Tanya Ballard Brown

Tanya Ballard Brown is an editor for NPR. She joined the organization in 2008.

As an editor, Tanya brainstorms and develops digital features; collaborates with radio editors and reporters to create compelling digital content that complements radio reports; manages digital producers and interns; and, edits stories appearing on NPR.org. Tanya also writes blog posts, commentaries and book reviews, has served as acting supervising editor for Digital Arts, Books and Entertainment; edited for Talk of the Nation and Tell Me More; and filed on-air news reports. She also has laughed loudly on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and Facebook Live segments.

Projects Tanya has worked on include Abused and Betrayed: People With Intellectual Disabilities And An Epidemic of Sexual Assault; Months After Pulse Shooting: 'There Is A Wound On The Entire Community'; Staving Off Eviction; Stuck in the Middle: Work, Health and Happiness at Midlife; Teenage Diaries Revisited; School's Out: The Cost of Dropping Out (video); Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty; Living Large: Obesity In America; the Cities Project; Farm Fresh Foods; Dirty Money; Friday Night Lives, and WASP: Women With Wings In WWII.

Tanya is former editor for investigative and longterm projects at washingtonpost.com and during her tenure there coordinated with the print and digital newsrooms to develop multimedia content. She has also been a reporter or editor at GovExec.com/Government Executive magazine, The Tennessean in Nashville and the (Greensboro) News & Record.

In her free time, Tanya fronts a band filled with other NPR staffers, sings show tunes, dances randomly in the middle of the newsroom, takes acting and improv classes, teaches at Georgetown University, does storytelling performances, and dreams of being a bass player. Or Sarah Vaughan. Whichever comes first.

I'm a longtime Prince fan. I would listen to his raunchy songs with the sound turned down low so my parents couldn't hear, because even before I understood a lot of the double entendre in his lyrics, I sensed they — and he — were naughty. And, of course, my parents confirmed.

Once while driving in the car with my mom, Erotic City started playing on the radio. She reached over, snapped the radio off and said, "That Prince is just nasty." And he was nasty. In a good way.

It has been a week since the disturbing discovery of thousands of fetal remains at the home of a former abortion provider, and authorities still don't know why he kept them.

Ulrich Klopfer had performed abortions at three clinics in Indiana but lived across the state line in Illinois.

An annual survey that asks Americans about crimes they've experienced showed that the rate at which those surveyed said they had been raped or sexually assaulted nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018.

The 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), released Tuesday, is managed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Justice Department, and asks people if they've been victims of crimes — even if they didn't report them to police.

Afshin Shahidi misses Prince.

"Nothing seemed impossible, everything was possible for him," he says. "And that's just the way he lived his life and the way he communicated and wanted us to live our life."

The Iranian-born Shahidi grew up in Minneapolis and met Prince in 1993 when he got a call to come to work on a music video shoot as a film loader. Shahidi didn't know how to load film. But, it was for Prince(!) so like a true fan, he jumped at the opportunity to bask in the royal purple glow, and decided to sort out the film loading stuff on the fly.

Every year as August draws to a close and Labor Day approaches, I start craving muscadines, the large, thick-skinned grapes that were everywhere in my home state of North Carolina when I was growing up.

Many summer evenings, my friends and I would sit on one of our porches and plot out how we could get into a neighbor's yard to get the muscadines off the vine and into our mouths. We crafted football-like plays that involved a bunch of running, splitting up, grape snatching and fence jumping.

Manuel Cuevas moved to the U.S. from Mexico in the late 1950s to pursue his calling as a tailor.

He started sewing when he was 7 when most kids were occupied with other things, such as playing.

"The guys at school were more about playing ball and the slingshots," 78-year-old Manuel explained to his daughter, Morelia, at StoryCorps in Nashville. "That never interested me. I was really an outcast. I'd go to bed and I'd dream about fabrics and leathers and about the things that I'm going to make the next day."

