Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction is open. Author Luis Alberto Urrea, the new judge, is on board and ready to read. The challenge this round: The story must begin with the sentence, "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door." As always, the story must be 600 words or fewer. To submit a story, go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.
And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Sunday morning, as it's said, is often the most segregated part of the week in America. The Southern Baptist church is still struggling to repair its segregated past. The Southern Baptist Convention is rooted in the rift over slavery, which it supported, and not too long ago, it backed segregation.
Let's now turn to news overseas and a story we've been following today out of Afghanistan. An American soldier is in custody after allegedly walking out of a military base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on nearby houses. At least 16 people, including several children, were shot. Now, just a few hours ago, the acting American ambassador to Afghanistan, James Cunningham, spoke about the incident.
Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington came from vastly different backgrounds.
Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., was one of the richest men in America; Washington rose out of slavery to become a civil rights leader. But their meeting led eventually to the construction of thousands of schools for black children in the segregated South.
Stephanie Deutsch tells the story of their friendship in her new book You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.
Philadelphia hosted the world's oldest and largest indoor flower show this week.
Since 1829, the Philadelphia International Flower Show has attracted gardeners looking for ideas they can try at home. But in an effort to attract more than just gardeners, the show modernized this year.
"We cannot just have exhibits, and [have] people come to look at exhibits. That's old-school," said Drew Becher, the new president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. "Museums are getting away from that. We have got to be interactive."
This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.
Achim Aretz holds the Guinness World Record for running the half marathon, backward. But now, the 27-year-old German athlete says he's tired of doing something almost no one else does and wants to head in a new direction. Reporter Caitlan Carroll caught up with him in Hannover, Germany.
Japan is remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people and triggered a nuclear crisis a year ago today. At 2:46 P.M. local time, trains stopped, sirens blared, and people across Japan bowed their heads in silence. But one year on, rebuilding has not even begun on much of the country's devastated northeast coast.
And as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports, the fishing town of Minamisanriku is still too early for most of the wounds to heal.
(SOUNDBITE OF A BELL AND A CHANTING BUDDHIST MONK)
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
American officials say that a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan walked off a base in the predawn hours this morning and began shooting at civilian homes in the southern province of Kandahar. Initial reports say 15 civilians are dead, including women and children. Relations between the United States and Afghanistan had been slowly returning to normal after last month's accidental burning of the Quran at an American military base. But this morning's news may erase that progress.