"Morning in America" is a phrase that for most politically conscious people who grew up in the Reagan era, means one of two things. If you're a conservative, you may have taken quite literally, and embraced as a mantra. For others, it's a reminder of how it could be argued that under President Reagan's leadership, the Republican Party ensured that only a privileged few saw the beauty of the dawn.
But what about now? Can that term be reclaimed, at least in spirit, not just by the now-officially rebooted Obama campaign -- but by the facts themselves? Is our economy bringing back the sun, so to speak? Melissa will lead off today's show by asking those questions of Daniel Gross, who examined the topic in his new book.
Also on the bright side, Melissa will welcome the groundbreaking ballerina Misty Copeland to #nerdland to speak to her about the value (and politics) of the arts. Copeland was a late bloomer by the standards of the industry -- she didn't start dancing until she was 13 -- but she became the first black soloist for the American Ballet Theatre in decades. (See a short profile of her here.) As you can see above, she also became a muse of the one and only Prince, dancing for him on tour and in performances in 2009. To boot, we'll also profile some young dancers at Harlem's Uptown Dance Academy who are seeking to follow the trail Copeland is blazing.
Melissa will also delve into the Marissa Alexander case, which we profiled here on the blog earlier this week. Alexander faces 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot into her own kitchen ceiling to ward off her abusive husband. Thing is, she lives in Florida, which has become (in)famous for its "Stand Your Ground" castle-doctrine law. Why doesn't the law apply to her? Melissa will break down that question with Brooklyn Law School professor Liz Schneider and Good magazine associate editor Nona Willis Aronowitz. Melissa will also speak with Kim Dadou, a domestic violence survivor who served 17 years in a New York state prison for shooting her abusive boyfriend to death -- and is now with the Correctional Association of New York, fighting for a new bill to help incarcerated survivors of domestic violence.
Additionally, we'll look into President Obama's upcoming fundraiser with George Clooney, guns at the Republican convention, and the need for black studies in our colleges. Our guests will include:
- Perry Bacon, Jr., MSNBC contributor and political editor for theGrio.com.
- Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violin soloist and member of the Ritz Chamber Players.
- Alice Stewart, former press secretary for the Rick Santorum presidential campaign.
- Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.