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AMERICAN MOSAIC - October 11, 2002: Question About Native Alaskans / Music by Raphael Saadiq / TV's Oprah Winfrey Wins a Special Emmy - 2002-10-10


Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


This is Doug Johnson. On our program today:

We play music by Raphael Saadiq ...

We answer a listener’s question about the native people who live in the state of Alaska ...

And, we report about a new Emmy Award winner.

Emmy Winner Oprah Winfrey


Each year, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presents Emmy Awards for excellent work in American television. The Academy honors programs, actors, directors and writers. This year, the Academy presented a new award. Shep O'Neal has more.


The first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award was presented at the Emmy Award show last month. Bob Hope had his own television show for many years. Academy officials created an award in his name to honor his work in television and his work helping people around the world. The winner of the special award was Oprah Winfrey. Television experts say she is one of the most influential people in the American television industry.

Oprah Winfrey is the producer and host of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” It is broadcast every afternoon, Monday through Friday. People on the show talk about different issues.

Twenty-six-million people a week watch the show in the United States. It is also broadcast in more than one-hundred other countries. It has won thirty-five Emmy Awards and is the most popular talk show in television history. Oprah Winfrey also is an actor and producer who has appeared in movies and in dramatic plays on television.

Oprah Winfrey has used her great success to help people in need around the world. In nineteen-ninety-seven, she created Oprah's Angel Network, a campaign to urge people to help those in need. Oprah’s Angel Network has gained more than twelve-million dollars. The money helps poor students pay for their college educations. It also is used to build homes for poor people. The money also has been used to build thirty-four schools in ten countries.

Two years ago, Oprah’s Angel Network began honoring people with the “Use Your Life Award”. The network gives money to people who are using their lives to improve the lives of others. At least fifty of these awards have been given.

Oprah Winfrey said she is honored to receive the first Bob Hope Humanitarian Award. She said she will continue to give back to the world what it has given to her so that she might be worthy of the honor.

Natives of Alaska


Our VOA listener question this week comes from Vietnam. It concerns the Native people who live in the northern American state of Alaska.

Three racially different groups of Native people live in Alaska -- the Aleuts, Inuits and Indians. Experts say the presence of these different Native people shows Alaska’s position between Asia and the Americas. Experts say that modern Native Americans developed from Asiatic people who traveled to Alaska about twelve-thousand years ago. Some of those people settled in Alaska. Others traveled to other parts of North America and to South America.

Today, about six-hundred-twenty-thousand people live in the state of Alaska. Fewer than half the people who live in Alaska were born there. About sixteen percent of the state’s population are Native people.

The largest group of Native people in Alaska are the Inuit. Some people still call the Inuit people Eskimos. Many Inuit reject this name. They want to be called Inuit, which means “the people” or “real people” in their own language.

Inuit culture developed more than one-thousand years ago. Most Inuit have always lived near the sea which provided much of their food. They also hunted animals and used their skins to make their clothes and homes.

Most Inuit people in Alaska today live in small settlements. They still hunt and fish for their food. Yet much of their traditional way of life has ended. The Inuit live in wooden houses instead of the traditional ones. They wear modern clothing. They speak English. And Christianity has taken the place of traditional beliefs.

Alaska’s Native people have long claimed much of the land in the state. In nineteen-seventy-one, the United States Congress approved a law in response to these claims. The law gave almost one-thousand-million dollars and rights to about ten percent of Alaska to the state’s Native people.

Raphael Saadiq


Singer Raphael Saadiq (SAH-dik) has been a member of two very popular rhythm and blues groups. Now he performs on his own. Mary Tillotson tells us about him.


Raphael Saadiq is best known as a founder, producer and member of the soul band Tony! Toni! Tone! (pronounced tony, tony, tony) The group recorded three successful albums between nineteen-eighty-eight and nineteen-ninety-seven. Their hit songs include “Little Walter,” “Whatever You Want,” and this one, “It Never Rains.”


In nineteen-ninety-nine, Raphael Saadiq formed the group Lucy Pearl. Dawn Robinson and Ali Shaheed Muhammad joined him. Dawn and Ali each had been members of other popular music groups. Dawn Robinson had recently left the singing group En Vogue. Ali Shaheed Muhammad had performed with the hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.

Music critics called Lucy Pearl a supergroup. Two years ago, the group released an album called “Lucy Pearl.” Here is a song from that record, “Everyday.”


Raphael Saadiq released a new album recently. It is called “Instant Vintage.” This is the first time he has recorded an album on his own. He mixes the sounds of soul, hip-hop, funk, rock, and jazz. We leave you now with a song from “Instant Vintage.” Here Raphael Saadiq sings “Tick Tock.“



This is Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today. And I hope you will join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC -- VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.

This AMERICAN MOSAIC program was written by Lawan Davis and Nancy Steinbach. Our studio engineer was Jim Sleeman. And our producer was Paul Thompson.