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July 06, 2023
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The Great Resignation:Gains for Workers or Employers? (link)

  1. Millions of Americans changed jobs in the past two years due to worker power.
  2. Voluntary quits rate has fallen sharply in recent months.
  3. Wage growth has slowed, especially in low-paying service jobs.
  4. Workers are becoming nervous about getting caught without a job in a recession.
  5. Earnings gap between top and bottom income earners has begun to narrow.
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The past two years have seen a surge in job-switching, with workers demanding higher pay and employers often giving it to them. However, the rate of voluntary quits has recently fallen, and wage growth has slowed, especially in low-paying service jobs. This suggests that the pendulum may be swinging back towards employers. Despite this, some economists believe that workers will still hold onto some of the gains they made during the great resignation, as many of those who changed jobs did so to take better-paying ones or start businesses.

Second Chances: Investing in Prison Education (link)

  1. Over 60% of those leaving prison are unemployed a year later.
  2. Second-chance hiring movement in corporate America to hire those with criminal records.
  3. Jobless rate for minority groups with records of imprisonment or arrests is high.
  4. Prison education programs reduce recidivism and save money.
  5. Biden administration dedicates $145 million to job training and re-entry services.
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Despite the U.S. unemployment rate hovering near lows unseen since the 1960s, over 60 percent of those leaving prison are unemployed a year later. This is due to a presumption that people with criminal records are more likely to be difficult, untrustworthy or unreliable employees. To address this, "second-chance hiring" has been pushed in corporate America, and many states have "ban the box" laws barring initial job applications from asking if candidates have a criminal history. The Biden administration has also announced $145 million over two years to job training and re-entry services for federal prisoners. These efforts show promise, as deeper investments in prison education have been found to stem recidivism, and for every dollar spent on prison education, the government saves $4 to $5 in reimprisonment costs.

Labor Market Cooling, Yet Job Openings Remain High (link)

  1. Job openings decreased in May, while quits rate increased.
  2. Fed's next move on interest rates uncertain.
  3. Quitting often signals workers' confidence in job market.
  4. Job openings remain high compared to pre-pandemic levels.
  5. June jobs report to be released Friday.
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The May Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report showed that job openings decreased from 10.3 million to 9.8 million, while the number of workers quitting their jobs increased. This suggests that the labor market is cooling but still has ample opportunities for workers. The June employment report, to be released on Friday, is expected to show a gain of 225,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 3.7%. Despite the cooling of the labor market, job openings remain high compared to pre-pandemic levels, indicating underlying strength.

NATO Membership: Stalled by Hungary, Objections from Turkey (link)

  1. NATO leaders hoped to welcome Sweden as a new member at the annual summit.
  2. All 31 members must agree to admit new members.
  3. Stoltenberg met with Turkey, Sweden and Finland to convince the Turks.
  4. Erdogan and Orban must approve in their parliaments.
  5. Biden supports Sweden's membership in NATO.
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NATO leaders had hoped to welcome Sweden as the alliance's newest member at their annual summit next week, but stalling by Hungary and objections from Turkey have made this nearly impossible. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with the foreign ministers and senior intelligence officials from Turkey, Sweden and Finland in Brussels in an effort to convince the Turks that Sweden has done enough to overcome their objections. The ball is now in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey's court, and if the summit ends with no agreement, it is unclear what would break the deadlock. President Biden has expressed his full support for Sweden's membership in NATO, but the decision rests in the hands of Mr. Erdogan.

Mayor Adams' Controversial Story (link)

  1. Mayor Eric Adams claimed to have kept a photo of Officer Robert Venable in his wallet for decades.
  2. City Hall employees were instructed to create a photo of Officer Venable.
  3. The photo was made to look worn by splashing coffee on it.
  4. Mayor Adams has been caught stretching the truth in the past.
  5. City resources were used to create a photo that Mr. Adams knew had not been in his possession for decades.
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Mayor Eric Adams has been called into question for his story of carrying a photo of fallen police officer Robert Venable in his wallet for decades. It was revealed that the photo was actually created by employees in the mayor's office in the days after he claimed to have been carrying it, and was made to look worn by splashing coffee on it. However, the mayor's spokesman insisted that Mr. Adams had carried the photo for decades, and provided the names of former transit police colleagues who said they had been friends. Despite the controversy, the mayor continues to share personal recollections to connect with his working-class base, though some of his stories have been difficult to verify.

