Into America


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Reviews: 3

 Jun 10, 2020

Benjamin Bernard
 May 13, 2020
excellent! thanks for your work

 Feb 28, 2020


This a show about everyday people, and the power politics and policy have in shaping our lives. As the nation faces a health crisis that is unprecedented in the modern era, host Trymaine Lee helps Americans share their stories. He holds policymakers to account. And he’s joined by a team of NBC News journalists to make sense of this extraordinary moment in American life. This is how America sounds. This is Into America.

Episode Date
Into Police Chokeholds

As he lay on the ground under the knee of a Minneapolis Police Officer, George Floyd called out “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. In 2014, Eric Garner struggled to say the same words 11 times while being choked by an officer in New York. These high-profile deaths have been at the center of protests across the country. But in addition to the names we know, there are plenty that we don’t. According to a 2013 Department of Justice survey, of the police departments nationwide that serve more than 1 million people, 43 percent allow a neck restraint of some kind. There are no national statistics telling us how often these holds – sanctioned or not - end in death. 

This summer we’ve seen conversations at the local and national levels about the use of police neck restraints. States like California and New York have moved to put an end to the controversial restraints; but why are they used in the first place? And is reform even possible?  

Trymaine Lee speaks with Paul Butler, law professor and author of the book Chokehold, and Ed Obayashi, a Deputy Sheriff and a use-of-force training expert, to discuss the history of chokeholds and the potential for reform. He also talks to Robert Branch, a Black man placed in a neck restraint by an officer in San Diego back in May of 2015.  

Further reading:

Jul 09, 2020
Into the WNBA Bubble

Professional sports teams are getting back into the game, against the backdrop of two national crises: the relentless spread of coronavirus, and the national demands for racial justice. For the WNBA, the game plan is two-fold: practicing and playing in “the bubble,” and dedicating the 2020 season to social justice.

The league’s 137 players will spend the next few months living and playing on a sports compound in Florida, with extraordinary medical protocols and protections. Teams are arriving this week at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where they are scheduled to tip off their season at some point in July, without fans in the stands. And a handful of players have not yet been cleared to join them, after testing positive for the virus.

The league is also responding to the national calls for racial justice in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and to the growing number of players who want to raise their voices and use their visibility to work for change. The league has announced that the 2020 season will be dedicated to social justice initiatives, with a special focus on women like Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillen, who "have been the forgotten victims of police brutality and racial violence.”

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Gabby Williams, power forward for the Chicago Sky. Williams reflects on what it’s like to be isolated at the WNBA compound in Florida and what it means to use her position in the current political moment.

Further reading:

Jul 08, 2020
Into Resuming Federal Executions

On July 13th, Daniel Lewis Lee is set to be the first prisoner executed by the federal government in 17 years. Executions have decreased on the federal and state level since their height in the 1990s, and for the first time in decades, a majority of Americans support life imprisonment over the death penalty. But Attorney General Bill Barr announced last month that four inmates would be scheduled for execution in rapid succession starting next week.

Host Trymaine Lee speaks with Yale Law professor Miriam Gohara, who spent years representing clients on death row for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, on the long complicated history of the death penalty in America and how the demands of the movement for Black lives is connected to the fight against capital punishment.  

Further reading:

Jul 06, 2020
Into Black Trans Liberation

Black trans women have been central to the movement for gay rights and the fight for racial justice since their inceptions. But they have always been sidelined by the very movements they helped create. Black Trans women continue to face high rates of violence, poverty and suicide and are often the victims of misogyny and white supremacy.  

Raquel Willis, a Black transgender activist and the director of communications for the Ms. Foundation, a nonprofit fighting for women’s rights, is trying to change that. This month, in the middle of Pride, she stood before a crowd of thousands and said, “Let today be the last day you ever doubt Black trans power.”  

Host Trymaine Lee sits down with Raquel to discuss her efforts to prioritize her Black trans women in both the LGBTQ community and the movement for Black lives, and why we all need to do the work of rethinking gender.  

