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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Politics
7:49 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Marion Barry, D.C. Former Mayor, Dies At 78

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 11:56 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music News
3:21 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Well, All Right, Starchild, The Mothership Is Back

George Clinton emerges from Parliament-Funkadelic's Mothership on June 4, 1977, at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:18 pm

"Do y'all want to fly this evening? Do you want to ride on the Mothership?"

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Music News
5:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

How Do You Wring Sound From Sculpture? It Takes A 'Quiet Pride'

Rufus Reid has played with just about everybody in the mainstream jazz world. His latest project, Quiet Pride, is based on works by the late sculptor and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 11:24 am

Bassist and composer Rufus Reid has been playing jazz for half a century. He's worked with just about everyone, from saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz to singer Nancy Wilson and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

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News
4:05 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

150 Years On, Arlington National Cemetery Honors Its First Burial

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:26 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A wreath laying ceremony this morning marked the 150th anniversary of the first military burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Army Private William Christman was a member of the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry during the Civil War. As NPR's Allison Keyes reports, his descendants were on hand for what they say is an incredible honor.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESENT ARMS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Present...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Present...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...Arms.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: ...Arms.

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Around the Nation
4:02 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Nearly 3 Years After Quake, Washington Monument Reopens

A repaired crack inside the Washington Monument.
Allison Keyes NPR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:58 pm

The Washington Monument reopened to the public Monday for the first time since a 2011 earthquake caused significant damage to the obelisk. More than 20,000 stones had to be inspected. Scores turned out for a ceremony under sunny skies.

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Around the Nation
7:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Under Fire, Maryland Dealer Drops Plans To Sell Smart Gun

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 1:32 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A gun store in Maryland had been set to become the first in the country to sell something called a smart gun. But after receiving death threats, the owner of that store has changed his mind. The Armatix iP1 is electrically programmed to make it hard for anyone but the gun's owner to fire the weapon. Some gun rights activists worry that if the pistol is popular, lawmakers will require all firearms to adopt this technology. That, they say, will encroach upon second amendment rights. NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

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Science
10:45 am
Sun April 27, 2014

Fossil Fans Get Their Dino-Fix Before Smithsonian Renovates

A cast of a Tyrannosaurus rex skull greets visitors as they enter the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 6:45 pm

Huge lines of people, kids in tow, are waiting to get into the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the world's second-most visited museum.

Right inside the lobby, a cast of the skull of the new Tyrannosaurus rex the museum just acquired is stopping visitors dead in their tracks.

"We wanted to get up here before the exhibit for the dinosaurs closed," says Crystal Epley, who took a three-hour trip from Broadway, Va., to bring her son, John.

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Politics
5:08 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Potential Charges Against Incumbent Throw D.C. Mayor's Race Up In Air

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:28 am

The possible indictment of incumbent D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has turned what many expected to be a routine election into a referendum on whether voters trust him.

Around the Nation
6:38 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Maryland Transportation Bill Held Up Over War Reparations

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now to a story of how a long ago association with the crimes of Nazi Germany could stop a French company from doing business today in Maryland. A Maryland House committee heard testimony yesterday on a bill that would bar companies that played a role in the Holocaust from bidding on state contracts unless the companies pay reparations to victims.

State officials told the hearing that if that bill passes, it could jeopardize federal funding for a major light rail project. NPR's Allison Keyes explains.

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Art & Design
9:06 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Destroyed By Rockefellers, Mural Trespassed On Political Vision

After the Rockefeller Center mural was destroyed in 1934, Diego Rivera recreated this version, named Man, Controller of the Universe, which is on display at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The story of the original mural's creation and destruction is the focus of a Mexican Cultural Institute exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Museo Frida Kahlo

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 12:00 pm

When Mexican artist Diego Rivera was commissioned in 1932 to do a mural in the middle of Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, some might have wondered whether industrialist tycoon John D. Rockefeller Jr. knew what he was getting into.

In 1934, the legendary artist's work was chiseled off the wall.

Now, in Washington, D.C., the Mexican Cultural Institute has mounted a show that tells what happened to Rivera's mural.

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