12 of the Best Podcasts Celebrating Black History and Culture
Black History Month is a great time to shout out some of the brilliant podcasts out there celebrating Black history and culture. (Which isn’t to say it’s the only month we should be talking about them—far from it.)
From conversations about Black women on the internet to an exploration of why Black people love Paramore, here’s are some of the best podcasts history and culture podcasts with Black creators at the helm.
There Are No Girls on the Internet
Black women have been building the internet—starting trends, defining social spaces, and fighting to make platforms safer—since day one. But they’re often the ones who are brushed aside or even ostracized on those very platforms. On There Are No Girls on the Internet, Bridget Todd shares untold stories of the girls of the internet who have made it what it is today, but at great risk and with little recognition. With interviews with Black women in tech and Black women creators, she has created a space for Black voices to give their side of things, and talk about the hurdles they’re clearing to make the internet a safer space for everyone.
How to Delete Your Twitter Account If Elon Musk Was Your Last Straw
Maurice Cherry is a pioneering digital creator and host of Revision Path, an award-winning podcast and the first show to be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Maurice has recorded more than 350 episodes, sold out live events, and amassed incredible knowledge and insight into the minds and philosophies of Black creatives and about podcasting in general. Maurice is the 2018 recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary from AIGA, was named as one of GDUSA’s “People to Watch” in 2018, and was included in the 2018 edition of The Root 100 (#60), an annual list of the most influential African-Americans ages 25 to 45.
My Momma Told Me
On My Momma Told Me, comedians Langston Kerman and David Gborie share conspiracy theories that have been picked up mostly in Black communities, from messages in Black music to the existence of a gay mafia in hip hop. The theories run the gambit from silly, to scary, to semi-problematic, but whatever the belief, no matter how ridiculous or mundane, Langson and David are able to spin it into storytelling gold and make sharp observations about Black traditions and culture and the beliefs that are whispered (or shouted) in the Black community.
Therapy for Black Girls
On Therapy for Black Girls, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, covers all things mental health, personal development, and the small decisions we can make to become the best possible version of ourselves, while keeping the experience of POC in mind. Whether the topic is work, friendship, money, or understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dr. Joy is there to explain how these experiences are different for Black people and require a more nuanced and understanding look at the little things they experience throughout their lives, from the big stuff to the tiny, everyday things.
Well-Read Black Girl
Well-Read Black Girl started as writer Glory Edim’s popular Well-Read Black Girl book club, and now has turned into an audio celebration of books by non-white authors. Each week, Glory hosts intimate literary conversations with people like Tarana Burke, Min Jin Lee, Anita Hill, Gabrielle Union, Elizabeth Acevedo and more. It will have you adding books to your to-be-read stack, but you’ll also learn about bookselling and the publishing industry from people who have been in the trenches.
Diamond Stylz, Mia Mix, and LJ aka Jonathan are Houston-based digital strategists, black feminists, civil right advocates, and trans people, and they make up Marsha’s Plate, a place that oozes friendship and perspectives about what it’s like being Black and trans in America. In casual conversations, Diamond, Mia, and Jonathan cover current events and personal issues that are bubbling up in their lives, sharing new research that impacts trans people, anti-trans legislation, and the general oppression that seeps into every angle of the Black trans experience. With the help of impactful people in the trans community, they’re serving up something powerful and honest, able to connect us all to transness.
Into America is a show about what it’s like to be Black in America. With wonderful reporting and storytelling, host Trymaine Lee fills in the gaps of a history we all should know about but often don’t, whether that be the lost colony in Bethesda, or an investigation into the power of the Black vote. Trymaine passes the mic to prominent Black voices who give us a fresh look at our past, present, and future. Into America can be a challenging listen—a warning and a reminder of the atrocities Black people have experienced and continue to experience today. But it’s also a comfort that we have a storyteller like Trymaine to hold our hands as we wade through difficult but necessary subject matter.
Sam Sanders is a behemoth in the podcast industry, and first made his mark as host of NPR’s It’s Been a Minute. Into It offers a way for him to expand his purview to include his current pop-culture obsessions, from the Grammys to Abbot Elementary.When pop culture seeps into the news cycle, whether it be a hot podcast or a new trend on social media, I know to go directly to Sam for his take. His opinions are strong but he delivers them in a voice that sounds like a big smile. Also check out his other show, Vibe Check.
Black People Love Paramore
On Black People Love Paramore, Sequoia Holmes is here to say that sure, there are plenty of things Black people stand behind—an all-Black movie cast, things that are “Black-owned.” But she’s found there are few things Black people love that are not so expected, like…Paramore. (That’s her pick, which she explains in the first episode.) Sequoia brings on funny Black guests to go over the unexpected things they love: UNO, Tony Hawk, House Music, and Red Lobster. Each topic is a springboard into a conversation about Black culture, how Black people feel seen and unseen in the world, and the endless ways POC find passion for all sorts of things that might surprise white people.
Woke AF Daily
In every episode of Woke AF, cultural connoisseur Danielle Moodie tirelessly provides an honest perspective to the many facets of what it actually means to be “woke” in modern life. Through chats with a variety of authors, leaders, and political activists, Danielle sheds the niceties that fuel mainstream media punditry to explore truths about society and democracy that aren’t always easy to hear. Living in a country that ignores the Black experience is crippling to American democracy, but it’s cathartic knowing that Danielle is fighting every single day to expose our biggest problems with a informed and, relatively speaking, measured tone, making sense of the rage-inducing issues that make so many Americans feel powerless.
Since 2014, Kid Fury (who started out with the YouTube stand-up series “Furious Thoughts”) and Crissle West have been coming together for their weekly podcast The Read, covering current events, social justice, mental health, hip-hop, media, fashion, entertainment, and lots of Beyoncé with a critical, hysterical eye. Their best friend vibes are electric and their passion for pop culture is contagious. They have the ability to tap into Black culture like nobody else. Listen as they tear down celebs and unpack the latest Da Baby drama with a sharp wit that brings needed criticism to entertainment.
Into the Depths
National Geographic explorer Tara Roberts became a certified scuba diver so she could join forces with the Black divers of Diving With a Purpose (DWP) and make Into the Depths, a show that explores the wreckage of a few of the thousands of slave ships that wrecked in the Atlantic Ocean during the transatlantic slave trade. Into the Depths is like Tara’s audio memoir, a personal journey about her life experience, and also an educational one, as Tara shares what she finds in the wreckage, she reveals missing pieces to the puzzle that is the history of slavery.
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