country. Their hopes are high, and sometimes they end up unmet.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A great one is worth much more than that. Think of famous photos like the napalm girl in Vietnam, the post-depression Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, athletes Tommy Smith and John Carlos making Black Power salutes at the 1968 Olympics, or Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl. A picture can connect us with people and help us understand their lives. It can even help create tangible social change and a better world. 

The year is 1985. Ronald Reagan has been sworn in for his second term in office, “We Are the World” tops the charts, and here in the Bay Area, Stanford history professor Clayborne Carson receives a call from Coretta Scott King that will change his life forever. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s widow asks Carson to tell her late husband’s story through his papers. Carson is momentarily conflicted about accepting King’s request, even recommending more qualified individuals, but agrees to take on the hundreds of thousands of documents in her possession.

It’s not often we hear a story of love and heartbreak – and the music that was specifically composed for it. One such story befell the 19th century composer Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann. Meghan Laslocky is author of The Little Book of Heartbreak and she shares their story of love and the music that told it with KALW’s Hana Baba.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco has pioneered many concepts for the country. One of them is recognizing the importance of a college education that’s diverse, and multicultural, reflecting the populace. And so, the country’s first Department of Ethnic Studies was launched at San Francisco State University in 1968.

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