What I'm Listening To
As America undergoes a long-overdue racial reckoning this summer, Black voices, history and culture are being amplified now more than ever. To better understand racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement you will need to educate yourself on Black history. For decades, history books and mainstream media have neglected to include important facts and African American achievements but it hasn’t prevented our rich history from existing.
Lucky for us, there are countless resources available to unlearn and relearn American history. One of my favorite ways to learn is listening to podcasts. It’s free, offers unique perspectives and allows me to multi-task or relax my eyes from staring at digital screens all day.
To help you along your learning journey, I’ve gathered 12 great podcasts you should know. Browse the shows below, add a few episodes to your rotation and have a listen! Maybe you’ll discover a new favorite podcast. If you have others to recommend, comment below and let me know. Enjoy!
Uncivil brings you stories that were left out of the official history of the Civil War, ransacks America’s past, and takes on the history you grew up with. They bring you untold stories about resistance, covert operations, corruption, mutiny, counterfeiting, antebellum drones, and so much more. And they connect these forgotten struggles to the political battlefield we’re living on right now. The story of the Civil War — the story of slavery, confederate monuments, racism — is the story of America.
In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is time to tell the story. “1619” is a New York Times audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones.
3. Black History Year
Learning your history makes you – and your people – stronger. As Black people, we know we’re left out of the history books. That the media images are skewed. That we need access to experts, information and ideas so we can advance our people. Black History Year connects you to the history, thinkers, and activists that are left out of the mainstream conversations. You may not agree with everything you hear, but we’re always working toward one goal: uniting for the best interest of Black people worldwide. BHY is produced by PushBlack, the nation’s largest non-profit Black media company
4. Witness Black History
Witness Black History is an extension of BBC’s Witness History podcast series. Each episode interviews people who were actually present for, or closely connected to key moments in Black and civil rights history.
5. School Colors
School Colors is a documentary podcast from Brooklyn Deep about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools. Tune in to follow generations of parents and educators fighting for their children in a rapidly changing Black neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.
6. Noire Histoir
Noire Histoir is hosted by Natasha McEachron and celebrates Black history 366 days of the year. Her mission is to motivate and inspire through stories of pride, excellence, and power from across the Black diaspora. Every week new content is released featuring quotes, book reviews, movie reviews, career interviews, recommendations for places to visit, and historical facts.
7. Black History Buff
The Black History Buff podcast covers the historical tapestry of the African Diaspora. Journey around the world and through time to listen to thrilling tales covering everything from African Samurai to pistol-wielding poets.
8. What Matters
What Matters combines documentary narrative with interviews to illuminate specific, timely issues, aiming to create safe dialogue to promote freedom, justice, and collective liberation. What Matters is a salve and a safe place where we can connect, learn, think freely, and transform the world.
9. Blackbelt Voices
The Blackbelt Voices podcast propagates the richness of Black Southern culture by telling the stories of Black folks down South. Through first-person narratives and in-depth conversations, hosts Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins, and Katrina Dupins share the experiences of Black Southerners living in, loving, and reconciling with the region they call home.
11. Lynching in America
Equal Justice Initiative has documented the lynchings of over 4,000 African Americans between 1877 and 1950. In this series, hear how this era of racial terror lynchings continues to shape America to this day.
12. About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
From the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, comes a podcast that takes the conversation a step further.
Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that led to the politics of today.