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Two PRX Podcasts, including from Radiotopia and from Reveal and PRX, Named 2022 Peabody Awards Nominees

“Radiotopia Presents: S***hole Country” is an audio memoir from anonymous independent creator Afia Kaakyire. “Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe” is an investigative podcast and public radio series from Reveal and PRX

The Peabody Awards today announced two audio series distributed by PRX as nominees as part of their 82nd annual awards, including the Radiotopia podcast series Radiotopia Presents: S***hole Country and the investigative podcast and public radio series Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe from Reveal.

Celebrating the best stories across media that reflect today’s pressing social issues and vibrant emerging voices, the Peabody Awards are a testament to the power of art and reportage in the push for truth, social justice, and equity.

S***hole Country” — a multi-part audio memoir about achieving the Ghanaian-American dream — was created by anonymous producer Afia Kaakyire and debuted in October 2021. The series was released from “Radiotopia Presents,” part of the Radiotopia from PRX as a podcast feed and home for new limited series from independent producers, where creators retain 100% ownership and creative control of their intellectual property.

“I’m incredibly honored, and wow, the cognitive dissonance is real! This project has lived in my head for so long. Thank you to everyone involved in the Peabody judging process for spending time with my story,” said Kaakyire. “I would love to use my real name in accepting this nomination. But I think of the cruel anti-LGBTQI+ bill currently before the Ghanaian Parliament and I don’t feel brave. Angel Maxine is brave. The LBQT Consortium, AfED, Key Watch, LGBT+ Rights Ghana, CEPEHRG, and countless others working to make Ghana a more welcoming place are brave. I want this nomination to lift up their stories, and those of the entire LGBTQI+ Ghanaian community, in anticipation of the day that none of us needs to make an eight-part podcast series arguing for our right to exist.”

“If you heard ‘S***hole Country’ last fall, you know how original, innovative, and beautifully written and produced the series is — big congratulations to Afia and to the production team,” said Julie Shapiro, VP of Editorial at Radiotopia and PRX. “We’re so proud that ‘Radiotopia Presents’ is a home for this work, as it and the Radiotopia podcast network are built for extraordinary independent audio creators and powered by their ingenuity. This recognition from the Peabody Awards is a tremendous honor.”

“Radiotopia Presents: S***hole Country” and self portrait of Afia Kaakyire

Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe” from Reveal and PRX debuted in October 2022 as a seven-part podcast as well as a public radio series aired across more than 540 public media stations. Hosted and co-reported by Al Letson, the series investigates the suspicious death of a 17-year-old Black high school football star from Lucedale, Mississippi following a traffic stop with police in 2008. His story is a reckoning of justice in America.

“Congratulations to Al Letson and the world class reporters and producers of ‘Reveal.’ ‘Mississippi Goddam’ is deeply powerful, personal, and essential listening for all Americans,” said Jason Saldanha, Chief of Business Development and Content at PRX. “We’re proud to serve as public media and podcast partners to ‘Reveal’ as the team consistently brings to light stories that not only need to be told, but heard.”

“Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe” from Reveal and PRX and host Al Letson

About “Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe” from Reveal and PRX:

Sometimes one story can tell you everything about race and justice in America. “Mississippi Goddam: the Ballad of Billey Joe” is that story. With a title inspired by Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem, Reveal weaves the history of the criminal justice system with the case of a Black high school football star who died during a traffic stop with a white deputy.

About “Radiotopia Presents: S***hole Country”:

Afia Kaakyire (LOL not her real name, her parents would kill her) has a decision to make. And by God, her family is going to help her figure this s*** out. Join her in this eight-part podcast series as she forages for guidance in their shared histories — true tales dipped in entrepreneurial dreams, green card anxieties, complicated love, and liberal portions of the world’s best jollof — during a long-awaited trip to Ghana.

PRX is a non-profit media company shaping the future of audio by producing and distributing content, building technology, and training talent.

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PRX brings significant stories to millions of people. We make The Moth Radio Hour, This American Life apps, PRX Remix story stream, Radiotopia, and much more.

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