Further reading:

Jul 02, 2020
Into ‘My Body is a Monument’

In recent weeks, the debate over monuments, street names and other relics of the Confederacy has intensified. A statue of Jefferson Davis was pulled down in Richmond, Virginia. In Louisville, Kentucky, a monument depicting a Confederate officer was removed from the city square. And on Tuesday, Mississippi decided to remove the Confederate symbol from the state flag.

There are those who argue that tearing these statues down erases our history. And others who say they must come down if we hope to create meaningful systemic change.

Caroline Randall Williams is a poet and writer in residence at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. And in a recent New York Times opinion piece she makes a different argument for why these monuments must come down.

“My body is a monument,” she writes. “My skin is a monument.”

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Caroline Randall Williams about the sexual violence that has left a legacy of the Confederacy in her blood, and about why it’s time for the monuments to come down.

Further reading & viewing:

Jul 01, 2020
Into Protecting Florida Farmworkers

The state of Florida is seeing record highs of coronavirus cases as the pandemic stretches into its fifth month. More than 140,000 residents have tested positive for the virus and the state is reversing some of its efforts to reopen the economy.  

For weeks, Governor Ron DeSantis resisted statewide closures and social distancing while the rural community of Immokalee raised concerns about the virus and requested more testing and PPE.  

Immokalee is home to thousands of migrant farmworkers, some whom are undocumented or on temporary guest worker visas. During the pandemic they’ve been deemed “essential” by the federal government. Now, Immokalee has the highest number of cases of any zip code in the state of Florida. 

Host Trymaine Lee talks to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers about their efforts to protect farmworkers in Florida and beyond, as the agricultural season shifts and the nation’s food supply is threatened. Gerardo Reyes Chávez is a leader of CIW who spent many years as a farmworker in Mexico and Florida, starting when he was 11. Greg Asbed co-founded the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in 1993. 

Further reading:

Jun 29, 2020
Into a New Generation of Black Candidates

As people look to sustain the movement for racial justice, they are turning to the ballot box.  

Hundreds of Black candidates are running in local races, state races, and Congressional races all across the country in 2020.  After weeks of protest, will we see a wave of Black candidates elected as an answer to those calls for change? 

Host Trymaine Lee speaks with two women who are trying to bring racial justice to the electoral system. Political strategist Jessica Byrd felt called into the movement while watching the Ferguson uprisings, and Sybrina Fulton’s journey through activism to politics began when her son Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by police in 2012. 

Further Reading & Viewing:

Jun 25, 2020
Into Reparations with Nikole Hannah-Jones

There is a pervasive wealth gap between Black and white Americans, the result of centuries of systemic violence and racism. Today, Black families have just 10% of the wealth white families have accumulated.  New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says this racial wealth gap isn’t an accident. It’s the product of over 400 years of slavery, racial segregation, and discrimination. In her cover story, “What is Owed,” for the New York Times Magazine, Hannah-Jones explains how the US government has been complicit in preventing Black people from accumulating wealth. 

And she argues that the only solution is reparations, restitution paid by the U.S. government to the descendants of enslaved people.  

In this episode of Into America, host Trymaine Lee sits down with Hannah-Jones to talk about her seminal piece and why this may be the moment when the idea of reparations just might become a reality. She explains what reparations might look like and why they are more urgent than ever.  

Further Reading:

Jun 24, 2020
Into the Kentucky Primary

On Tuesday, Kentucky will hold its primary election after a month-long delay caused by COVID-19. County clerks have reduced the number of polling places by 95% and voters have requested a record number of absentee ballots.  

The challenges to voting could have a major impact on the Democratic Senate primary, which has shifted dramatically in recent weeks. For the first time, state representative Charles Booker, a 35-year-old Black progressive, is polling ahead of his white moderate challenger, Amy McGrath. Both candidates are running for a shot at unseating Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the fall. 

