Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang is a National Desk reporter based at NPR's New York Bureau. He covers issues and events in the Northeast.

He previously reported on race, ethnicity and culture for NPR's Code Switch team. Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he's contributed to NPR's breaking news coverage of the 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla., the trial of George Zimmerman in Florida and the Washington Navy Yard shooting. He has also reported for Seattle public radio station KUOW and worked behind the scenes of NPR's Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

In 2014, he won the National Journalism Award for General Excellence in Radio from the Asian American Journalists Association for his profile of a white member of a Boston Chinatown gang. He was also a finalist for a Salute to Excellence National Media Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

A Philadelphia native, Wang speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects of Chinese. As a student at Swarthmore College, he hosted, produced, and reported for a weekly podcast on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Around the Nation
4:56 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Award-Winning Poets Write For Passersby In New York

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In New York City, commuters traveling near ground zero today were greeted by an unusual sound - typewriters. And tapping away on them - poets writing verse on demand. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang stopped by to see some of them at work in lower Manhattan.

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Food
7:43 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Brooklyn Brewery Dares Diners To Eat Like Dutch Settlers

Chef Andrew Gerson of Brooklyn Brewery organized a dinner party featuring ingredients used by Dutch settlers and Native Americans living in 1650s New York City.
Courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 2:22 pm

You can find food from just about any part of the world in New York City.

The Brooklyn Brewery is trying to push New Yorkers' palates even further by going back in time.

This week, it hosted a dinner party inspired by the local cuisine of Dutch settlers and Native Americans in the 1650s.

Back when New York wasn't even New York yet, and before the English took over in 1664, the Dutch called the city New Amsterdam.

"New Amsterdam tastes like salt pork," said head chef Andrew Gerson. "It tastes like venison. It tastes like fried dough; tastes like back fat."

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Code Switch
3:40 am
Fri April 17, 2015

Deaths Of Unarmed Black Men Revive 'Anti-Lynching Plays'

Lauren Lattimore (left), Wi-Moto Nyoka, Edmund Alyn Jones and Courtney Harge rehearse a scene from Blue-Eyed Black Boy, a play about lynching that was written around 1930.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 2:06 pm

An obscure but riveting genre of theater is being revived in New York City.

They're called "anti-lynching plays." Most were written by black playwrights during the early 1900s to show how lynchings devastated African-American families.

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Code Switch
5:04 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Painting The 'Epic Drama' Of The Great Migration: The Work Of Jacob Lawrence

Each of the 60 paintings in Jacob Lawrence's Great Migration series is accompanied with a caption. For this panel, he wrote in 1941: "In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry."
Courtesy of The Phillips Collection

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 8:58 pm

There's no historical marker outside Jacob Lawrence's childhood home in New York City's Harlem neighborhood.

But Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has an idea of what it might say: "Here lived one of the 20th century's most influential visual artists, a man named Jacob Lawrence, who was a child of southern migrants."

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Code Switch
10:15 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Civilians Can Record Police Encounters, But When Is It Interference?

Cellphones were used to record a 2012 confrontation between protesters and police in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 2:50 pm

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

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Law
5:12 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:00 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A grand jury has indicted Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey on federal corruption charges. Menendez made a brief statement to reporters after the indictment was announced.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

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Movies
9:54 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

The Chinese 'Paper Son' Who Inspired The Look Of Disney's 'Bambi'

Wong's style focused more on evoking emotion than capturing a photographic reproduction of nature.
Tyrus Wong Courtesy of the Tyrus Wong Family

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:25 am

The animals were getting lost in the forest — so the story goes.

A year after Walt Disney made history with the release of his studio's first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, his artists were struggling to find the right design for the woodland backgrounds of Bambi, the coming-of-age tale of a young deer.

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Around the Nation
5:42 pm
Tue March 17, 2015

First Gay Group Marches In NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 8:18 pm

An LGBT group carried its own banner for the first time ever in New York City's St. Patrick's Day Parade Tuesday. But Irish gay groups are disappointed that parade organizers selected an employee group from NBC, which is the event's official television broadcaster.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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U.S.
3:34 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Immigrants Worry They'll Face Deportation After Deferred Action Delay

Wilfredis Ayala, an unauthorized immigrant from El Salvador, lives on Long Island, N.Y., with his U.S.-born son, Justin, and Justin's mother, Wendy Urbina.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 3:21 pm

Around 4 million unauthorized immigrants are stuck in legal limbo more than two weeks after a federal judge in Texas suspended President Obama's move to temporarily protect them from deportation.

