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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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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12:01am

Fri March 8, 2013
Theater

For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

Valisia LeKae, Sydney Morton and Ariana Debose play the Supremes in the show.
Andrew Eccles

There's hardly an adult anywhere in the world who wouldn't recognize at least some of the music of Motown.

The R&B label changed the course of music in the United States and made household names of Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. Now, the man who created Motown — Berry Gordy — is headed to Broadway to tell his version of how it all began.

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3:32am

Mon February 11, 2013
Animals

Woof Out The Red Carpet: Westminster Dogs Take New York

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:30 pm

Jerry Grymek, doggie concierge at the Hotel Pennsylvania in Manhattan, hands a treat to Rennet, a 10-week-old French bulldog. Rennet came to the hotel from Pennsylvania ahead of the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

On Tuesday night, one dog will be named "best in show" at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York.

Many of the canines that have flocked to Manhattan are staying at the Hotel Pennsylvania across the street from Madison Square Garden, where judging of the main events in the show is held.

The hotel has special amenities for its four-legged guests.

"Hey, buddy," doggie concierge Jerry Grymek says to a border collie in a crate. "Welcome to the Hotel Pennsylvania."

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3:23pm

Sat January 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Newtown Residents Join Gun Control Rally In Washington

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:47 am

Newtown, Conn., residents Darren Wagner and Georgia Monaghan traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the gun control rally on Saturday.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Residents of Newtown, Conn., where 20 children died in December's school shootings, marched alongside other supporters of gun control at a rally on the National Mall on Saturday.

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5:06pm

Sun December 9, 2012
Around the Nation

Ill. Considers Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 7:09 pm

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar speaks to reporters at the Illinois State Capitol on Dec. 4, before a Senate vote on a law that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Seth Perlman AP

Illinois could become the third state — after Washington and New Mexico — where undocumented immigrants can obtain driver's licenses. The legislation is halfway there. A bill that passed the state Senate 41-14 last Tuesday has bipartisan support.

Before the Senate vote, leaders from both parties, including Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican former Gov. Jim Edgar, spoke out in favor of the legislation. Supporters say that the roads will be safer if undocumented immigrants can pass the tests and get driver's licenses.

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11:06am

Mon November 5, 2012
It's All Politics

Arab-American Voters Lean Toward Obama, But With Less Enthusiasm

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 8:32 am

Arab-American voters strongly supported President Obama in 2008, and polls show most are doing so this time around as well. But some of those voters are concerned about the way Obama has handled issues important to their community — even if they still intend to cast their ballots for his re-election.

At the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Arab American Institute, the walls are full of red, white and blue signs in English and Arabic urging people to vote.

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3:26pm

Sun October 28, 2012
Science

Millennia Of Stargazing At 'African Cosmos' Exhibit

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 6:33 pm

Untitled, by South African artist Gavin Jantjes, is one of the works in the "African Cosmos" exhibition.
National Museum of African Art

8:55pm

Sat September 8, 2012
Politics

Social Issues Hold Sway Over Ohio's Black Voters

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won nearly all the African-American vote. And this year, a recent poll found that less than 1 percent of black voters will back Mitt Romney. But in Ohio, as NPR's Allison Keyes found out, some black voters are agonizing over whether to vote in November at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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5:21am

Sun August 26, 2012
Remembrances

In Just 'One Small Step' Armstrong Became An Icon

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 12:32 pm

Armstrong stepped into history July 20, 1969, leaving the first human footprint on the surface of the moon.
NASA Getty Images

It was the kind of history that ignites the imagination of humanity.

On July 20, 1969, hundreds of millions of people around the world watched or listened as the lunar module Eagle carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Armstrong got on the radio to let them know "the Eagle has landed."

Almost seven hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder in his bulky white space suitand said those famous words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"

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4:25pm

Tue July 24, 2012
AIDS: A Turning Point

D.C.'s Black Churches Take Steps In AIDS Fight

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 10:11 am

As thousands gather in Washington, D.C., for the International AIDS Conference, the city is battling disturbing levels of HIV/AIDS, particularly in the black community.

According to the D.C. Department of Health, 4.3 percent of the black population in the city is living with the disease, and some advocates argue that black churches should be doing more to fight it.

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2:26am

Sun July 15, 2012
Presidential Race

Green Party Pick Gives Democrats Brunt Of Criticism

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:11 am

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein delivers her acceptance speech at the party's convention in Baltimore on Saturday.
Laura-Chase McGehee AP

The Green Party nominated a Massachusetts physician and a formerly homeless single mother as their presidential and vice-presidential candidates for 2012 on Saturday. They say they are in it to win it, and — at the very least — to expand the electoral conversation to include people they say aren't represented by either Democrats or Republicans.

Amid waving green and white campaign signs in a conference room at a Baltimore Holiday Inn, the room erupted in cheers as Dr. Jill Stein won the delegate count.

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5:08am

Tue June 12, 2012
Monkey See

The Old With The New: Generations Clash In New 'Dallas'

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:08 pm

Bobby (Patrick Duffy, top left), J.R. (Larry Hagman, top center left) and the rest of the Ewing family are back, including a new generation, for TNT's reboot of Dallas.
Mark Seliger TNT

In 1980, the world was transfixed by the question of "Who shot J.R.?" Of course, we're talking about the archvillain from the nighttime soap opera Dallas. Three hundred fifty million people worldwide tuned in to find out. Now the TNT cable network is rebooting the show and hoping for even a fraction of that passion.

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