If you’ve ever lost someone, or watched a medical drama in the last 15 years, you’ve probably heard of The Five Stages of Grief. They’re sort of the world’s worst consolation prize for loss. But last year, we began wondering… Where did these stages come from in the first place? Turns out, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. But the story is much, much more complicated than that. Those stages of grieving? They actually started as stages of dying. After learning that, producer Rachael Cusick tumbled into a year-long journey through the life and work of the incredibly complicated and misunderstood woman who single-handedly changed the way all of us face dying, and the way we deal with being left behind. Special Note: Our friends over at Death Sex and Money have put together a very special companion to this story, featuring Rachael talking about this story with her grandmother. Check it out here. This episode was reported and produced by Rachael Cusick, with production help from Carin Leong. This story wouldn’t have been possible without the folks you heard from in the episode, and the many, many people who touched this story, including: Anne Adams, Andrew Aronson, Audrey Gordon, Barbara Hogenson, Basit Qari, Bill Weese, Bob McGan, Carey Gauzens, Clifford Edwards, Cristina McGinniss, Dorothy Holinger, Frank Ostaseski, Ira Byock, Jamie Munson, Jessica Weisberg, Jillian Tullis, Joanna Treichler, Jonathan Green, Ken Bridbord, Ladybird Morgan, Laurel Braitman, Lawrence Lincoln, Leah Siegel, Liese Groot, Linda Mount, Lyn Frumpkin, Mark Kuczewski, Martha Twaddle, Rosalie Roder, Sala Hilaire, Stefan Haupt, Stephanie Riley, Stephen Connor, and Tracie Hunte. Special thanks to all the folks who shared music for this episode, including: Lisa Stoll, who shared her Alpine horn music with us for this episode. You can hear more of her music here. Cliff Edwards, who shared original music from Deanna Edwards. The Martin Hayes Quartet, who shared the last bit of music you hear in the piece that somehow puts a world of emotion into one beautiful tune. And an extra special thank you to the folks over at Stanford University - Ben Stone, David Magnus, Karl Lorenz, Maren Monsen - the caretakers of Elisabeth’s archival collection who made it possible to rummage through their library from halfway across the country. You can read more about the collection here. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.
A major development in the case of Guantanamo detainee Abdul Latif Nasser. To listen to our series about him, go to theotherlatif.org.
In the past few weeks, most people have probably seen Britney Spears' name or face everywhere. When she stood in front of a judge (virtually) and protested the conservatorship she's been living under for the past 13 years, one harrowing detail in particular stood out. She told the judge, "I was told right now in the conservatorship, I'm not able to get married or have a baby." Today, we look back at an old episode where we explore why it is that hundreds of thousands of people can have their reproductive rights denied...and spoiler: it goes back to Darwin. When a law student named Mark Bold came across a Supreme Court decision from the 1920s that allowed for the forced sterilization of people deemed “unfit,” he was shocked to discover that it had never been overturned. His law professors told him the case, Buck v Bell, was nothing to worry about, that the ruling was in a kind of legal limbo and could never be used against people. But he didn’t buy it. In this episode we follow Mark on a journey to one of the darkest consequences of humanity’s attempts to measure the human mind and put people in boxes, following him through history, science fiction and a version of eugenics that’s still very much alive today, and watch as he crusades to restore a dash of moral order to the universe. This episode was produced by Matt Kielty, Lulu Miller and Pat Walters. Special thanks to Sara Luterman, Lynn Rainville, Alex Minna Stern, Steve Silberman and Lydia X.Z. Brown. Radiolab’s “G” is supported in part by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.
Lift Every Voice: Episode Six from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. Black Swan Records was first to record the anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing. From a family's Thanksgiving dinner, we portal through to the song's past, present, and future.
Roland Hayes and the Lost Generation: Episode Five from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. Here’s the extraordinary story of Roland Hayes, another great (and largely forgotten) creator of new cosmologies.
Our Harlem Moon: Episode Four from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. In this spin-off tale, Ethel Waters hijacks a degrading song and makes the music her own.
Black No More, White No More: Episode Three from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. We follow Harry's grandkids and great grandkids as they grapple with his legacy in their own lives.
Dreams Deferred: Episode Two from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. The story of the post Black Swan years. We follow Harry’s Supreme Court battle to desegregate the South Side of Chicago, and then the mysterious decision which forces him into seclusion, before his untimely death.
The Rise and Fall of Black Swan: Episode One from The Vanishing of Harry Pace, a six-part series created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee. Harry Pace founded Black Swan Records exactly 100 years ago. Pace launched the career of Ethel Waters, inadvertently invented the term rock n roll, played an important role in W.C. Handy becoming "Father of the Blues," inspired Ebony and Jet magazines, and helped desegregate the South Side of Chicago in an epic Supreme Court battle. Then, he disappeared. The Vanishing of Harry Pace is a series about the phenomenal but forgotten man who changed the American music scene. It's a story about betrayal, family, hidden identities, and a time like no other. This series was produced in collaboration with author Kiese Laymon, scholar Imani Perry, screenwriter Cord Jefferson, and WQXR’s Terrance McKnight. Jami Floyd is our consulting producer; our fact checker is Natalie Meade. Peter Pace lent his voice for our readings. Based on the book Black Swan Blues: the Hard Rise and Brutal Fall of America’s First Black Owned Record Label by Paul Slade. The series features interviews with Pace's descendants and over forty musicians, historians, writers, and musicologists, all of whom grapple with Pace’s enduring legacy.
1 hr 6 min
We’ve just barely made it to the other side of a year that took our collective breaths away. So more than ever we felt that this was the time to go deep on life’s rhythmic dance partner. Today we huff and we puff through a whole stack of stories about breath. We talk to scientists, musicians, activists, and breath mint experts, and try to climb into the very center of this thing we all do, are all doing right now, and now, and now. This episode was reported and produced by Annie McEwen, Matt Kielty, and Molly Webster. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate. Further reading: Alice Wong’s book Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories From the 21st Century Here’s a speech Alice gave when first referring to her body as an oracle. And for more on ventilator allocation in NY State, check out this article by the Gothamist.
1 hr 31 min