With the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many more at the top of mind, understanding the realities and complexities of racism is not just crucial but urgent. In addition to donating, speaking out, and supporting Black-owned business, taking responsibility for one's own education on the matter is key here. And while books are a great way to start, podcasts focused on racial injustice are also a great way to go. There's a plethora of worthy options ready for the taking. Amid the sea of true crime series, daily news briefs, and pop culture deep-dives are some insightful and thought-provoking podcasts on race that give a platform for the narrative of Black reality in America.
One popular option, NPR's Code Switch, is hosted by a panel of journalists of color who offer their personal opinions and perspectives on how race impacts every aspect of society including movies, music, pop culture, and history. Speaking of the latter, if you're more of a history buff, audio series 1619 is the perfect podcast for you in that it examines America's longstanding history with slavery and thoughtfully explains its impact on the nation and society over the past 400 years. And if you're a fan of HBO's Insecure, Small Doses With Amanda Seales could be a great podcast option for you. The actor, comedian, writer, and producer takes on hot topics like politics, racism, and gender inequality with unapologetic authenticity and a bit of humor.
Taking the time to educate oneself on the injustices in the world is more crucial than ever, and even small steps like subscribing to a podcast can be impactful in building awareness. Ahead, six worthy options to consider subscribing to ASAP.
NPR's Code Switch
NPR's Code Switch enlists several journalists of color to sound off on a garden variety of relevant topics that range from modern beauty standards and how they relate to race and people of color to difficult (and sometimes uncomfortable) conversations about how racism can affect relationships.
Small Doses With Amanda Seales
Multihyphenate Seales takes on everything from sex and dating to career and the experience of being a Black woman in Hollywood with her signature unapologetic tone and humor, making even the toughest subject matter relatable and, more importantly, digestible.
Featuring hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, The Nod takes several deep-dives into aspects of Black culture including Black women's roles in romance novels, implications that can come of "The American Dream", being Black in the fashion industry, and even the history of the Cha-Cha slide.
Chronicling the long, arduous 400-year history of slavery in America, 1619, serves as a sort of audio textbook and reference for any of your questions regarding the topic — and is a definite eye-opener on the Black experience in the U.S.
Hosts Leila Day and Hana Baba cover race and identity in America, pulling from untold Black stories and guest voices that have included Orange Is The New Black's Uzo Aduba, Shangela Laquifa Wadley from RuPaul's Drag Race, and Queer Eye's Karamo Brown.
Yo, Is This Racist?
Just as the name implies, this weekly podcast, featuring hosts Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome, tackles fan-submitted emails, messages, and voicemails about whether or not something is racist and, more importantly, why. (Think questions about racial impersonations and dressing up as a Native American for Halloween.) Spoiler alert: In an October 2019 interview with Los Angeles Magazine, co-host Ti sums the show up like this: "It’s really easy to answer these questions. Because yes, it’s racist. If you have to ask, it’s racist.”