Earth's Unprecedented Heat Wave (link)

  1. Record-breaking global temperatures due to human-caused warming.
  2. El Niño and La Niña cause year-to-year fluctuations.
  3. Volcanic eruption in Tonga may be trapping additional heat.
  4. Sulfur dioxide in atmosphere has slight cooling effect.
  5. Cleaning up sulfur pollution may push up temperatures.
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The Earth is experiencing an unprecedented surge of heat, with global average temperatures reaching record highs in the last three days. This is due to a combination of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and the return of El Niño, a cyclical weather pattern. Heat waves have been seen in Texas, Mexico and India, while ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic are 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than usual. Other factors such as volcanic eruptions and sulfur pollution may also be playing a role in the heat surge. It is clear that the Earth is entering a multiyear period of exceptional warmth, with no sign of the heat letting up.

Heatwave in 'City of Sun' Hermosillo (link)

  1. Hermosillo, Mexico experienced a record high of 49.5°C (121°F).
  2. Heat wave caused by El Niño and anticyclone.
  3. Land use and urban sprawl contribute to heat.
  4. Residents advised to wear hats and loose clothes.
  5. Power outages and rationed ice sales reported.
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Residents of Hermosillo, Mexico, nicknamed the "city of sun" for its blistering weather, experienced a record high of 49.5°C (121°F) during a recent heatwave. The heatwave was caused by El Niño and an anticyclone, which prevented the formation of clouds and allowed radiation to hit directly. Land use also contributed to the heat, as urban sprawl prevents the cooling effect of forest cover. People in Hermosillo tried to cope with the heat by pouring water over themselves and seeking solace in nearby rivers. Authorities distributed water to the homeless and advised people to wear hats and loose clothes, as well as to avoid sun exposure. Despite the heat, life in Hermosillo continued as normal, with schools open and soccer games still scheduled to be played.

Eliminating Chemical Weapons: Success! (link)

  1. US chemical weapons stockpile to be destroyed by Friday.
  2. Mustard agent shells disassembled by robotic arms.
  3. Stockpile built over 70 years.
  4. Cost close to $42 billion.
  5. First time globally an entire class of WMD destroyed.
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The United States has been working for decades to eliminate its stockpile of lethal chemical munitions, and this job is finally set to be completed by Friday. The weapons, which include nerve agents, mustard agents, and other deadly chemicals, were built to be fired, not disassembled, making the task of destruction exceptionally dangerous. The job has taken decades and cost close to $42 billion, but it is now almost finished. Craig Williams, who has been pushing for the safe destruction of the stockpile since 1984, said this is the first time an entire class of weapons of mass destruction will be destroyed.

Yellen's Diplomatic Test in China (link)

  1. Yellen's visit to China is to stabilize relationship.
  2. Yellen has been a voice of moderation.
  3. Yellen will defend US export controls and tariffs.
  4. Yellen will discuss US concerns and Chinese retaliation.
  5. Yellen will meet with Chinese officials and US Chamber of Commerce.
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Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen's four-day visit to China is intended to help stabilize the fraught relationship between the world's two largest economies. Yellen has expressed objections to China's record on human rights, called for diversifying American supply chains and acknowledged that protecting national security is paramount. During her visit, Yellen will need to defend export controls and tariffs while explaining that the United States does not aim to harm China's economy. She will also discuss issues of concern such as China's recent restrictions on the export of certain critical minerals used in the production of some chips, and potential limits on advanced chips and U.S. investment in the country. Yellen's visit is her most challenging test of economic diplomacy to date as she attempts to ease years of festering distrust between the two countries.