Host Trymaine Lee talks to Cassia Herron, Chairperson of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, about the influence of national protests on Charles Booker’s rise, the state of Kentucky politics, and the pandemic shaping how and if Americans vote. 

Further Reading & Listening:

Jun 22, 2020
Can You Hear Us Now: Juneteenth

President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery on January 1, 1963. But it wasn’t until more than two years later – on June 19, 1965 – that enslaved people in the state of Texas were finally told that they were free. The anniversary of that day has become known as Juneteenth. 

This Juneteenth, 2020, America is in the midst of a racial reckoning. A pandemic is disproportionately killing Black Americans, and violence against Black people continues to be caught on camera, sparking cries for change.  

Into America host Trymaine Lee convened a special panel for NBC News Now called Can You Hear Us Now: Juneteenth. He and his panelists wrestled with America’s core question of freedom, and whether this dream can and will ever be a reality for Black Americans.  

Guests included: Dr. Peniel Joseph, from the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at UT-Austin; playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith; Tiffany Crutcher, whose twin brother Terence Crutcher killed by police in 2016; Wes Moore, of the Robin Hood Foundation; and NBC BLK reporter Janell Ross.  

Further Reading: 

Jun 19, 2020
Into Coalition Building with Bishop Barber

With national protests and wide social unrest, 2020 feels to some like 1968. That year, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. launched The Poor People’s Campaign. He called for a revolution around economic justice and a movement to unite people against poverty, racism, and other forms of oppression. 

In 2018, organizers resurrected the cause, re-establishing The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Host Trymaine Lee talks to Rev. Dr. William J Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People's Campaign about the importance of building coalitions for lasting change, and the Campaign’s upcoming virtual march on Washington. 

MSNBC will stream “The Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington” on Saturday, June 20, from 10am to 12:30pm EST on and the MSNBC Youtube Channel

Further Reading: 

Jun 18, 2020
Into the Future of DREAMers

In 2012, President Obama announced DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – to give undocumented people brought to the US as minors the chance to stay in the country without fear of deportation. But less than a year into his term, President Trump rolled back the policy. The move was met with protest and legal action and now the Supreme Court is weighing whether the administration’s decision to wind down DACA is allowed.  

Luis Cortes Romero is one of the lawyers fighting on behalf of DACA. At just 31 years old he was present for the Supreme Court oral arguments last fall. And as one of more than 700,000 DACA recipients across the country, this case is personal for him.  

The Court is expected to issue a ruling on DACA at the end of June. Ahead of the decision, Into America host Trymaine Lee sat down with Luis to learn more about his personal story, and the SCOTUS case that could decide his future. 

Further Reading: 

Jun 17, 2020
Into the Killing of Rayshard Brooks

Another unarmed Black man was killed by police over the weekend, this time in Atlanta. His name was Rayshard Brooks and he was 27 years old. The officer who shot Brooks has been fired, and the police chief has resigned, while across the country, protests against police brutality and racism continue. NBC News correspondent Blayne Alexander has been reporting the story in Georgia and spoke to Brooks’s wife over the weekend. She and Trymaine also talk about the emotional toll of being a Black journalist covering this moment.  

Further Reading: 

Jun 15, 2020
Into Defunding the LAPD

‘Defund the police’ has become a familiar rallying call at protests across the country. It’s a push to reduce the size of police department budgets, in order to reallocate resources to other parts of the community. And a few cities leaders are listening.  

Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his commitment to reallocating $150 million of the LAPD budget to communities of color in the upcoming fiscal year. This comes after years of attempted reform and decades of tension between the LAPD and the city’s Black population.  

Trymaine Lee speaks with LA City Councilman Curren Price, Black Lives Matter leader Melina Abdullah, and historian Max Felker-Kantor, author of Policing Los Angeles, to find out how LA’s history of policing informs the Mayor’s current move and whether this step towards reform goes far enough. 

Further Reading and Viewing: 

Jun 11, 2020
BONUS: 8 Minutes 46 Seconds with Trymaine Lee

Into America host Trymaine Lee joins Chris Hayes, host of the podcast Why Is This Happening to discuss the current moment of protest.

