8 Essential Podcasts That Tackle the Issue of Race

Posted by Sara Spector
(@Sara Spector)

Okay, so you probably aren’t dying to spend your free time thinking about all of the troubling issues that are plaguing our country right now; especially not issues of race. But now more than ever, it’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening in the world and educate yourself on how to tackle important social problems. So, for those days when you’d rather #staywoke than melt your brain with another episode of [insert-lazily-written-comedy-podcast], here’s 8 amazing podcasts that address race in America.

1. Sooo Many White Guys

Hosted by Phoebe Robinson, one of the genius ladies behind 2 Dope Queens, (another podcast you should definitely check out), this interview-based podcast series seeks to challenge the straight-white-male-dominated podcast industry. Each episode features interviews with guests that are female, of color, and/or from the LGBTQ community. But Robinson doesn’t seclude herself to a bubble of diversity. In order to ensure everyone’s voice gets heard, she has one token white dude on for one episode each season, you know, to stand up for “the little guy.”

2. The Combat Jack Show

This podcast is great for someone who may not want an overdose of social activism in their podcasts right away. Centered around iconic hip-hop guests such as Ice Cube, Cardi B, and Ty Dolla Sign, The Combat Jack Show also includes interviews with important activists for racial equality, and highlights the points where music and politics intersect. Hip-hop enthusiasts and social activists alike will love this podcast hosted by the former-editor of The Source.

3. Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race

Unfortunately, after a solid 2 year run, this podcast was not renewed for another season due to scheduling issues. However, there’s an arsenal of 2 years’ worth of material for you to catch up on, so it’s still definitely worth a listen. With a pretty literal title, this podcast discusses the current racial climate in America and how people, from prominent political figures to everyday citizens, discuss issues of race. It’s a must-listen for anyone who wants to learn more about how to approach and dissect racial problems.

4. Another Round

Hosted by Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu, two of the most badass WOCs you’ll ever meet, this podcast is as real as it gets. From discussions with important contemporary voices such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and Hillary Clinton, to casual chats about fruit, squirrels, and wine, there’s nowhere this podcast won’t go. Be prepared, because anything could happen.

5. Intersection

Hosted by visionary Jamil Smith, this podcast examines identity through various points of intersection. Race, gender, socioeconomic status–these are just some of the points of intersection that Smith explores in order to help others gain a greater understanding of themselves. He also includes discussions with journalists, activists, politicians, and everyday people. This podcast is the real deal!

6. TWiB (This Week in Blackness)

Remember earlier when I said that Another Round is as real as it gets? Well, I may have spoken too soon. From politics, to religion, to racial justice, to activism, TWiB explores every corner of the black community. Hosted by Elon James, the legendary host of the web series by the same name, TWiB is “Real Talk. Real Awesome.” Don’t be surprised if you get hooked on all of TWiB’s media platforms after one listen.

7. Code Switch

The hosts of Code Switch aren’t afraid to make you uncomfortable, but don’t worry; they’re here to help. This NPR podcast hosted by journalists of color aims to teach people how to engage in conversations about race in a safe, productive way. But don’t expect them to sugar-coat anything for you. Their one promise is to always be “unflinchingly honest” with their listeners, so be prepared to get #realaf.

8. Best of the Left

For those who may not know which podcast to dive into first, we suggest you start with Best of the Left. Not so much a podcast as it is a playlist, Best of the Left is a collection of all the best liberal podcasts on the scene today. You’ll get a little of everything, from race, to philosophy, to arts, and everything in between, you’ll never get bored with this master-list of podcast gold. We hope you have a comfy pair of headphones, cause you’ll be hooked!

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