Crypto Crash Wreaks Havoc on Celebrities (link)

  1. Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen were paid in FTX stock as part of an endorsement deal.
  2. FTX is now bankrupt and Sam Bankman-Fried is facing criminal fraud charges.
  3. Celebrities have been sued for promoting FTX and Kim Kardashian was ordered to pay $1.26 million.
  4. Celebrities have been accused of misleading investors about crypto assets.
  5. Tech start-ups and celebrities have a symbiotic relationship.
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Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, and other celebrities were among those who rushed to embrace the easy money and online hype of cryptocurrencies during the boom times. However, when the crypto crash came, many celebrities were left with worthless stock and facing legal repercussions. Tom Brady, for example, was paid $30 million in FTX stock as part of an endorsement agreement, while his then-wife Gisele Bündchen was paid $18 million. Now, the former couple is being sued by a group of FTX customers, and they must pay taxes on at least some of their now worthless FTX stock. The situation serves as a warning to other celebrities who are tempted by the promise of easy money from crypto investments.

Saving Elephants: The Owens' Story (link)

  1. Bernard Mutondo was a hunter in North Luangwa National Park.
  2. Delia and Mark Owens arrived to study lions and stop the slaughter.
  3. Delia Owens is now a successful novelist.
  4. Delia Owens believed offering local people an alternative livelihood was key.
  5. Many saw the Owenses as rich outsiders with an agenda.
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Delia and Mark Owens, an American couple, arrived in North Luangwa National Park in Zambia in the early 1990s to study lions and found elephant carcasses strewn across the park. They vowed to stop the slaughter and raised money to save the elephants. Bernard Mutondo, a hunter, was one of many poachers in the park and attempted to bring down the helicopter carrying the Owenses. Today, the Owenses' conservation program contends that the park is the most secure in Zambia. However, many Zambian villagers saw the Owenses as rich outsiders with an agenda centered on protecting animals from people who ate their meat and felt they had little choice but to accept. Despite the gulf of money and power between the Owenses and the villagers, the couple said they did what they could to help develop alternatives to poaching.

Securing Funding for Hudson Tunnel (link)

  1. Federal government to provide $6.88 billion for Hudson River tunnel.
  2. Tunnel part of Gateway project, most important in US.
  3. Tunnel to supplement deteriorating 1910 tunnels.
  4. Cost of project estimated at $16 billion, completion in 2035.
  5. Regional officials seek federal commitment while Biden in office.
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The federal government is set to award $6.88 billion to the construction of a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River to New York City, the most ever awarded to a mass-transit project. The two-tube tunnel is part of the Gateway infrastructure project, which is widely considered the most important in the country. The tunnel is urgently needed to replace the deteriorating single-track tunnels that opened in 1910 and were flooded with salt water in 2012. The federal pledge will allow Gateway’s planners to start seeking companies to construct a tunnel parallel to the deteriorating ones, a project that is expected to cost more than $16 billion before it is completed in 2035. The agreement between the governors of New York and New Jersey to an even split of the local share of the cost of building the tunnel was a critical precursor to obtaining federal funding. The pandemic has reduced the number of commuters, but analysts forecast that trans-Hudson travel demand is likely to be at or above pre-Covid levels by the time the new tunnel is completed. The tunnel is essential for the American economy, and officials are working to secure the remaining funding necessary to complete the project.

Threads: Instagram's Answer to Twitter (link)

  1. Threads is a companion app to Instagram.
  2. Users must have an Instagram account to use Threads.
  3. Threads is similar to Twitter but does not support direct messaging.
  4. Threads is designed to be an open, friendly space for communities.
  5. Threads was created to simplify Instagram and capitalize on Twitter's turmoil.
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Threads is the new app from Instagram that was unveiled on Wednesday, and is positioned as a competitor to Twitter. It allows users to have real-time, public conversations with one another, and is closely tied to Instagram. Users must have an Instagram account to sign up, and their Instagram handle must be their Threads user name. Threads looks similar to Twitter, with users able to post text-based messages, photos, and video to a scrolling feed, however it does not currently support direct messaging. It is hoped that Threads will create an open, friendly space for communities, and within seven hours of its launch it had achieved 10 million sign-ups.