If you listen to anyone about this time of rage and grief and action, make it Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Trymaine Lee. From his origins reporting on police and crime in Philadelphia to his nights covering Ferguson in 2014 to his Emmy Award-winning work on the lasting trauma of the violence in Chicago, Lee offers a raw and insightful perspective on this national moment. 

Jun 09, 2020
Into Protest and the NFL

The nationwide movement against police brutality and racism have reignited the debate around protests about the same issues from players in the NFL. Last week, comments made by quarterback Drew Brees about protest and the flag led to a wave of criticism from Black players inside the league. Brees, who is white, has apologized, repeatedly. And now the NFL – the same league that banned kneeling on the field just two years ago - is making their own statement about how they plan to support Black players.  

NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall was playing for the New York Jets when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in 2016. He talks to host Trymaine Lee about his response at the time to protests on the field, why he is approaching this moment differently, and whether the league and its fans are ready for real change. 

Further Reading:  

Jun 09, 2020
Into Religious Freedom v Public Health

The regulations designed to stop the spread of coronavirus have infiltrated every part of our lives, including religion. Across the country, worship services have gone online or even into parking lots. But some churches are pushing back.  

Host Trymaine Lee talks with a pastor in North Carolina who sued over restrictions on indoor services.  Plus, NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams explains how governments and the courts are balancing freedom of religion and public safety. 

Further reading:  

Jun 06, 2020
Into an American Uprising: James Clyburn on Lessons from History

There have been nearly two weeks of national protests and collective unrest following the police killing of George Floyd. But for some, it is yet another step in the long march of progress. 

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn has been fighting for racial justice his entire life.  He started at age 12 as the youth chapter of his local NAACP chapter and today is the highest ranking Black legislator in Congress. His advice to protesters today? “Stay steady, stay focused.” 

Trymaine Lee sits down with Congressman Clyburn to discuss what leadership from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden looks like and the lessons from history that fill him with both fear and hope for the future. 

Further reading:  

Jun 05, 2020
Into an American Uprising: Talking to Kids About Racism

Most Black parents had “the talk” about race and racism with their children, but far fewer non-Black parents have. And “the talk” matters – for all kids -- because what we learn when we’re young sticks with us. So, as the world protests the death of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police, how can parents best help their kids understand what’s happening, and how to build a better world? 

Host Tyrmaine Lee speaks to Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, a leading expert on how to talk to kids about race and racism, especially at this critical moment, and why starting young is so critical.  

Further Reading and Viewing: 

  • Assimilation Blues: Black Families in a White Community Beverly Daniel Tatum 
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race 
  • Daring to Educate: The Legacy of the Early Spelman College Presidents 
  • Can We Talk about Race?: And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation (Race, Education, and Democracy) 
  • Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk? | Beverly Daniel Tatum | TEDx Stanford 
Jun 04, 2020
Into an American Uprising: White Accountability

One thing feels different about the current protests we are seeing following the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery: the composition of the crowds.  

In some parts of the country, white Americans are showing up. They are protesting, taking the knee, and flooding social media. There seems to be a renewed call for white accountability. But is posting and protesting enough? And will this energy last?  

Trymaine Lee talks to Tim Wise, an anti-racist essayist, author and educator, about what white people can do to dismantle the systems of inequality in this country. 

Tim Wise’s Recommended Reads: 

  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Ibram X. Kendi 
  • How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi  
  • White Rage, Carol Anderson  
  • The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985, James Baldwin  
  • Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy, Maggie Anderson  
  • Raising White Kids, Jennifer Harvey  
  • White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism, Ashley W. Doane and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva   
  • Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, Michael Eric Dyson  
Jun 03, 2020
Into an American Uprising: Can You Hear Us Now?

As protests and riots continue following the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, NBC News Now and NBCBLK convene a virtual conversation called Can You Hear Us Now?  Trymaine Lee moderates this discussion on race, civil unrest and what it’s like to be Black in America with some of the biggest thinkers, policy makers, actors and activists of this moment. 

