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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Sports
6:59 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

What A Lawsuit Against The Redskins Could Mean For The Brand

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

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

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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Arts + Life
12:01 am
Fri March 8, 2013

For Berry Gordy, Broadway Is Memory Lane

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

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

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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Arts + Life
3:32 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Woof Out The Red Carpet: Westminster Dogs Take New York

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

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

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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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Newtown Residents Join Gun Control Rally In Washington

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

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

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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Around the Nation
5:06 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Ill. Considers Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

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

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

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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It's All Politics
11:06 am
Mon November 5, 2012

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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Science
3:26 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Millennia Of Stargazing At 'African Cosmos' Exhibit

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

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

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Remembrances
5:21 am
Sun August 26, 2012

In Just 'One Small Step' Armstrong Became An Icon

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

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

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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AIDS: A Turning Point
4:25 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

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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Presidential Race
2:26 am
Sun July 15, 2012

Green Party Pick Gives Democrats Brunt Of Criticism

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

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

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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Monkey See
5:35 am
Tue June 12, 2012

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

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

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

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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The Record
4:09 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

George Clinton Fights For His Right To Funk

A contemporary Clinton sans dreadlocks.
William Thoren

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:43 pm

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Around the Nation
5:49 am
Mon May 28, 2012

50 Years Later, Honoring Vietnam Veterans

Vietnam veterans never got the homecoming many feel they deserved. On Monday, a group of veterans, the Department of Defense and others will begin the first of many ceremonies to honor those who served and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. Events will be planned over the next 13 years, concluding with the fall of Saigon. Many will gather Monday at the Vietnam Memorial Wall for a wreath ceremony, including President Obama.

London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:37 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Sprinter Speeds Toward London, And Olympic Gold

Allyson Felix runs in a 200 meter race at the 2011 IAAF World Championships. Felix, who has twice won silver in the race at the Olympics, has not yet announced her event schedule for London this summer.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 4:41 am

The Olympics start in July, but American sprinter Allyson Felix is still deciding which events she'll focus on in London. She's won Olympic silver medals twice in her beloved 200 meters, a distance in which she's also a three–time world champion.

Felix won an Olympic gold in 2008, on the 4x400-meter relay team. But this time around, she wants an individual gold, too.

New Success At 100 Meters

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Arts & Life
9:55 am
Sat March 10, 2012

Here (And There, And Really Everywhere) Be Dragons

A close-up of a dragon robe, or long pao, dated late 18th- or early 19th-century China. It's one of many on display in the exhibit "Dragons, Nagas, and Creatures of the Deep" at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
Renee Comet Textile Museum

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 5:43 pm

As the supernatural enjoys a pop culture resurgence — from vampires to fairy tales — there's also been a firestorm of fascination with dragons. Fire-breathing dragons are central to the much-anticipated second season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, which opens April 1. And this year alone the mystical creatures are being featured in two movies, a new book, video games and a museum exhibit.

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Religion
10:41 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

How To Properly Dispose Of Sacred Texts

On Feb. 21 outside Bagram Airfield, Afghan demonstrators show copies of Qurans allegedly set on fire by U.S. soldiers at a NATO airbase outside Kabul.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 10:24 pm

The Quran is considered to be the speech of God to humankind — word for word — explains Imam Johari Abdul-Malik.

"The traditional way of disposing of used or damaged copies of the text of the Quran is by burning it," he says.

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Race
3:21 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

African-American Museum Has Its Groundbreaking

On Wednesday, President Obama and a number of special guests celebrated the groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The Smithsonian museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is expected to open in 2015.

Around the Nation
2:59 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

African American Museum Breaks Ground In D.C.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to open in Washington, D.C., in 2015.
Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup Courtesy Nationa African Museum of African American History And Culture

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:01 am

President Obama spoke Wednesday at the formal groundbreaking for the Smithsonian's newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The museum, Obama said, has been "a long time coming" and will serve "not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life."

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History
4:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Work To Start On Mall's African-American Museum

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 7:29 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in Washington, a new branch of the Smithsonian will highlight the African-American experience. It will be called the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Tomorrow, President Obama speaks at the groundbreaking on the National Mall - that great stretch of open space that is lined with museums for much of its length.

This newest museum is scheduled to open in 2015, and NPR's Allison Keyes has a preview.

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Health Care
4:00 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Catholics Take Side On Contraceptive Insurance Debate

The Obama administration has revised a provision of the president's health care law concerning birth control coverage. Now, religious-affiliated organizations may decline to provide the coverage, but allow the employees to get free contraceptives through their health insurer. NPR's Allison Keyes went to a Catholic church to ask parishioners what they think of the debate over birth control in health care coverage.

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