Racing Kids: Ready to Go! (link)

  1. Go-kart racing is a popular sport for kids dreaming of becoming professional racers.
  2. Drivers start young, as young as 5, and compete in local and national races.
  3. Training includes physical exercise, test-driving in simulators, and working with coaches and mechanics.
  4. Racing requires steely nerves and can be expensive.
  5. Despite the challenges, drivers enjoy the thrill of competing and traveling.
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Go-kart racing is an increasingly popular sport among kids who dream of becoming professional racecar drivers. At the Texas Grand Prix, 9-year-old Mikey Collins was preparing to race a go-kart around a twisting track at 60-70 miles an hour. Kids who get serious about the sport participate in dozens of races every year, and often have to home-school and train with weights and simulators to stay competitive. It's a lot of time and work, but the drivers love the thrill of competing and the chance to travel around the world. With steely nerves and a lot of practice, these kids are ready to race.

Midnight in America: DeSantis' Presidential Campaign (link)

  1. Ron DeSantis campaign released a provocative anti-gay, anti-trans video.
  2. DeSantis' campaign promotes vilification of L.G.B.T.Q. Americans.
  3. DeSantis' pitch is to fear rather than revere him.
  4. DeSantis' cruel politics match a cold personality.
  5. DeSantis invites bloodthirstiness into immigration conversation.
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Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign is defined by his cruelty and ambition, and his video promoting it revels in vilifying LGBTQ Americans. His rhetoric is full of bloodthirstiness and he casts himself as a gladiator, inviting words like "most extreme", "horrifying" and "evil" as a measure of his mettle. DeSantis' lack of humility and trust in almost no one other than his wife, and his cold personality, raise questions about how he could possibly bring together and lead an entire diverse country. His campaign has put tolerance, grand ideals and optimism to rest, and instead of "morning in America" it's now "midnight".

Revolutionizing Medicine with A.I. (link)

  1. AI promises to write notes, communicate with patients, and offer diagnoses.
  2. AI requires testing before it can be trusted.
  3. AI can recognize complex patterns without bias.
  4. AI can be used to read X-rays and ECGs.
  5. AI can help restore humanity in medicine.
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In this essay, Dr. Lamas explores the potential of artificial intelligence (A.I.) to revolutionize the practice of medicine. She discusses the implications of A.I. for doctors and patients, and the need for caution in its implementation. She also highlights the potential benefits of A.I., such as its ability to recognize complex patterns without bias, and its potential to save time and improve the doctor-patient relationship. Ultimately, A.I. could make doctors better at their jobs, and help restore the humanity in medicine.

China's Leverage Over Russia (link)

  1. Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have a strong relationship.
  2. The Wagner affair has exposed Putin's weakened state.
  3. Xi cannot abandon Putin, but the bromance has likely peaked.
  4. China may need to adjust its posture on the Ukraine war.
  5. China may need to reposition itself as a peacemaker in the conflict.
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Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have had a strong relationship since Xi's ascension to power, with Xi referring to Putin as his "best, most intimate friend". However, the recent events in Ukraine have exposed Putin's weakened state and put strain on the relationship. China has invested too much in the relationship to abandon it, but Xi is aware that a prolonged war in Ukraine could further threaten Putin and compromise his own foreign policy agenda. China is now looking to exercise its unique leverage over Moscow to urge an end to the fighting, as well as to seek better relations with Europe to prevent it from siding with the US against China.

Female Authors' Success in 21st Century (link)

  1. E.L. James, Stephenie Meyer, and Anne Rice are authors whose novels have been both critically acclaimed and best sellers.

