An interview-based podcast about the Indigenous experience that is hosted by two Native women, Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene, who describe the show as a place to “discuss our relationships as Native peoples—relationships to land, to ancestors, and to each other.” On each episode, Wilbur and Keene talk with their guest(s) about issues that affect Indigenous communities. Launched in February, the show has covered indigenous feminism, food sovereignty, and DNA tests, among other topics. As of this writing, there are eight episodes, so the hosts are just getting started, and I’m excited to see where they go.
Uplifts Black experiences in the U.S. and abroad. I like this one because the hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings truly do tell the type of stories that are not told elsewhere. For example, in episodes over the last couple years, the hosts have told stories about everything from Josephine Baker’s “rainbow tribe” to an oral history of the song “Knuck If You Buck.” Where else have you heard or read those stories? Probably nowhere.
Highlights Blackness by digging deeper into stories that we don’t hear enough about. Hosts Leila Day and Hana Baba discuss what it means to be Black and how we talk about our Black experiences through conversations between the two, as well as experts and Black people across the diaspora. A recent episode examined the word “hotep,”—its meaning and how its use has changed over the years.
In this show, co-hosts Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali talk about race, gender, and Muslim life in the United States. They cover topics ranging from politics to pop culture, inviting guests to discuss issues that affect their lives as Muslims, along with the multiple other identities that intersect with their religion. On pop culture, the hosts recently had filmmaker Nijla Mu’min on as a guest. They discussed Mu’min’s debut feature film Jinn, which is a coming-of-age story about a Black Muslim girl. And more recently, they interviewed Malika Hook Muhammad, a D.C.-based doula who talked about how the medical system fails women of color and what she and others are doing to make better outcomes.
The podcast that brings intersectionality to life
Hosts FavyFav and Babelito discuss issues related to the intersectionality between queer, Latinx, and Spanglish voices. They approach topics that include identity, food, family, and history in a responsible and humorous way. In a recent episode, the hosts talk with Edgar Villanueva (who we’ve also interviewed) about decolonizing wealth, the topic of his book of the same name. In another episode, they discuss fat representation in the media with hosts of the podcast Cabronas y Chingonas.
Long Distance Radio explores what it means to be Filipino outside of the Philippines— if you lived there and left, or if you’ve never been there. Its creator Paola Mardo and co-producer Patrick Epino aim for each episode to “[move] beyond typical immigrant narratives to share thoughtful tales of love, loss, history, and humor.” In its first season, episodes have covered what it means to be unapologetically Filipino American and the history and future of Little Manila in Stockton, California.
Look out for Self Evident, a show that is in the works. Its creators already started reporting and recently wrapped a crowdfunding campaign to support its production. Self-Evident will to tell stories about “what it means to be American, by telling stories by and about Asian Americans.” On the podcast’s Instagram page, the team has been posting episode sneak peeks. They plan to explore the complexity of “Asian American” identity, internalized racism, and the American dream.
Code Switch is a podcast that tackles issues of race head-on. Race and pop culture. Race and sports. Race and politics. Whatever the intersection, hosts Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby dive into difficult conversations, bringing honesty and nuance to subjects including confronting racism among friends, “mixed-status” families who face deportation, the ban on cockfighting in Puerto Rico, xenophobia against Asian Americans, and a plan for reparations.
Listen: “What Does ‘Hood Feminism’ Mean for a Pandemic?,” a conversation with author Mikki Kendall about what feminism practiced by women of color can teach the mainstream feminist movement.
Amanda Seales tackles serious issues of racism, sexism, police brutality, and addiction, infusing thorny conversations with humanity and wit. Balancing such fare with humor is no easy feat, but Seales, who has a master’s in African American studies from Columbia, does it deftly.
It’s Been a Minute describes itself as “a talk show with a heart”—but it’s a show that also has brains and courage. Hosted by the wildly charismatic Sam Sanders, It’s Been a Minute features lively conversations with celebrities, writers, and other public figures including Samin Nosrat, Nicole Byer, Regina King, Maya Erskine, and Jeremy O. Harris. Sanders also hosts weekly wraps of the news with other journalists, reporting on coronavirus, Capitol Hill, the U.S. census, and more.
Akilah Hughes breaks down the biggest news stories of the day with precision and humor. The hosts of What a Day know that listeners are busy (or just have short attention spans), so they pack reportage, analysis, and often a healthy amount of jokes into 15-minute episodes.
Listen: “Racism Cont’d,” a serious episode that addresses the murder of George Floyd and the confrontation of Christian Cooper this week. It’s an urgent listen that should be followed with a read of Hughes’s accompanying Instagram post.
Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham—a critic-at-large for the New York Times and a culture writer for the New York Times Magazine, respectively—discuss all things culture, each episode providing a smart exploration of current trends and events. There’s a particular focus on television and film, which will please pop-culture fans who crave dedicated analyses of all their favorites: one episode compares the T.V. show Watchmen to the movie Parasite, while another examines the portrayal of masculinity as mental illness in Joker, Succession, and Fight Club.
Jemele Hill, a former ESPN reporter and SportsCenter anchor, made waves in 2017 when she called President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter and was subsequently suspended from her post at the sports network. She brings this same tenacity to her podcast, which is about to launch its second season. Unbothered was born out of Hill’s desire to “have interesting conversations with compelling people,” and the first season’s guests included notable figures such as Stacey Abrams, Soledad O’Brien, Lakeith Stanfield, Trina, Snoop Dogg, Cory Booker, and Larry Wilmore. Honest and unfiltered, Hill applies her interviewing expertise to the realms of news, pop culture, and politics.
Nikole Hannah-Jones recently won a Pulitzer Prize for creating this ongoing initiative, which reexamines the legacy of slavery in the United States (the title refers to the year, 401 years ago, that the first enslaved Africans arrived in America). Rigorously researched, well-written, and artfully produced, the show lays bare the often-overlooked history of black America.
Listen: “The Economy That Slavery Built,” which reveals how the institution of slavery turned America into a financial powerhouse.
Best-selling authors Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist) and Tressie McMillan Cottom (Thick) team up with executive producer Keisha Dutes to bring their incisive cultural commentary to audio, hosting guests who have included Nobel Peace Prize winners, comedians, journalists, politicians, and showrunners alike. The podcast also benefits from the fact that both hosts are college professors, meaning they are experts at facilitating conversations that are directed, yet still feel candid and off the cuff. Listeners should note that this podcast is only available through a subscription to Luminary—however, they can sign up for a seven-day free trial.
focuses on race, gender, and class within the food industry.