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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the 1920s and '30s, Langston Hughes was at the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. After the movement ended, he didn't go far: The writer moved into a brownstone on Harlem's 127th Street, where he lived for the last 20 years of his life.

The building is a national landmark, but it's been mostly empty for decades. In that time, Harlem has begun to gentrify. Now, in an effort to keep Hughes' former home from becoming one more high-end co-op, a neighborhood nonprofit is raising money to lease the building as an arts center.

William James Stokes is the son of a church man, and on his first album he comes right out with it. The Preacher's Kid is the singer and rapper's debut as Sir the Baptist, a name he felt suited his origins in the Bronzeville district of South Side Chicago. "I grew up in a Chicago area where they called it 'Chi-raq' — and I felt like if I was gonna be the voice crying out in the wilderness, I would want to be John the Baptist," he says.

Art can enlighten, soothe, challenge and provoke. Sometimes it can transform a community.

Case in point: a 5.5-square-mile island called Naoshima in Japan's Seto Inland Sea.

Once upon a time, the biggest employer on Naoshima was a Mitsubishi metals processing plant. Actually, it's still the biggest employer, just not nearly as big as it once was.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and in 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.

This week, World Cafe rebroadcast a 2011 session with The Civil Wars. When we recorded that session, Joy Williams and John Paul White had just released their album Barton Hollow; they'd go on to win four Grammy awards, achieve a gold record and play sold-out concerts. But the duo's success wasn't enough to sustain their partnership, which fell apart in 2014.

Here are 10 more great duos that, unfortunately, weren't built to last.

I write this as if surfacing from deep water, or looking up to find a bright world dimmed around me. I have just put down The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe and it is dark outside, a rush of wind constant as surf, and I find myself wondering if the stars will be uncountable millions or if there will be only ninety-seven of them studding a thickly textured sky.

In the mid-19th century, Shakers practiced their faith in farming communities from Maine to Kentucky. Numbering 6,000 at their peak, they gave up worldly possessions, marriage and sex, instead devoting themselves to prayer and work. They also wrote songs, thousands of them — including "Simple Gifts," which endures in popular culture despite dating back to the 1840s.

Good news: We've got a Code Switch podcast extra for you this week — Karen Grigsby Bates sat down with NPR's movie critic, Bob Mondello, to talk about Southside with You, a new independent film about Michelle and Barack Obama's very first date, back in the summer of 1989.

The film takes place over the course of a single afternoon, and, as the title suggests, is set on the South Side of Chicago.

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looked into the Mississippi-based regional bank BancorpSouth, it didn't just review thousands of loan applications. It sent in undercover operatives — some white, some black — who pretended to be customers applying for loans.

"They had similar credit scores and similar background and situations," says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Our investigation had found that BancorpSouth had engaged in illegal redlining in Memphis, meaning refusing to lend into specific areas of the city."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's 1989 in the new movie Southside With You, and two attractive young lawyers are going out for the first time. Were their names not Michelle and Barack, we might not be along for the ride. But they are, and the ride is sweet in the idyll constructed by first-time feature-writer/director Richard Tanne.

In Baton Rouge, La., people are using whatever tools they have to help their community recover from the flood.

That includes cameras.

Four photographers have been creating portraits of those affected. Their project, "Humans of the Water," focuses not on what people lost, but on what they saved.

One of those photographers is Collin Richie. He says documentary photography isn't typically his style. Most of his work involves snapping photos for weddings, magazines and corporate advertisements.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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This is FRESH AIR. Barack and Michelle Obama's first date in Chicago back in 1989 is the subject of a new movie called "Southside With You." Film critic David Edelstein has a review.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Once upon a time, cigarettes were the currency of choice when those behind bars needed to barter. But these days, America's prisoners are trading with ramen.

Rudy Van Gelder, an audio recording engineer who captured the sounds of many of jazz's landmark albums, died Thursday morning in his sleep. He was at his home studio in New Jersey, according to Maureen Sickler, his assistant engineer. He was 91.

On this week's episode of the Code Switch podcast, Karen Grigsby Bates sat down with some folks to talk about the upcoming film The Birth of a Nation, and a recently resurfaced, 17-year-old sexual assault case against Nate Parker, the movie's highly lauded newcomer director.

Hard Working Americans On World Cafe

Aug 26, 2016

Todd Snider has proven himself an agile (and very funny) solo performer, but in 2013 he decided he wanted to start performing in a band. So, he persuaded some friends, including bassist Dave Schools of Widespread Panic and guitarist Neal Casal of Ryan Adams' backing band The Cardinals, to form Hard Working Americans. (Snider jokes that he no longer even has to bring a guitar to gigs.)

Pie In The Skymall

Aug 26, 2016

There was once a time when airlines didn't allow you to use electronic devices during taxi, landing and takeoff. The only entertainment bored passengers had was an in-flight catalog filled with absurd products no one would ever need. It was called "SkyMall." In this game, contestants tell us if something is a real or fake SkyMall product.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

Mystery Guest

Aug 26, 2016

Ophira and Jonathan become the contestants in a round of Mystery Guest. Rebecca McMackin works in Brooklyn, and she has hired some temporary workers to help her out with an interesting problem. Ophira and Jonathan must ask yes or no questions to figure out who these workers are, and what they do.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

Considering the many dramatic plot twists and turns, you'd think that actors Omari Hardwick and Naturi Naughton from the Starz show Power would race to the end of the script to make sure their characters make it through the episode alive. Hardwick plays Ghost, a nightclub owner leading a double life as a drug kingpin trying to go straight. Naughton plays his wife, Tasha, who is power hungry in her own right. But now that the show is in its third season, they are not as anxious to read the scripts. "Sometimes you don't wanna know that far ahead.

You Do Know Jack

Aug 26, 2016

For this final round, every correct answer contains the name "Jack." For example, if we said, "A person who cuts down trees," you'd answer, "He's a lumberjack," and be O.K.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

I'm A Business, Man

Aug 26, 2016

You've heard of "Beats by Dre," the "Oprah Winfrey Network," and Ophira Eisenberg's fragrance line, "Musty Top Notes, by Ophira." Put this knowledge to the test by mashing up the name of a famous person with the name of a company. If we said, "This California Gurls singer tries her hand at men's fashion," you'd answer, "Katy Perry Ellis."

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

Who You Gonna Call?

Aug 26, 2016

We attempt the most dangerous quiz ever on Ask Me Another — parody "Ghostbusters." We took the "Ghostbusters" theme song and rewrote it to be about other things that end with "busters," such as... gangbusters, or bunker busters.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

House Hunters Intergalactic

Aug 26, 2016

Andromeda Dunker, narrator of HGTV's House Hunters and House Hunters International, lends her voice to this game. For one day only, she'll be narrating House Hunters INTERGALACTIC. Andromeda reads a real estate ad and contestants identify what celestial body she's describing.

Heard on Naturi Naughton & Omari Hardwick: Power Puzzlers

An empowerment anthem can be a beautiful thing, a dramatic transcending of suffering's isolating power. But what's glorious about Sarah Potenza's blistering, riff-propelled personal anthem "Monster" is that it doesn't seek to transcend the unpleasantness of her reality — the fact that she's been told countless times in countless ways that the body she inhabits is socially unacceptable. Instead, we hear a woman's fierce determination to stay present, to stare down those who would shame her, to revel in her corporeality.

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