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Central Standard

Seg. 1: American Dirt Reaction | Seg. 2: 15K To Move To Topeka

Segment 1: Who gets to tell what stories? 

Controversy over a novel called “American Dirt” led to a canceled book tour—a week before author Jeanine Cummins was set to come to Kansas City. Critics have a problem with the fact that Cummins is white, yet wrote a book about a Mexican family trying to make it across the US-Mexico border.

  • Jose Faus, poet and artist
  • Jessica Ayala, poet
  • Alex Martinez, writer and poet

Segment 2, beginning at 27:46: Would you move to Topeka for $15,000?

The organization Choose Topeka is offering people money to move, which makes us wonder: what makes us move anywhere? And, how have approaches like this worked in the past? We'll also hear about a place in Canada where people are offered money to leave.

People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.
Melody Rowell is the lead producer for KCUR’s Central Standard. You can find her on Twitter at @MelodyRowell, or by email at melody@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @_macmartin.