During Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or on Cityscape

Commentaries are opinion pieces provided by a wide variety of individuals in the St. Louis region. They are not necessarily the opinion of St. Louis Public Radio, but are intended to reflect diverse viewpoints on issues affecting our region. To submit a commentary or proposal, email



10:07 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Tuesday's Election Is Boring. Vote Anyway.

Credit File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Imagine a split screen view of St. Louis. In one image, events in Ferguson are driving intense interest in a daunting array of community issues. They can’t be resolved without leadership from elected officials. In the other image, candidates are running for office in an election Tuesday that has attracted almost no interest.

What’s wrong with this picture? In a democracy, voters hold the ultimate power. Yet many citizens are having a hard time seeing what difference their votes will make.

Read more
9:26 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

Moms Lead A Conversation About Race

More than 140 people of diverse backgrounds gathered to discuss issues of race and privilege at Mother 2 Mother Part II on Oct. 13.
Credit Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

How do you discuss issues of race and privilege with your children?

These and other questions were on the minds of the more than 140 individuals who gathered at Mother 2 Mother Part II at the Missouri History Museum on Oct. 13. Participants varied in race and gender, and every table of 10 hosted people of all backgrounds. The conversations centered on a list of questions and the groups discussed what could be done to change the racial status quo in St. Louis and beyond.

Here are some of their voices:

Tango Walker

Read more
10:45 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Too Much Ferguson Coverage? Here's Why

At the Michael Brown memorial in mid August
Credit Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

How much news coverage of Ferguson is too much?

Judging from the unscientific sampling of opinion I’ve heard over the last two months, St. Louisans have starkly different answers to that question. Some are fed up. Others think news organizations are only beginning to pay appropriate attention to police-community tensions, African American experiences and issues of racial disparity.

Read more
10:32 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Commentary: St. Louis Is A Great Jazz City

The new season of Jazz at the Bistro opened Friday, October 3 in the newly renovated Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz.
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

The recent reopening of Jazz at the Bistro now known as the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz has made me think of what a great jazz city St. Louis is.

According to Jazz St. Louis's executive director, Gene Dobbs Bradford, St. Louis is known around the country as the center for jazz from the Gaslight Square Days until now and the new Steward Center has made the new jazz center a real game changer for jazz and the community.

Read more
11:08 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Protests Move Beyond Ferguson

Credit (file)

Some Ferguson protesters caused a stir this week with demonstrations that confronted people outside Ferguson — first at Powell Hall, where the St. Louis Symphony was performing the Brahms Requiem, and later at Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals were winning the division championship.

Read more
Beyond Ferguson
8:52 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Commentary: A Musical Expression Of Hope In Normandy

Denyce Graves at Normandy High School
Credit Opera Theater of St. Louis

Remember the big flood of 1993, and how it seemed eternal?

Remember how it felt to hear – just when it seemed the worst was over – that 51 propane tanks, each containing 30,000 gallons of gas, were floating in the river, only loosely attached to their moorings south of the city? A spark, we were told, could set off a massive explosion. Approximately 9,000 people were evacuated from their homes and business.

Read more
11:50 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Editor's Weekly: What The Media Won't Tell You About Khorassan

Detail from woodcut of 1878 parade
Credit Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections

The bomb strikes in Syria this week put the spotlight on the Khorasan group, a little-known offshoot of al-Qaida. But once again, as skeptics on the left and right so often suspect, the media don’t seem to be telling the whole story.

The media didn't tell you, for example, that in St. Louis, we spell Khorassan with a double S – or that we're already quite familiar with the sometimes-controversial history of a local group with Khorassan connections.

Read more
If I Could
6:39 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Commentary: We Are Michael Brown's Mom

I am Michael Brown’s Mom.

I am white, I live in St. Louis. But I could live anywhere and be any color. The story in my community is a story in all communities. Only the events might be different.

Images of peaceful and violent demonstrations, the visuals of the last few weeks, swirl in my head. In the midst of it, my friend Nekisha shares a song, “If I Could,” by Regina Belle.

Read more
9:57 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Editor's Weekly: What Do Ferguson Protesters Want?

St. Louis County Council protest.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Six weeks after Michael Brown’s death, certain key demands and questions are reverberating from the Big Bang of protest that erupted in Ferguson. Priorities seem to be emerging even though the protesters themselves – and the official and unofficial groups discussing what should happen -- have conflicting ideas and no central organization.

Read more
Enjoy the Fall
11:10 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Commentary: Get Off The STL Urban Island And Explore The Sea Of Green Around Us

Great River Road, fall 2012
Credit Mary Delach Leonard | file photo | St. Louis Beacon

St. Louis is an urban island floating in a sea of green. We may not think about it often, but our urban island is surrounded by corn and bean fields, cattle pastures, vineyards, oak forests and, of course, rivers and their valleys. This countryside teems with wild turkey, bluebirds, butterflies, geese and ducks, fox, deer and bald eagles. As all island-dwellers know, sometimes you just have to get off the island to be rejuvenated. Fortunately for us, that’s easy to do.

Read more