When Anna Taylor got her U.S. patent for false eyelashes in 1911, it's doubtful she could see far enough into the future to know that trying to make lashes look longer and fuller would turn into a multimillion-dollar industry.

Not surprisingly, artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings felt especially daunted by the chance to adapt renowned speculative-fiction writer Octavia Butler's beloved Kindred for a new graphic novel edition.

"It was like, this is awesome, we got this project, it's, like, our dream project! Yayyy!," Duffy said. But excitement quickly turned to panic. "I have to do what now?" he also said to himself.

Over the past eight years, Michelle Obama — a former attorney with degrees from Princeton and Harvard universities — has dealt with a lot of cheap (and often mean) shots lobbed in her direction. But while she has her detractors, this first black first lady is widely admired — and not just for her famously defined arms (they even have their own Tumblr).

As we mourn the golf great Arnold Palmer, we acknowledge another contribution he made to our culture: the tasty and refreshing iced tea and lemonade beverage that carries his name.

When peals ring out from a 130-year-old church bell at the Sept. 24 dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, they will signal the end of a long journey.

The historic "Freedom Bell" usually hangs in Williamsburg, Va., in the tower of the First Baptist Church, which was founded by slaves. It started making its way to Washington, D.C., on Monday, according to The Associated Press, in order to herald this latest historical event.

She's back.

Earlier this week actor and comedian Leslie Jones decided she'd had enough of Twitter trolls targeting her because she dared to co-star in a reboot of the 1984 film, Ghostbusters.

She was tired of being called ugly and savage, and being compared to gorillas and apes.

She was tired of being called a coon.

She'd had enough. She was tired.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Updated on Jan. 27 to add video of speech:

Some Twitter users pulled up their feed Tuesday and saw changes involving the reply, retweet and "fav" buttons.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court hears arguments on same-sex marriage, which is now legal in about three dozen states.

But it's also legal in most states to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — LGBT — people in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation.

So in many states, a person could marry someone of the same gender and then get fired for being gay.

It's not often that people get a second chance, and in fact, for many people, there is no such thing as a second chance.

In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

On Tuesday, artist Andy Warhol's oversized and iconic Coca-Cola (3) will hit the auction block at Christie's, and to borrow an old slogan from the company, It's The Real Thing.

On the list of things to be outraged about at the moment, I'll admit this isn't at the top: The Swiss tourism office apologized to Oprah on Friday because she wasn't allowed to buy a $38,000 designer handbag while recently shopping in Switzerland. Poor lil' Oprah. *sad face*

It does make me wonder, though, can you ever be rich enough or famous enough or beautiful enough to not be racially profiled while shopping?

With the verdict looming in the trial of George Zimmerman, who's charged in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, suddenly speculation has turned to this: the possibility of angry protesters turning to violence if the outcome isn't the one they envisioned.

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: Paula Deen apologizes to Matt Lauer, of NBC's Today show.


UPDATE 4:44 p.m.: "Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month." — Food Network spokeswoman

I've been following Easy Rawlins since reading Devil in a Blue Dress in the '90s. That's a lot of time to give to a character. And as I read Little Green, I realized that I hadn't been following Easy, the character, all these years. In the past I was more invested in other parts of the stories.

An auction of sacred Native American artifacts scheduled for Friday in Paris is stirring up controversy on both sides of the Atlantic

Seventy Hopi "visages and headdresses" — some more than 100 years old — will go on the block at the Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou auction house, which estimates the sale will bring in about $1 million, according to The New York Times.

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

The Census Bureau announced Monday that it would drop the word "Negro" from its forms, after some described it as offensive. According to the Associated Press, the term will be replaced next year by black or African-American. From the AP:

Update at 8:06 p.m. ET. Card Sells For $80,000

The nearly 150-year-old Brooklyn Atlantics baseball card that was was discovered late last year in a photo album bought at a yard sale has sold for $80,000 — $92,000 if you count the auction house's buyer's premium.

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