All week, NPR is looking at people, events and ideas that fared well in 2011. Host Michel Martin explores how it was a good year for grassroots protests, both as part of the Arab Spring and the 'Occupy' movements. She speaks with NPR Cairo Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Arun Venugopal, a reporter for member station WNYC.
In her new book, Beauty Shop Politics, Professor Tiffany Gill looks at African-American women who owned beauty shops during decades before the civil rights movement. She speaks with host Michel Martin about how salons — then and now — have become centers for economic opportunity and political awareness.
High-end fashion designers have been getting rave reviews for the African prints, textiles and shapes that they sent down the runways. Host Michel Martin explores how it was a good year for African prints and where the trend is going in 2012. She talks with online boutique owner Dolapo Shobanjo and style correspondent Robin Givhan.
And we are going to stay in the world of independent films for today's addition of our occasional feature In Your Ear. That's where we ask some of the guests who've appeared in this program about the music that inspires them.
Congress' approval ratings hit an all-time low in December, according to the polling firm Gallup. Host Michel Martin looks at why many Americans seemed to be frustrated with Congress. She hears from NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Mark Eaton of the Capitol Steps, a musical political satire group.