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.
Jazz bassist Rufus Reid has played with just about everybody in the mainstream jazz world, but his latest project is a work exploring the intersection of music and the visual arts.
The burning of Qurans by the U.S. military in Afghanistan has led to days of rioting by Muslims who say it was a desecration of their holy book and an affront to Islam. Many faiths prescribe specific rituals for disposing of their sacred texts.
At the groundbreaking on the National Mall on Wednesday, President Obama said the newest Smithsonian museum has been "a long time coming" and will serve "not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life." The National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to open in 2015.
Outrageously sexy, multi-talented entertainer Eartha Kitt has been igniting crowds for more than half of a century. Kitt turns 78 years old this January, but still has that legendary velvet purr to her voice. Kitt recently sat for a chat with reporter Allison Keyes about her latest project — a stage play called Expectations.
Dave Brubeck rarely gives interviews, but the jazz piano legend recently sat down for a lively conversation with The Tavis Smiley Show reporter Allison Keyes. Listen to an extended version of the interview, and hear samples from his latest CDs — one with an intimate jazz combo, the other a symphony orchestra.