Black Lives Matter

Hi pod pals,

I’ve wanted to write to our listeners, but it’s been tough figuring out where and how to begin this blog post.

The disturbing murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, John Crawford III, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and countless others are a horrifying result of the fact that systemic racism is woven into the fabric of our country. As a black woman, conversations about white supremacy, police brutality, marginalization, and macro-and micro-aggressions have always been a part of my life. And to be clear, the movement for racial justice is not new and has never stopped. So many have been fighting, making strides, and laying groundwork for decades upon decades. Seeing this current outpouring of support on a global level brings about a complex wave of feelings—there’s the hope that this time will be different, there’s rage and confusion over why it took so long to reach this point, and there’s suspicion over whether to trust that new activists and supporters will commit to this very long road of antiracism and unlearning white supremacy. It’s a messy set of emotions that have been hard for me to parse through, and I’m sure others feel the same. But as I navigate this space, I am holding onto the hopeful piece. I am demanding change in my communities, I am continuing to support and amplify black voices as well as diverse and intersectional perspectives, and I am reminding myself and others that we all have important roles to play. I’m so proud of the work that Lainey and I do through DYEP—but despite that pride, I am actively working through my own biases to ensure we continue to build a stronger, more inclusive show.

I’m many things— I’m a black woman, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a book editor, I’m a podcaster. Therefore, there’s a plethora of topics I could dig into, but for this post, I want to focus on creative content. Plain and simple, systemic racism disenfranchises non-white creators and props up whiteness as “normal” or “baseline” or “accessible,” while framing content that focuses on nonwhite perspectives as “niche.” And intersectionality is extremely important, as black queer perspectives face this marginalization, as well as additional unique challenges. Within podcasting specifically, these discriminatory processes fuel the disparities between who is seen, who is heard, and who profits. On our May episode of the show, Lainey and I talked to Molly Woodstock of Gender Reveal about some of these systemic gatekeeping issues in the podcasting world—they stressed that podcasters from a wide range of backgrounds are here, have been here. The creators and content exist, and there’s no excuse for a lack of diversity in which shows receive support, in which projects get the green light from larger companies.

Recently, there’s been a specific call to uplift black voices and I’ve paid much attention to this in the creative world. I work in book publishing, and it’s been heartwarming to see stories by black authors receive strong attention and support, but at the same time, its hurtful and infuriating to know that this is what it took for many to position these works as accessible content made for everyone. It is my desperate hope that this inclusion of black voices, as well as other non-white voices, is a forever practice that extends beyond “the moment.” This goes for podcasts too—Molly Woodstock said it well, “what they [listeners] need to do is really show up” and that’s a simple call to action. Listeners have great power.

On that note, I’ve gathered some recommendations of podcasts created by or hosted by black folks, but this is just a small sampling of what’s out there. Actively seek shows with diverse perspectives and put your energy behind the projects that resonate with you, that challenge you. Consistently diversify your listens and the perspectives you take in, because the learning and unlearning is never done. Black lives matter. Black LGBTQIA lives matter. As a co-founder of DYEP, I feel it’s important for us to shout this truth from our platform and ensure that we, as creators, are putting this understanding into practice as a podcast.

Alex’s Recs

The Unofficial Expert

You think you know-it-all but you have no idea. Join Sydnee Washington & Marie Faustin as they sit down with comedians and people of the culture to talk about their fields of expertise.

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.

Hoodrat to Headwrap

A Decolonized Podcast for lovers on the margins, join your resident sexuality educator Ericka Hart and Deep East Oakland’s very own Ebony Donnley, as we game give, dismantle white supremacy, and kiki in the cosmos somewhere between radical hood epistemological black queer love ethics, pop culture, house plants, and a sea of books.

The Point Noir Podcast

Travel and adventure stories for men of color, told by men of color. Host Jerry The 3rd cultivates perspectives of those who have taken the leap to explore life beyond their homes and comfort zones.

Scam Goddess

Scam Goddess is a podcast dedicated to fraud and all those who practice it! Each week host Laci Mosley (aka Scam Goddess) keeps listeners up to date on current rackets, digs deep into the latest scams, and breaks down historic hoodwinks alongside some of your favorite comedians! It’s like true crime only without all the death! True fun crime!

The Nod

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.

The Stoop

The Stoop podcast digs into stories that are not always shared out in the open. Hosts Leila Day and Hana Baba start conversations about what it means to be black and how we talk about blackness. It’s a celebration of black joy with a mission to dig deeper into stories that we don’t hear enough about.

The Read

Join Kid Fury and Crissle for their weekly podcast covering hip-hop and pop culture’s most trying stars. Throwing shade and spilling tea with a flippant and humorous attitude, no star is safe from Fury and Crissle unless their name is Beyoncé. (Or Blue Ivy.)

The United States of Anxiety

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.

Therapy for Black Girls

The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly chat about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves.

As always, we love to hear from you! Send in what you’re listening to and what you’re doing to support black creators and diverse content in our industry.

—Alex

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