BackTalk: 'Tell Me More' Blog Conversations

Hear reaction to the program's "Back to School" focus on education issues, and from a woman who says, after listening to the Mocha Moms, she's afraid of becoming "mommy-tracked" from her career. Plus, hear how listener comments led to a special BackTalk history lesson.

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LYNN NEARY, host:

It's Friday. Time for BackTalk, where we highlight listener comments and TELL ME MORE blog posts.

Web producer Lee Hill is here with me in the studio. Hi Lee.

LEE HILL: Hey, Lynn. Welcome to TELL ME MORE. We have quite a bit to cover today so let's get to it.

As students across the nation began hitting the books following a long summer vacation, we at TELL ME MORE decided to head back to school ourselves. We wanted to direct our attention to education issues, K through 12, even college and beyond.

On our blog, we ask, do you remember when you first realized that you didn't have to return to school in the fall when you were all finished with schooling once and for all?

Well, Steve finished college two years ago - one of our bloggers. I'll read his post. The biggest thing I have noticed is that summer seems to go by so quickly now. I guess nearly three months off really divided and defined my year.

NEARY: We also received a note from Val(ph), who's a single mom. She explained why she was looking forward to our focus on education, and here's how it resonated with her.

She writes, as a single mother of a 10th grader after 10 years of private school, I work to instill in my child daily that there is nothing she can't achieve. She goes on to share that her daughter is number two in her class, holds down a regular babysitting gig, advanced dance class and a full load of honors courses. Val describes herself as both proud and exhausted.

HILL: Sounds like a full load to me.

Well, blogger Tam(ph) posted a message about our Mocha Moms. She wants to hear more from women who balance full-time jobs outside of the home with the demands of motherhood.

TAM (Blogger): I don't want a full-time parenting career. In fact, I'm truly terrified of being forced to make that choice. As a 26-year-old black woman who's trying to figure out how not to get mommy tracked in a still overbearing, old-boy worlds of sports, law or medicine. Can we sometimes feature the dual career moms?

NEARY: Good point, Tam. Thank you.

Moving on earlier this week, Michel did a commentary on BET's controversial public service announcement on reading. Here's a clip from that ad.

(Soundbite of TV ad, "Read A Book")

Unidentified Man: Read a book, read a book, read a (beep) book, read a book, read a book, read a (beep) book, not a sports page (what?), not a magazine (who), but a book (beep), (beep) book (beep), got a…

NEARY: Well, Bridget(ph) agrees with Michelle's thinking, that maybe America just needs to lighten up. Bridget writes one word: Hilarious. I work with youth and this is a format they will laugh at and also get.

HILL: Way though, Lynn, I have to admit I did get a laugh out of that one myself.

But anyway, last but certainly not least, for all of you history buffs out there who wrote in about our conversation with author Lawrence Otis Graham. Well, we just want to let you know that we did catch ourselves in listing the order of African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Senate.

So listen up, here's the correct order: Blanche Kelso Bruce, Edward Brooke, Carole Moseley Braun, and of course, Senator Barack Obama. And for those of you who think you've caught us again, yes, we know about Hiram Revels. But he didn't serve a full term.

NEARY: Well, thanks for that correction, Lee. And remember, the conversation never ends. To tell us more about what you think, go to npr.org/tellmemore and blog it out.

(Soundbite of music)

NEARY: That's our program for today.

(Soundbite of credits)

NEARY: I'm Lynn Neary, in for Michel Martin. You've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News and the African-American Public Radio Consortium.

Michel will be back on Monday and I'm sure she'll have lots to talk about.

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