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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Around the Nation
2:42 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 5:09 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
9:06 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Arab-American Voters Lean Toward Obama, But With Less Enthusiasm

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 6:32 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
1:26 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 4:33 pm

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Politics
6:55 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Social Issues Hold Sway Over Ohio's Black Voters

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won nearly all the African-American vote. And this year, a recent poll found that less than 1 percent of black voters will back Mitt Romney. But in Ohio, as NPR's Allison Keyes found out, some black voters are agonizing over whether to vote in November at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Remembrances
3:21 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 10:32 am

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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Food
3:13 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

USDA Predicts Food Prices To Rise In Drought's Wake

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 5:29 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with the drought and how it could affect your grocery bill. Today, the U.S. Agriculture Department designated 76 more counties as disaster areas because of the drought and excessive heat. And it said that severe drought will likely affect prices for corn and other field crops, although it's too soon to know how much prices will go up.

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AIDS: A Turning Point
2:25 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

D.C.'s Black Churches Take Steps In AIDS Fight

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:11 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
12:26 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 9:11 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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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

'Steeplechase Queen' Hopes To Score Big In London

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 7:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

At this week's Olympic trials, middle distance runner Jenny Simpson will find out if she's going to the Olympics. Simpson is the current world champion in the 1,500 meters, but as we hear from NPR's Allison Keyes, she's had some setbacks recently, and she and her coach are making last-minute tweaks to her training routine.

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Monkey See
3:08 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 10:08 am

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
2:09 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 5:43 pm

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Around the Nation
3:49 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
1:37 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 2:41 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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Around the Nation
12:03 am
Fri April 6, 2012

'Three Cups Of Tea' Author To Repay Charity

The Montana attorney general's office has reached a settlement with author and philanthropist Greg Mortenson, and his non-profit Central Asia Institute. While a year-long probe found "serious internal problems" in the charity's management, the attorney general says the settlement allows CAI to continue with what he describes as a "worthwhile" mission.

Arts & Life
7:55 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 3:43 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
8:41 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 8:24 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
1:21 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
12:59 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 9:01 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
2:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Work To Start On African American Museum

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:29 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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Digital Life
3:13 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

This App Was Made For Walking — But Is It Racist?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:03 pm

Microsoft is under fire this week over a patent it was granted that's been dubbed the "avoid ghetto" feature for GPS devices.

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Around the Nation
4:28 pm
Sat December 10, 2011

Volunteers Lay 90K Wreaths At Arlington Cemetery

Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington Saturday.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 10:00 am

Thousands of wreaths were laid around the country Saturday and at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the 20th anniversary of an effort honoring the nation's veterans for their service.

The pristine white tombstones at Arlington were dotted with bright green holiday wreaths and big red bows. Wreaths Across America executive director Karen Worcester says volunteers laid nearly 90,000 wreaths in a little over an hour.

"We had a tremendous crowd," Worcester said. "They're telling me we had close to 20,000 [people]."

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Business
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Post Office To Move Forward With Delivery, Facility Cuts

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In this country, the Postal Service is set to announce that it's moving ahead with a series of cuts and changes starting in the spring. NPR'S Allison Keyes reports.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Holocaust Database Helps Families Complete Stories

People who want to find out more about the fate of Holocaust victims now have a new resource online.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com's World Memory Project allows people to sift online through documents that previously required a painstaking manual search.

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