We hear from Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, co-Founder of Campaign Zero Brittany Packnett Cunningham and actor Don Cheadle. NBCBLK reporter Janell Ross joins from the ground in Minneapolis. 

Further Reading and Viewing:

Jun 03, 2020
Into an American Uprising: Keith Ellison on Prosecuting George Floyd’s Death

Tens of thousands of people across the nation took to the streets this weekend to protest racism and police brutality in the wake of the suspected murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died in police custody last week in Minneapolis. 

On Sunday night, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz tapped state Attorney General Keith Ellison to take the lead in the Floyd case with help from the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office. Ellison was elected in 2018 after representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional district for 12 years in Congress. He is the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota. 

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Ellison about his approach to reviewing the facts in the case, whether or not there could be more charges against the officers involved, and what it will take to create systemic change in this country. 

Get NBC's most up-to-date coverage of the death of George Floyd here.

Further Reading:

Jun 01, 2020
Into Delivering an Election

The US Postal Service reaches every corner of America – from cities to small towns. In the midst of a pandemic, postal carriers are still delivering the mail, ensuring that people can pay their bills, keep up to date on medication, and connect with loved ones – even as most of us stay home to stop the spread of coronavirus.  

But for years, the post office has been in financial decline – over the last 11 years the service has lost $69 billion. Postmaster General Megan Brennan estimates that without government assistance, the office could run out of cash by the end of September. And on top of all this – the USPS will play a major role in the November election. Because of the pandemic, voting-by-mail is expected to be a popular choice come fall. But could a hamstrung postal service hurt the election process? 

On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee sits down with NBC News Business Correspondent Stephanie Ruhle to understand the financial struggles facing the post office. Plus, a former deputy postmaster general gives an inside look at how the funding debate in Washington, DC could impact the election this fall.   

Further reading: 

May 28, 2020
Into Comedy in a Crisis with Michelle Buteau

The impact of coronavirus has been devastating, but while we wait for a treatment or a vaccine, laughter may be the next best medicine.  

Comedian, actress, podcast host and author Michelle Buteau is taking time during quarantine to slow down, reflect and stay creative. Host Trymaine Lee sits down with Buteau, who is at home in the Bronx with her twins, to discuss the value of comedy in a pandemic.  

Further Reading and Viewing: 

May 25, 2020
Into Joe Biden and the Women’s Vote

The 2020 election season was thrown a curve ball when the spread of coronavirus across the U.S intensified in March. By early April, former Vice President Joe Biden was the only candidate left standing.  

Around the same time that Biden became the apparent nominee, a woman named Tara Reade alleged in a podcast interview that Biden sexually assaulted her when she was a staffer on his senate team in 1993.   

Recent polling shows voters are split on whether or not they believe the allegation against Biden. When it comes to women voters, will this allegation hurt Biden’s bid for the presidency? 

Host Trymaine Lee speaks with NBC News Political Reporter Ali Vitali about her original reporting on the allegation against Joe Biden, including her conversation with Reade herself. Lee and Vitali also talk to two different women about how they are processing the allegation and what it means for their vote come November. 

Further Reading:  

For a transcript, please visit

May 21, 2020
Into the Future of Flying

The bottom has dropped out for America’s airlines. More than 90 percent of passengers have disappeared. Airports feel deserted. And despite a huge government bailout, there’s growing concern that not all the major carriers will survive past September. Meanwhile, passengers are unsure whether it is safe to fly and there’s a whole new routine for getting from place A to place B that involves more than masks and hand sanitizer.  

NBC Correspondent Tom Costello has been covering the airline industry for 15 years, and says he’s never seen anything like this, for the industry or the flying public.  

Trymaine Lee talks to Tom about what the airlines are doing – and not doing – to win back the public’s confidence and save their businesses. No matter what, flying may never be the same. 