15 words 2. Colleen Hoover is a successful 21st-century novelist who began by self-publishing. 15 words 3. Hoover's novels focus on romance, domestic thriller, and other genres, and are largely written by and for women. 15 words 4. Hoover's novels are popular due to her followers on BookTok and their promotion of her work. 15 words 5. Hoover's novels feature poor white strivers with trauma in their pasts and often end with cliffhangers. 15 words

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Pamela Paul's article discusses the success of female authors in the 21st century, such as E.L. James, Stephenie Meyer, and Anne Rice, who have been largely overlooked or disparaged by the literary world, yet still dominate best-seller lists. Colleen Hoover is the latest example of this phenomenon, having sold 14.3 million copies in 2022 alone and 24 million copies to date. Hoover's novels, which focus on romance, trauma, and domestic issues, are popular among women readers, and her success is attributed to her use of platforms such as BookTok and TikTok to reach a wider audience.

The Retrievals: A Yale Fertility Clinic Story (link)

  1. Patients know what happened to them at Yale clinic.
  2. Nurse in her late 40s from Connecticut responsible.
  3. Women wonder what punishment should be.
  4. Patients and nurse writing stories for court.
  5. Host Susan Burton is a longtime staff member of "This American Life".
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In "The Retrievals," a podcast from Serial Productions, patients of a Yale fertility clinic learn who replaced their intended Fentanyl with saline during their procedures: a nurse and mother of three in her late 40s from a well-off town in Connecticut. Host Susan Burton, a longtime staff member at "This American Life," guides the patients as they grapple with questions about the nurse's punishment and prepare victim impact statements. Along the way, they learn what the nurse says about why she did what she did and the stories her friends and family tell about it. With original score by Carla Pallone and sound design by Phoebe Wang, the podcast follows the patients as they await the nurse's sentencing.

Debating the Order: NH vs SC in Primary (link)

  1. Biden and other top Democrats want South Carolina to go first in primaries.
  2. New Hampshire insists on keeping first-in-the-nation status.
  3. New Hampshire is white, high-income and educated.
  4. No evidence New Hampshire voters have talent for picking presidents.
  5. New Hampshire prefers Democrats from nearby.
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The Democratic Party is currently debating the order of its presidential primaries, with President Biden and other top Democrats wanting South Carolina to go first. New Hampshire officials are fighting to keep their first-in-the-nation status, citing the benefits to the state. However, there is no evidence that New Hampshire’s voters have a better record of picking presidents than other Americans, and the state has only voted for the eventual Democratic president once in the past 50 years. If Biden does not appear on the ballot in New Hampshire, the state could theoretically damage his image and hurt his chances in the general election, though this scenario is unlikely.

Tragic Fire at Port Newark (link)

  1. Two firefighters died fighting a fire on an Italian cargo ship at Port Newark.
  2. Firefighters responded to a mayday call.
  3. Fire spread to 12 decks of the ship.
  4. Firefighting equipment was not compatible with Newark's hoses.
  5. Grimaldi Group expressed condolences to the families.
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On July 6, 2023, two firefighters tragically died while responding to a fire on a cargo ship docked at Port Newark, carrying over 1,000 vehicles. The fire spread quickly to two overhead decks, and the firefighters encountered unusual logistical challenges due to the ship's European-built firefighting equipment, which was not compatible with the larger 2.5-inch hose lines used by the Newark Fire Department. Three additional Newark firefighters were hospitalized with injuries, and two members of the Elizabeth Fire Department were hospitalized for smoke inhalation. The company expressed its condolences for the firefighters' families, and the mayor noted that they had not been trained for this type of fire.

