Vermont Public Radio Commentary Series

More than 50 commentators provide perspective and opinion about current events, topics of interest, and often showcase the work of writers and storytellers. The VPR Commentary Series is produced by Betty Smith-Mastaler.

7/18/2013The Zimmerman Verdict

“The morning after the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, I woke up and read a text message from a friend. It consisted of one word: “heartbroken.”  I felt as if a relative had died while I’d been sleeping.”

7/12/2013Regarding Race

“Having lived her entire life in the Deep South, my aunt was not surprised that Deen had used the “N Word” and had fantasized about an antebellum wedding with an all-black wait staff. If Paula Deen became host of another cooking show, my aunt says she would watch it; her feelings about Deen haven’t really changed. My cousin, equally nonplussed, still plans to buy Deen’s cookbook.”

2/29/2012On Black History Month

“Commentator Emily Bernard is an associate professor of English and Ethnic Studies at UVM. She says that back when she was preparing the syllabus for her fall semester course “Race and the Literature of the American South,” the irony of teaching The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn during black history month didn’t occur to her.”

8/18/2011 On “The Help”

“Commentator Emily Bernard recently went to the movies – and the experience left her with decidedly mixed feelings.”


“Commentator Emily Bernard has been thinking about love, loss and lasting values.”

5/4/2011Killing a Mockingbird

“This week VPR is examining race as part of our 2011 collaboration with the Vermont Humanities Council’s Vermont Reads statewide project to read and discuss To Kill A Mockingbird.  The book offers many “teachable moments,” but commentator Emily Bernard has been remembering an opportunity that was lost.”

3/28/2011International Adoption

“Recently, international adoption has become a topic of hot debate; but commentator Emily Bernard believes that along with the idea of a complex identity comes the opportunity for cultural abundance.”

2/21/2011Hair Story

“As the mother of twin girls, commentator Emily Bernard says that the idea of “hair care” has recently taken on fresh meaning.”

2/08/2011Color Blind

“Commentator Emily Bernard teaches English and Ethnic Studies at UVM.  She’s been wondering why – if we value diversity so highly – we’re so reluctant to discuss racial differences.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *