Allison Keyes

Allison Keyes is an award-winning journalist with almost 20 years of experience in print, radio, and television. She has been reporting for NPR's national desk since October 2005. Her reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Keyes coverage includes news and features on a wide variety of topics. "I've done everything from interviewing musician Dave Brubeck to profiling a group of kids in Harlem that are learning responsibility and getting educational opportunities from an Ice Hockey league, to hanging out with a group of black cowboys in Brooklyn who are keeping the tradition alive." Her reports include award-winning coverage of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York, coverage of the changes John Ashcroft sought in the Patriot Act, and the NAACP lawsuit against gun companies.

In 2002 Keyes joined NPR as a reporter and substitute host for The Tavis Smiley Show. She switched to News and Notes when it launched in January 2005. Keyes enjoyed the unique opportunity News & Notes gave her to cover events that affect communities of color on a national level. "Most news outlets only bother to cover crime and the predictable museum opening or occasional community protest," she said. "But people have a right to know what's going on and how it will affect them and their communities."

In addition to working with NPR, Keyes occasionally writes and produces segments for the ABC News shows Good Morning America and World News Tonight.

Keyes is familiar with public radio, having worked intermittently for NPR since 1995. She also spent a little less than a year hosting and covering City Hall and politics for WNYC Radio. Prior to that, she spent several years at WCBS Newsradio 880.

Keyes' eyewitness reports on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York earned her the Newswoman's Club of New York 2002 Front Page Award for Breaking News, and, along with WCBS Newsradio staff, the New York State Associated Press Broadcast Award for Breaking News and Continuing Coverage. Her report on the funeral of Patrick Dorismond earned her the National Association of Black Journalists' 2001 Radio News Award.

In addition to radio, Keyes has worked in cable television and print. She has reported for Black Enterprise Magazine, co-authored two African-American history books as well as the African American Heritage Perpetual Calendar, and has written profiles for various magazines and Internet news outlets in Chicago and New York.

Keyes got her start in radio at NPR member station WBEZ in Chicago, IL, in 1988 as an assistant news director, anchor, and reporter. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in English and journalism. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists.

When not on the air, Keyes can be found singing jazz, listening to opera, or hanging out with her very, very large cat.

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5:08am

Wed March 19, 2014
Politics

Potential Charges Against Incumbent Throw D.C. Mayor's Race Up In Air

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:28 am

The possible indictment of incumbent D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has turned what many expected to be a routine election into a referendum on whether voters trust him.

4:42pm

Mon March 3, 2014
Around the Nation

As Calendar Flips To March, People Grow Sick Of The Snow

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 7:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The latest in a series of nasty winter storms socked the nation today. It rolled north through the mid-Atlantic this morning, right up the East Coast bringing freezing rain, heavy snow and plummeting temperatures. More than 2,900 flights were cancelled today and more than 7,100 were delayed. The federal government and many schools and offices also shut down.

NPR's Allison Keyes reports, for many in the nation's capital, spring can't come fast enough.

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3:35am

Fri February 21, 2014
Around the Nation

Maryland Bill May Require Holocaust Reparations From Rail Company

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 9:29 am

Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz's Change.org petition has more than 107,000 signatures.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Maryland are considering a bill that would block one of the firms seeking to bid on a multibillion-dollar light rail project from winning its bid unless its majority stockholder agrees to pay reparations to Holocaust victims.

The legislation, co-sponsored by Maryland Delegate Kirill Reznik, would block a consortium including Paris-based rail company Keolis from winning a public-private partnership for the state's Purple Line project, a 35-year contract worth more than $6 billion.

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5:16pm

Thu February 6, 2014
Around the Nation

Maryland Drug Officials Worry Over A Deadly Mixture

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tomorrow in Maryland, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration will sit down with other law enforcement groups to talk through some big questions. Tainted heroin has recently killed at least 50 people across several states, and they want to find out where it's coming from. The heroin is laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl. While the DEA races to find the drug's source, NPR's Allison Keyes reports community groups are scrambling to warn addicts of the danger.

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6:26pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Around the Nation

Storm And Stress Visit The East Coast

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

A fast-moving winter storm is barreling across the mid-Atlantic and up the East Coast today. Some places are expecting up to a foot of snow. The blizzard conditions from Virginia to Massachusetts will be followed by bitterly cold temperatures. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

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7:18pm

Thu January 16, 2014
Around the Nation

Sweet 16 And Barreling Toward Cowgirl Racing Fame

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:19 pm

Megan Yurko and her horse, Beea. Now 16, Megan has been cowgirl barrel racing since the age of 6.
Courtesy of Megan Yurko

Megan Yurko is small, but she's a big name in barrel racing. And the 16-year-old is on track to be crowned the world's top cowgirl barrel racer at the upcoming International Professional Rodeo Association's finals in Oklahoma City.