Further Reading: 

For a transcript, please visit

May 18, 2020
Into Tracking Coronavirus in Nursing Homes

One of the earliest outbreaks of coronavirus in the United States happened in a nursing home in Washington state, where dozens of people died. Over 26,000 COVID-19 deaths can now be linked to long-term care facilities. Yet, we still don’t have numbers from the federal government tracking the outbreak in nursing homes.  

In early April, NBC national investigative reporter Suzy Khimm and her reporting partner Laura Strickler began looking into the numbers themselves – reaching out to state health departments to understand the scope of the problem.  

For Suzy, this assignment is personal: in March, her family received word that the virus had reached her father-in-law's nursing home. On this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks to Suzy about how that news propelled her reporting. They dive into the numbers, where things stand with federal tracking, and why data matters during a crisis. 

Further Reading: 

For a transcript, please visit

May 14, 2020
Into the Movement for Ahmaud Arbery

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed on February 23rd in Brunswick, Georgia. His family says he was going on a one of his regular jogs through his suburban neighborhood when two armed white men, a father and son, Gregory and Travis McMichael, confronted him on a shady street. The men claim they thought Arbery was a burglary suspect, that he went for Travis’s gun and that they were acting in self defense. 

The killing didn’t garner widespread attention until last week, when a grainy cell phone video showing the altercation and the last moments of Arbery’s life appeared on the local news. The video spread across social media and Amaud Arbery’s name became a hashtag. The recording sparked national outrage and propelled local law enforcement to arrest Gregory and Travis McMichael. The arrests came 74 days after the shooting. 

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Reverend Al Sharpton, longtime civil rights leader, founder of the National Action Network and host of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, about his fight for justice for Arbery, despite the delays and the limitations of organizing during a pandemic. 

Further Reading: 

For a transcript, please visit

May 11, 2020
Into Mental Health and Lost Jobs

This pandemic has left millions of Americans without a job and unable to look for a new one. Another 3.2 million people filed jobless claims last week, bringing the total to 33 million since coronavirus hit. Experts predict that the US unemployment rate is now somewhere around 20 percent, a rate approaching the Great Depression. 

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Anchor of Sunday Nightly News and Senior National Correspondent. Kate Snow about how unemployed Americans are dealing with the new anxieties created by this crisis, and where people can turn for help.  

Further Reading and Viewing:

For a transcript, please visit

May 07, 2020
Into the Team Racing Toward a Vaccine

We’ve been hearing for weeks that a vaccine for coronavirus is what’s needed before life returns to some type of normalcy. But under normal circumstances, vaccine development is a long, complex process, that takes on average, 10 years, according to the National Institutes of Health. But the man in charge of the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center is trying to significantly shorten that timeline.  

The center’s director, Dr. John Mascola, feels optimistic that a vaccine for coronavirus could be ready by early 2021. His team is working with private entities - and with governments around the world - to fast-track a solution to this problem.  

On this episode of Into America, Dr. Mascola talks to host Trymaine Lee about herd immunity, the anti-vaccine movement, and about the steps necessary to get millions of Americans access to a coronavirus vaccine. 

Further Reading: 

May 04, 2020
Into the Survival of Main Street

Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, but recent years haven’t been so kind to them. The 2008 financial crisis left Main Street in a precarious position, and now the coronavirus pandemic has left millions of small business owners at risk of not being able to reopen their doors.  

Take Andrew Gaouette. At Mutt Waggin’, his pet supply shops in southeastern Massachusetts, he has seen his sales drops 60 percent. The government is offering relief to small businesses through emergency lending programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, but so far, Andrew hasn’t gotten any money. The demand is so great that many owners like Andrew are worried they will never see the benefits. 

This week, host Trymaine Lee talks with NBC News senior financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson about the state of Main Street, and what this crisis means for its future.  

Further Reading: 

Apr 30, 2020
Into 2020 with Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams has been making a very public case for why she would be a strong running mate for the Democrats’ presumptive nominee, Joe Biden. She’s not shy about her desire to serve, why she believes her experience is relevant, and whether Biden should choose a woman of color for the ticket.  

