10 Podcasts Hosted by Black Creators You Need to Listen To

June 2020

The ongoing movement addressing anti-Black racism and police brutality in the United States, Canada, and around the globe forces us to face a horrible reality. This is not the time to stand by and watch, it is time to take action. 

As we continue to listen, learn, and reflect as a company, we wanted to showcase some incredible podcasts produced by Black creators that discuss racism and the impact of popular culture on race.


1. CODE SWITCH

Series Description

What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story.

Episode Recommendation

A great episode to check out is Why Now, White People? This episode literally asks the question, why now? Why have the brutal killings by police finally caused the outrage and plea for change?

2. The Nod

Series Description

Created in 2017, The Nod tells the stories of Black life that don’t get told anywhere else. Our show ranges from an explanation of purple drink’s association with Black culture to the story of an interracial drag troupe that traveled the nation in the 1940s. We celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black — in America, and around the world.

Episode Recommendation

After taking a break for a few months, Brittany and Eric are back and in their latest episode, We’ve Been Here Before, where they sit down to process their feelings and memorialize the lives that we have lost due to the recent killings of Black people at the hands of police.

3. Unbothered

Series Description

In this series, award-winning journalist and culture critic, Jemele Hill, interviews the most compelling figures in news, pop culture, politics and sports. The series releases new episodes every Monday so you will never be lacking in great content.

Episode Recommendation

It was difficult to find just one show to recommend but definitely check out Ep 97: REGINA KING - Sister Night. This episode breaks down what defunding the police actually means and then Jemele is joined by Regina King, who discusses the cultural impact of her critically-acclaimed HBO series Watchmen.

4. 1619

Series Description

“1619” is a New York Times audio series, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, that examines the long shadow of American slavery. 

The series began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the start of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

Episode Recommendation

For this series definitely start from episode one and complete the entire series to learn about America’s history when it comes slavery.

5. Somebody

Series Description

When Shapearl Wells's son Courtney is found outside a Chicago police station with a fatal bullet wound, Shapearl immediately distrusts the official narrative. So she launches her own investigation into her son’s murder and teams up with journalists from the Invisible Institute to confront the cops and find the truth about Courtney's death. Somebody explores the racial disparities and turbulent relationship between law enforcement and citizens in one of America’s largest cities.

Episode Recommendation

Again, we recommend you start from episode one and listen to the entire series to really understand and grasp the heartbreak and impact of this show.

6. Truth Be Told

Series Description

Truth Be Told, from KQED, is like the friend you call after a long, exhausting day – the one who will laugh, cry, bitch and moan with you. The one who gets it. Through unfiltered advice, host Tonya Mosley takes on listener questions, digging into what it means to not just survive, but thrive, as a person of color in our country. If Miss Manners tells you how to blend in and behave, Truth Be Told helps you be you in a world that doesn't always want you to be.

Episode Recommendation

A great episode to check out is Protesting For The Soul of America: The New Civil Rights Movement. In this episode, Tonya is joined by Dr. Eddie Glaude, the chair of Princeton's African American Studies Department, the two discuss nationwide actions after the killing of George Floyd and to recenter black joy and resilience.

7. What a Day

Series Description

What A Day cuts through all the chaos and clickbait to help you understand what matters and how you can fix it—all in just 15 minutes. Comedian Akilah Hughes and reporter Gideon Resnick break down the biggest news of the day, share important stories you may have missed, and show you what “Fox & Friends” would sound like if it were hosted by two people whose parents read to them as children.

Episode Recommendation

Check out More Police Money, More Police Problems, this episode discusses the culture of policing in America and how shifting money from law enforcement to social services could cut down on the need for law enforcement.

8. 74 Seconds

Series Description

74 Seconds tells the story of a July 2016 traffic stop that ended with the world watching a man die, live on their phones. This is the story of that man, Philando Castile, and the officer who is about to go on trial for his death, Jeronimo Yanez. Through comprehensive reporting, MPR News examines this intersection of race, policing, justice and safety in America. A lot can happen in 74 seconds.

Episode Recommendation

An interesting episode to check out is What Happens Now? This episode features an interview with Wesley Lowery, a journalist who tracks police shootings across America.

9. United States of Anxiety

Series Description

The United States of Anxiety is a show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. Many of the political and social arguments we’re having now started in the aftermath of the Civil War, when Americans set out to do something no one had tried before: build the world’s first multiracial democracy. The podcast gives voters the context to understand what’s at stake in this election.

Episode Recommendation

Their latest episode, Rage, Grief, Joy, featured Shanika Hart, First Lady of The Gathering Harlem, on being a Black mom, fighting for Black lives.

10. It’s Been a Minute

Series Description

Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.

Episode Recommendation

We highly recommend checking out Not Just Another Protest, this episode discusses how history has shaped our views of protests. 

Conclusion

We truly hope you check out some of these incredible shows and continue to listen, learn and find other shows by Black creators that need to be brought to the forefront of our attention. 

If you’d like to find other ways that you can support and help, Time Magazine recently wrote an article that breaks down a variety of ways that we all can contribute to Black Lives Matter, Protesters and Equality Initiatives. Find it here