#GoodReads: What We’re Listening to on Race Equity

Podcasts to Learn About Race & Culture

Racial equity and inclusion are at the forefront of all of our work. Absent an intentional focus on race, the status quo persists and racial gaps only worsen. In practice, this isn’t easy. But there are countless resources out there to help practitioners dedicated to closing racial gaps. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing resources, from podcasts to documentary films to actionable toolkits, which can help you in your own racial equity work.

I didn’t become a big fan of podcasts until recently. I first discovered the About Race Podcast and since then, I’ve been hooked. I’ve found that as an Afro-Latina from New York City, a lot of the stories and conversations are enlightening and validate my own lived experiences.

They’ve helped me see perspectives that I may not have considered before and also inform my activism and spark my interest in racial justice issues. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the easiest ways for you to stay informed–all you have to do is listen. The ones I’ve selected below are a mix of conversations about racial inequity, with some culture and identity politics thrown in.

Another Round

This podcast, produced by Buzzfeed, stars Heben Nigatu and Tracey Clayton. The hosts explore relevant topics in regards to the black American experience, race across the spectrum, culture, gender and a whole flux of other topics.

An episode that I enjoyed was Tracey Clayton’s personal account of attending a predominantly white institution which I could relate to and I think many others might too. The hosts navigate this and other topics with the help of guest stars like Issa Rae and Melissa Harris-Perry who contribute to the conversations with their own experiences and thoughts. This podcast is laugh out loud funny.

Recommended episodes:

Codeswitch

Codeswitch: Race and Identity Remixed is a podcast produced by NPR that covers the intersections of race, gender and identity and explore what these identities mean, how people navigate the spaces they occupy in terms of identity and the ways in which these topics are ever-changing.

One episode that especially stuck out to me was “A Prescription for “Racial Imposter Syndrome” I liked this one because I’ve definitely felt that sense of being a “racial” imposter because of my identity as an Afro-Latina and my journey understanding the different aspects of myself and navigating those identities. This podcast truly has an episode for everyone with an analysis of SZA’s new album “Ctrl,” a step back and look into Philando Castile’s death after one year and a look into how party and place shape views on discrimination.

Recommended episode:

Invisibilia

While this podcast doesn’t specifically talk about race, one episode in particular sheds a light on implicit biases that most people have due to the stereotypes that are perpetuated by society and therefore ingrained in our subconscious. The accounts from people who expressed that they’d thought they were aware of race and prejudice/discrimination described their own experiences with realizing they had implicit bias. It’s a great episode that invites you to reflect on your own implicit biases, how they manifest in your everyday life and what you can do to combat these ideas.

Recommended episode:

Pod Save the People

This podcast is hosted by activist DeRay McKesson who became well-known for his unapologetic and outspoken activism during the beginning stages of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This podcast helps you look at decisions and events in everyday life through a racial equity and inclusion lens. DeRay hosts a number of guests that contribute insights to the current state of politics–Senator Cory Booker being one example.

He also has celebrities like John Legend on his show and discusses topics like women’s reproductive rights and mass incarceration. I’ve found that the content on this podcast provides great building blocks for people to build their activism and develop their competencies about hot topics that affect people of color daily like battles over healthcare legislation and education budgets. This podcast is a must listen with incredible insights and food for thought.

Recommended episodes:

Race Matters

Another NPR production, Race Matters addresses race in a world that is often afraid to even say the word. Their approach in naming and addressing oppressive systems head on results in many rich conversations with leading intellectuals like Dr. George Yancy, Patricia Hill Collins, and Doctor Mariana Ortega where they explore things that aren’t discussed by main stream media like black, Latina and white feminism and what the difference in those ideologies is and why they’re separate to begin with. One of my favorite episodes features the above mentioned Patricia Hill Collins where she discusses her book Black Feminist Thought which personally was one of the most rewarding and insightful reads of my life. She explains her need to write the book and what she means by the phrase black feminism.

Recommended episode:

A Conversation About Conversations About Race

Also simply known as About Race, this podcast is hosted by Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Tanner Colby and Raquel Cepeda, who also happens to be the author of one of my favorite books, “How I Became Latina”. The hosts discuss the ways in which we discuss, avoid and think about the topic of race. Beyond that they discuss culture, privilege, identity and how those subjects interact with one another. Unfortunately, this show is no longer releasing new episodes but they have a number and a variety of episodes that you can still listen to.

Recommended episode:

Also worth a listen is Living Cities’ own podcast “Voicing Race.” There are two episodes out right now: an insightful account on storytelling in the media and how five local governments are tackling racial equity. Please stay updated with us as we continue to release more episodes.

Do you have a favorite podcast on race? Let us know by tweeting @Living_Cities with the hashtag #podcasts4race

This piece was originally published on the Living Cities blog.