As the founder of Fair Fight, a national organization to ensure voting rights, Abrams told us that regardless of whether she’s on the ticket, she wants Georgia and states across the country to take steps to ensure safe elections this fall. 

In this Monday episode of Into America, host Trymaine Lee talks to Abrams about the VP nomination, the November elections, and about COVID-19 in her home state of Georgia.  

The Into America team wants to hear from you about what’s happening in your community. Send feedback, questions, and story ideas to Find host Trymaine Lee on Twitter @trymainelee

Further Reading: 

Apr 27, 2020
Into Dirty Air

Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at a disproportionally high rate. One of the reasons why is proximity to pollution. 

In St. James Parish, Louisiana residents have been fighting for decades to stop industry-related pollution that causes a high prevalence of cancer, hypertension and other diseases. Those health disparities are now making residents a target for COVID-19. St. James and neighboring St. John the Baptist Parishes are among the 20 U.S. counties with the highest per-capita death rate from Coronavirus. 

Host Trymaine Lee interviews Sharon Lavigne, a community leader and lifelong resident of St. James, who is fighting for clean air. And Dr. Robert Bullard, Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University, explains the link between race, health and the environment. 

The Into America team wants to hear from you about what’s happening in your community. Send feedback, questions, and story ideas to 

Find host Trymaine Lee on Twitter @trymainelee. 

Further Reading: 

Apr 23, 2020
Into Music as a Lifeline

What do a famous DJ, an indie musician, and an all-girls choir have in common? It’s simple: a love of music. As we continue to collectively distance ourselves during this global pandemic, people are creating and listening to music to stay connected and bring joy to each other.  

This week, host Trymaine Lee talks about the power of music in the time of quarantine with writer and producer Bonsu Thompson. In this episode, we hear performances from Nashville artist Rachel Baiman, and members of the Seattle Girls Choir who have taken their musical talents online. After all, the show must go on. 

Further Reading:  

Featured Recordings:  

Apr 16, 2020
Into an Outbreak Behind Bars

Prisons are hotbeds of infection. People live in close quarters, where they often struggle to have access to soap and hot water. As COVID-19 sweeps the country, these men and women are doing everything they can to avoid getting sick. As many prisons reduce visitation rights, families that are already separated are struggling to remain in contact.  

This week, host Trymaine Lee talks to a Colorado woman who is struggling to stay in touch with her incarcerated husband as the outbreak intensifies. We hear from corrections officials in New York and Colorado about the steps being taken to reduce the risk of coronavirus behind bars. And Dateline NBC producer Dan Slepian takes us inside Sing Sing Correctional Facility to meet JJ Velazquez. Velazquez describes how social dynamics inside prison are changing as fears of an outbreak grow.  

Further Reading: 

Apr 09, 2020
Into Life and Loss in a Pandemic

There are moments in life that call for celebration and communion. When a baby is born and when a loved one dies, we cook meals, share stories and help out where we can. These moments of life and death are the moments that pull us together.  

But in the age of COVID-19, we are told to keep our distance. To prevent the spread of the virus, hospitals around the country are placing restrictions on who can be present in the delivery room. And there are limits on who can remain by the side of someone who is dying.  

In this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee speaks with a first-time expecting mom about how the coronavirus outbreak is changing her birth plan. And MSNBC contributor Eric Deggans talks about the death of his mother and having to coordinate a funeral that many could only attend online. These are stories of life and loss in a pandemic. 

Further Reading: 

Apr 02, 2020
Into Coronavirus for the Uninsured

Coronavirus is continuing to spread and Americans are relying on the healthcare system to save them if they get sick. But what if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who are uninsured? 

Penny Wingard is one of them. As a breast cancer survivor, she’s immunocompromised and facing uncertainty about how to get proper care without coverage. In Charlotte, North Carolina, where Penny is from, federally funded community health centers are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic for the uninsured. The toll that coronavirus is taking, both on the patients and the centers’ operations, may be irreversible. 