Just under 4-foot-10, Megan depends on her 1,200-pound filly Beea in a sport where the fastest rider around three barrels in a cloverleaf pattern wins.

"The thrill of it all is awesome," Megan says.

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5:25am

Sat January 11, 2014
Architecture

Historic House Is Yours Free, But There's A Catch

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Architects at Paolasquare International are giving away this historic house in Arlington, Va. for free.
Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post/Getty Images

This little house is looking for a home.

In the past five years, 600 single-family homes have been demolished in Arlington, Va., many to make way for larger houses, according to a preservation group. One architectural firm is so determined to save one 1920s Sears kit house from demolition, it's giving the house away for free. But there's a catch: the buyer would need to pay to move it to a new location.

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4:36pm

Thu December 12, 2013
Code Switch

African-American Gun Club Hopes To Help Curb Youth Violence

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:17 pm

The Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club, based in Marriottsville, Md., focuses as much on discipline and black history as it does on shooting.
Courtesy of the Maryland Tenth Cavalry Gun Club

More than 200 people have been killed this year in Baltimore. Most of them were black, and most of them were shot to death, despite Maryland having one of the nation's toughest gun laws. This comes two years after the city recorded its lowest murder rate in more than two decades.

Members of one of the few African-American social firearm clubs in the nation think teaching young people different ideas about guns might help deter them from a life of violence.

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3:54pm

Tue November 26, 2013
Code Switch

Trove Of Artifacts Trumpets African-American Triumphs

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 6:44 pm

Hence We Come, by Norman Lewis
Courtesy of The Kinsey Collection

Seventeen-year-old Tonisha Owens stared wide-eyed at the faded script on an 1854 letter. It was once carried by another 17-year-old — a slave named Frances. The letter was written by a plantation owner's wife to a slave dealer, saying that she needed to sell her chambermaid to pay for horses. But Frances didn't know how to read or write, and didn't know what she carried.

"She does not know she is to be sold. I couldn't tell her," the letter reads. "I own all her family and the leave taking would be so distressing that I could not."

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7:14am

Sat November 9, 2013
Theater

'We Will Rock You': A Bohemian Musical

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 11:24 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Don Gonyea. Whether or not you're a fan of rock and roll, you've surely heard at least one of the hits by Queen. The British band dominated the airwaves in the '70s and '80s and now their music is rocking the world again, this time in a jukebox musical called "We Will Rock You."

The show has been running in London for a dozen years but now an Americanized version is touring the United States and Canada. NPR's Allison Keyes was at the opening show in Baltimore.

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11:54pm

Tue August 27, 2013
The March On Washington At 50

50 Years After March On Washington, John Lewis Still Fights

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:33 pm

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., speaks Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial during activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Michael Reynolds EPA /Landov

4:39pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Around the Nation

Wal-Mart Threatens To Pull Out Of D.C. Over Wage Requirements

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Wal-Mart is threatening to walk away from plans to build three of six new stores slated for the nation's capital. Those three stores are supposed to go up in some of the city's neediest neighborhoods. But the city council in Washington, D.C., has approved a bill requiring big box stores to pay employees a living wage of $12.50 an hour. And Wal-Mart says if that becomes the law, it will scrap its plans.

NPR's Allison Keyes spoke to people in those communities about their thoughts on the standoff.

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9:03am

Sun June 23, 2013
Code Switch

Deconstructing Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaks to a crowd in Detroit on June 23, 1963.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

"We want all of our rights!" Martin Luther King, Jr. told a throng of people gathered in and around Detroit's Cobo Arena on June 23, 1963. He was speaking at what he called the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States. "We want them here, and we want them now!" he said.

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6:56pm

Tue June 11, 2013
The Two-Way

Winfrey Gives Millions To New African-American Museum In D.C.

Oprah Winfrey gave $12 million Tuesday to help build the Smithsonian's new National Museum of African American History and Culture, seen here in a scale model (lower center). The facility is expected to open in 2015.
Allison Keyes NPR

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey is giving a multimillion-dollar boost to the Smithsonian's new facility, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). She gave the museum, which is being built in Washington, D.C., $12 million Tuesday, in addition to a previous $1 million donation.

"I am so proud of African-American history and its contributions to our nation as a whole," says Winfrey, chairman and CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network. "I am deeply appreciative of those who paved the path for me and all who follow in their footsteps."

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6:59pm

Fri May 31, 2013
Sports

What A Lawsuit Against The Redskins Could Mean For The Brand

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:23 pm

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has vowed to never change the team's name.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Once again, the long-standing controversy over the name of the Washington Redskins is in the news. In May, 10 members of Congress sent a letter to the team's owner and several others urging a name change.

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