Rachel Martin

In 2015, Christopher Ingraham wrote a story for The Washington Post that changed his life.

As a data reporter for the paper, the story's topic — the USDA's "natural amenities index," which measures U.S. counties based on things like climate and topography – came with the territory. But it's what he calls a "throwaway line" he wrote that set him and his family on their new path — from daily East Coast grind to full-on "Minnesota nice" in the Midwest.

The writer Ibram X. Kendi has made a name for himself by tackling one of the most important — and one of the most sensitive — topics in America today.

His 2017 book, Stamped From the Beginning, is a history of racist ideas in America, and his new book is called How to Be an Antiracist. It starts with a moment in Kendi's own life: He was a high school senior taking part in an oratorical contest honoring Martin Luther King Jr., delivering a speech that ultimately won him first place.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months.

But that hasn't changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls.

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