Tanya Ballard Brown

Tanya Ballard Brown is a Southern girl, an optimist and a wild dreamer who laughs loudly and often.

As an editor for NPR.org, Tanya collaborates with radio editors and reporters to create compelling Web content that complements radio reports; brainstorms and develops Web-only features; manages online producers, Kroc Fellows and interns; and, line edits stories appearing on the website. Tanya also helps curate the NPR Tumblr, and writes blog posts, commentaries and book reviews. Occasionally, she joins the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast as a guest host.

Projects she has worked on include the "Dirty Money" series, winner of a Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting, a Scripps Howard National Journalism Award and an Edward R. Murrow award; the "Friday Night Lives" series, winner of an Edward R. Murrow Award; and, "WASP: Women With Wings In WWII," winner of a GRACIE Award.

Tanya is former editor for investigative and long-term projects at washingtonpost.com and during her tenure there coordinated with the print and online newsrooms to develop multimedia content for investigative reports.

She also led production of the 2006 "Being a Black Man" series, which won numerous awards including the Peabody, Scripps Howard National Journalism award, Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and a regional Emmy award. Other Web projects included "Silent Injustice" and "Walter Reed and Beyond."

A native of Charlotte, N.C., and an alumna of N.C. A&T State University, Tanya is a former congressional fellow with the American Political Science Association. She has been a reporter or editor at GovExec.com/Government Executive magazine, The Tennessean in Nashville and the (Greensboro) News & Record.

In her free time, Tanya spoils her dog Alex, sings show tunes, dances, tells stories, takes acting classes and dreams of being a bass player. Or Sarah Vaughan. Whichever comes first. She lives in Washington, D.C.

You can reach out to her on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Tumblr.

It's not often that people get a second chance, and in fact, for many people, there is no such thing as a second chance.

In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

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Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On Tuesday, artist Andy Warhol's oversized and iconic Coca-Cola (3) will hit the auction block at Christie's, and to borrow an old slogan from the company, It's The Real Thing.

On the list of things to be outraged about at the moment, I'll admit this isn't at the top: The Swiss tourism office apologized to Oprah on Friday because she wasn't allowed to buy a $38,000 designer handbag while recently shopping in Switzerland. Poor lil' Oprah. *sad face*

It does make me wonder, though, can you ever be rich enough or famous enough or beautiful enough to not be racially profiled while shopping?

With the verdict looming in the trial of George Zimmerman, who's charged in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, suddenly speculation has turned to this: the possibility of angry protesters turning to violence if the outcome isn't the one they envisioned.

I've been following Easy Rawlins since reading Devil in a Blue Dress in the '90s. That's a lot of time to give to a character. And as I read Little Green, I realized that I hadn't been following Easy, the character, all these years. In the past I was more invested in other parts of the stories.

An auction of sacred Native American artifacts scheduled for Friday in Paris is stirring up controversy on both sides of the Atlantic

Seventy Hopi "visages and headdresses" — some more than 100 years old — will go on the block at the Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou auction house, which estimates the sale will bring in about $1 million, according to The New York Times.

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

The Census Bureau announced Monday that it would drop the word "Negro" from its forms, after some described it as offensive. According to the Associated Press, the term will be replaced next year by black or African-American. From the AP:

Update at 8:06 p.m. ET. Card Sells For $80,000

The nearly 150-year-old Brooklyn Atlantics baseball card that was was discovered late last year in a photo album bought at a yard sale has sold for $80,000 — $92,000 if you count the auction house's buyer's premium.

Remember the scene in the 1979 movie ... And Justice For All where Al Pacino, who is playing an attorney, loses it in court?

After months on their sticky trail, Canadian police have finally fingered the people allegedly involved in the great Canadian maple syrup caper Bill Chappell told us about in August.

They look like any other 19th century vignettes and portraits of children kneeling in prayer or cloaked in the U.S. flag.

But these cartes de visite (a calling card with a portrait mounted on it that was all the rage during the 1860s) featured Charles, Rebecca and Rosa — former slave children who looked white.

Move Thanksgiving to Friday? That's what F.B. Haviland asked President Hoover in 1929.

Didn't happen. But while we're on the subject, ever wonder why we carve our gobblers on the fourth Thursday of November? Hint: It's not because Thanksgiving Thursday is more alliterative than Thanksgiving Friday.

I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed a year or so ago, when I saw a photo of Joyce Bryant. The caption said she was once dubbed the "black Marilyn Monroe" and was mentioned many times in Walter Winchell's gossip column.

Gas prices spiked overnight Thursday by as much as 20 cents per gallon in parts of California, causing some stations to close and shocking many customers.

According to The Associated Press, the average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon. In other parts of the country, gas prices have fallen. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices in the continental U.S. at $3.49 a gallon.

Back in front of my computer where thankfully I can use more than my thumbs to type, I see that Austin Wierschke of Rhinelander, Wis., grabbed the title again at the competition in New York City this afternoon. He's the first texting competitor to win back-to-back titles.

I cut most of my hair off eight weeks ago. And yes, I meant to do it. I love my new kinky curliness and now, as I walk down the street, I feel like I see natural hair — twists, coils, dreadlocks, afros — everywhere.