Nauta Pleads Not Guilty to Trump Charges (link)

  1. Walt Nauta, former President Trump's personal aide, pleaded not guilty.
  2. He is charged with conspiring to obstruct the government's efforts to retrieve sensitive material.
  3. Stanley Woodward Jr. and Sasha Dadan are his lawyers.
  4. The indictment was filed by the office of the special counsel Jack Smith.
  5. Prosecutors have been trying to get Nauta to cooperate with their investigation.
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Walt Nauta, a personal aide to former President Donald J. Trump, pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiring with Mr. Trump to obstruct the government’s efforts to retrieve a trove of highly sensitive national security documents. At a brief arraignment in Federal District Court in Miami, Stanley Woodward Jr., Mr. Nauta's lawyer, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. Mr. Nauta, a 40-year-old Navy veteran from Guam, is charged with Mr. Trump in a 38-count indictment with conspiracy, making false statements and withholding documents. The indictment alleges that Mr. Nauta moved boxes in and out of a storage room at Mar-a-Lago, the former president’s private club and residence in Florida, in an effort to obstruct the government's investigation. Mr. Nauta is now in the delicate position of being both the former president’s co-defendant and one of his most intimate employees.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Controversial 2024 Bid (link)

  1. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for 2024 Democratic presidential nomination.
  2. Promoted false notion that vaccines contain microchips and antidepressants linked to school shootings.
  3. Falsely linked vaccines to various medical conditions.
  4. Falsely linked gender dysphoria to chemical exposure.
  5. Founded Children's Health Defense to campaign against vaccines.
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and long-time vaccine skeptic, has announced his candidacy for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination. Despite the public scrutiny that accompanies a White House bid, Kennedy has continued to promote false and unproven claims, such as the scientifically discredited belief that childhood vaccines cause autism, the false notion that antidepressants are linked to school shootings, and the decades-old theory that the C.I.A. killed his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy. He has also falsely linked vaccines to various medical conditions, compared vaccine records to life in Germany during the Holocaust, and falsely told Louisiana lawmakers that the coronavirus vaccine was the “deadliest vaccine ever made.” Kennedy has also made baseless claims about a connection between gender dysphoria and chemical exposure.

Cavanagh's New Leadership at NBCUniversal (link)

  1. Mike Cavanagh is new NBCUniversal CEO.
  2. Donna Langley gains oversight of creative decisions.
  3. Mark Lazarus gets wider purview over business decisions.
  4. Other execs on leadership team include Mark Woodbury and Cesar Conde.
  5. Adam Miller, Kim Harris, Anand Kini also remain in leadership.
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Mike Cavanagh is the new Chief Executive of NBCUniversal, and is beginning to make changes to the company's leadership ranks. Donna Langley, the company's films chief, is being given sweeping supervision over creative decisions for the company's entertainment content, while Mark Lazarus, the chairman of NBCUniversal television and streaming, is being given wider purview over the business decisions for some of the company's creative content. These promotions are the first major step taken by Mr. Cavanagh, who is streamlining the company's leadership ranks and betting on Ms. Langley's string of recent box office successes.

Sea Island Symphony: Telling a Story of Gullah Geechee People (link)

  1. Tamar-kali is a former punk rocker and composer.
  2. Her "Sea Island Symphony" weaves Gullah Geechee history.
  3. It has its world premiere at Lincoln Center.
  4. It paints the Gullah Geechee story from the Civil War.
  5. Tamar-kali's eclectic output includes punk rock, film scores and opera.
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Tamar-kali, a former punk rocker and composer, is premiering her new work "Sea Island Symphony: Red Rice, Cotton and Indigo" at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The symphony is a four-movement programmatic piece that tells the story of the Gullah Geechee people from the Civil War to the rise of Robert Smalls, a Carolina man born into slavery who became a US Congressman in 1875. Tamar-kali's eclectic output is a product of her varied influences, from her family's juke joint in the Sea Islands, to blues and jazz, to Ashkenazi cantorial melodies and classical music. She has been a fixture on the New York music scene since the early 2000s, and her "Sea Island Symphony" is the culmination of her series "Freedom Is a Constant Struggle" which has included panel discussions about the complex and often neglected history of America's Black composers and classical music.