Host Trymaine Lee talks with Phil McCausland, national reporter for NBC News, about his reporting on the healthcare gap in North Carolina and the patients and providers hoping the system can survive this outbreak. 

If you or someone you know is living without health insurance, find a Community Health Center in your area on the website

Read Phil McCausland’s piece here.

Mar 26, 2020
Into Democracy Delayed

This week, the coronavirus outbreak reached all 50 states and is now responsible for more than 140 deaths. Doctors and government officials are scrambling to address the problem.  

As schools close, employers send their workers home, and entertainment venues go dark, Americans are also wondering how the spread of the coronavirus will impact the 2020 election. This week’s primary states saw an increase in absentee ballots, as people heeded the guidance of the CDC to avoid crowded spaces. And Louisiana became the first state to postpone its primary, with several others following suit.  

This week, Into America goes into the intersection of politics and a pandemic. Host Trymaine Lee speaks with the Louisiana Secretary of State about the state’s decision to delay its Democratic primary. And we hear from a Georgia voter who worries how the delays in her state could impact voter turnout. 

Further Reading 

Mar 19, 2020
Into the Future of Lordstown, Ohio

The Mahoning Valley in northeast Ohio is in the middle of an economic transition. 

Manufacturing jobs have been leaving the region for decades, but the closure of the General Motors Lordstown factory last year was a major blow to the community. Some families were split apart as GM employees took transfers to other plants. Others are still mourning the departure of steady union jobs. But new opportunities in technology and warehouse distribution are coming to the area.  

Residents near Lordstown are no stranger to promises. In 2017, President Trump came to the region, saying he would bring jobs back. Now, voters in this swing district must choose whether to back the President or one of his Democratic challengers. 

What will these changes mean for the future of the region? Host Trymaine Lee talks with National Digital Reporter Erin Einhorn about her reporting in the Mahoning Valley, why voters in the area are divided on their pick for 2020, and how the local community is working to carve out a new economy after significant economic loss. 

Further Reading

Mar 12, 2020
Into the Fight for Lindsey Graham's Seat

Lindsey Graham is a giant in politics. The three-term Republican Senator has served more than two decades in Congress. He’s now a close ally to President Donald Trump.  

He’s also up for re-election in 2020, and for the first time ever he’s facing a serious challenge to his South Carolina Senate seat. The fight comes from Jaime Harrison, a young, black Democrat, and a relative newcomer to the national stage. Harrison has raised more money than any Democrat running for the seat in state history, but he’s still a relative unknown. 

In this episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks to Harrison and Graham’s campaign, to find out why both believe they will win. And we visit the red city of Greenville, to talk to a voter who has supported Graham in the past and is now backing Harrison. 

Further Reading:  

Mar 05, 2020
Into Bloomberg’s Legacy of Stop and Frisk

Days before announcing his candidacy, Michael Bloomberg apologized for the use of stop-and-frisk, a policing tactic he championed as Mayor of New York City. In their search for weapons, the New York Police Department made nearly 4.5 million stops over the span of a decade. Eighty-eight percent of people stopped were innocent, and the majority were Black and Latino boys and men. 

Now, in order to have a real shot at the Democratic nomination, the former Mayor needs the support of Black voters. But will his decision to support stop and frisk hurt his chances? 

In this episode, host Trymaine Lee goes into East New York, a community that experienced more stops than any other part of the city. Plus, a look at whether Bloomberg’s efforts to shore up support with Black voters nationwide will pay off. 

Further Reading: 

Feb 27, 2020
Introducing: Into America

This is a show about politics, about policy, and the power both have over the lives of the American people. It sheds light on the candidates and the President they are running to unseat. It connects the dots between policies and voters across the political spectrum. Hosted by Trymaine Lee. Featuring the journalists of NBC News. This is how America sounds. This is Into America.

Feb 20, 2020