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Law
4:56 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

U.S. Federal Jury Finds PA And PLO Liable For Israel Attacks

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:40 pm

A federal jury has found the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization liable for attacks that occurred in Israel more than a decade ago. The plaintiffs, who are U.S. citizens, were awarded more than $218 million. The amount could be tripled under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act.

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Code Switch
5:14 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Korean Tailors Try To Keep The Lunar New Year Hanbok Ritual Alive

Models present the traditional costume known as hanbok during the 2010 Korea Hanbok Festival in Seoul.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 11:06 pm

Getting ready for the Lunar New Year once meant buying a new set of clothes for many families of Korean ancestry.

For centuries, the costume known as hanbok – a two-piece outfit traditionally made of embroidered cotton or silk worn by men and women – has played a central role in the new year's wardrobe.

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Code Switch
5:00 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Whatever Floats Your Goat: The 2015 Lunar New Year Animal Is Up For Debate

Will the real 2015 animal please stand up?
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 9:50 pm

Many East Asian cultures use zodiac animals to symbolize each New Year and predict a person's fortunes. But which animal represents 2015 is up for debate.

You may have seen goat, sheep or ram as the English translation for this year's animal according to the Chinese zodiac — yang, in Mandarin. All of them are correct, says Lala Zuo, a Chinese language and culture professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

"I don't think there's a wrong translation," she says. "I think there are various ways of translation. It really depends on the context."

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Judge's Decision Leaves Immigrants In Legal Limbo

Jesus, an unauthorized immigrant from Mexico, gets help with tax documents from Mun Yin Yeow, a staff member at Atlas: DIY, a nonprofit in Brooklyn, N.Y. He asked NPR not to use his last name because he fears deportation if his application for deportation relief is not approved.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 7:08 pm

A federal judge in South Texas said President Obama had overstepped his authority with his executive actions on immigration. Now, the new court ruling has left some unauthorized immigrants in legal limbo and slowed down months of preparation by immigration attorneys.

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Health
4:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

New York Attorney General Targets Mislabeled Herbal Supplements

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 11:02 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:57 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Fuhgeddaboudit: New York Accent On Its Way Out, Linguists Say

Heather Quinlan searched for New York accents around the city for her documentary If These Knishes Could Talk. She holds up a sign at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 7:26 pm

There are some cities you can identify with just an accent, including New York.

But linguists say that those who speak in the classic New York tongue are part of a dying breed.

To find them, filmmaker Heather Quinlan went accent hunting around the city, holding a sign that reads, "Do you have a New York accent? Then talk to me." She directed If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent, a documentary about the decline of many of New York's well-known accents.

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Code Switch
5:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

University Re-Imagines Town And Gown Relationship In Philadelphia

New apartment buildings are replacing empty lots in Mantua, one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods.
Will Figg for NPR

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 5:40 am

Dinner is served in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua.

"You look like you're ready to have a great Dornsife neighborhood partnership meal! Am I right about it?" Rose Samuel-Evans asks the crowd at a free community dinner of chicken marsala and stuffed flounder hosted by Drexel University.

Samuel-Evans works in this two-story, orange-brick schoolhouse; it's one of three refurbished buildings that opened last summer north of campus as part of Drexel's Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

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Code Switch
4:59 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Broken Promises On Display At Native American Treaties Exhibit

Suzan Shown Harjo points to a signature on Treaty K at the National Archives. The document will be on display in 2016 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian for an exhibit on treaties curated by Harjo.
James Clark NPR

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 5:33 pm

For centuries, treaties have defined the relationship between many Native American nations and the U.S. More than 370 ratified treaties have helped the U.S. expand its territory and led to many broken promises made to American Indians.

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Around the Nation
4:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

New York City ID Could Open Up Doors — And Privacy Concerns

Veronica Ramirez holds her 15-month-old son, Lora, as she waits in line Monday to apply for a new municipal identification card at the Bronx Library Center in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:41 pm

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio made a pitch for a piece of plastic on Monday — a new ID card for New York City residents, regardless of immigration status.

"One piece of plastic, but it's going to open so many doors for our fellow New Yorkers. It's going to make their lives better," de Blasio said.

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Around the Nation
5:04 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Outside Agency Expected To Probe Cleveland Police Shooting

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 7:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Law
4:24 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

New Year Brings New Batch Of Laws On Chickens, Recycling And Consent

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 10:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

A batch of new state laws go into effect around the country today. They address issues including sexual assault, discarded electronics and animal welfare. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

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