Conversations about race are crucial for everyone through Black History Month and beyond. From news and culture to life and history, these are some of the best podcasts that discuss experiences of black communities in both the UK and America.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are just three names of the people who have been killed because of racism in recent years. It’s clear that real change still needs to happen in order to defeat racism. As anti-racist allies, we can only continue to learn, understand, grow and act in playing our part in the battle. And the best way we can even start to achieve this is simply by listening.
If knowledge is power; listening is the weapon that will help us get there.
Best podcasts about race
ANTHEMS Black is a collection of 31 original manifestos, speeches, stories, poems, and rallying cries written and read by vibrant, unique, and exceptional UK Black voices. Prominent UK voices such as Afua Hirsch, Munya Chawawa, Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff and Jade Anouka explore Blackness through each short episode.
Black Ballad Presents: The Survival Guide
The Survival Guide is a podcast all about surviving the daily ups and downs that come with navigating motherhood as a Black woman in the 21st century. Digital media company Black Ballad’s head of editorial, Jendella Benson, talks to different Black women including Kelechi Okafor, Liz Pemberton (aka The Black Nursery Manager) and Tobi Asare (founder of MyBumpPay) about fertility, dating, money and everything in between.
Black Gals Livin'
Jas and Victoria have hosted Black Gals Livin’ since 2018, chatting about mental health, pop culture and “random shenanigans”. Through funny but frank conversations, they particularly focus on issues affecting or involving the black community.
About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race author Reni Eddo-Lodge recorded About Race to deep dive into the conversations in her vital book. Although it was a one-off series, this is an essential listen to revisit.
Come Through with Rebecca Carroll
Writer Rebecca Carroll (Sugar in the Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America, Saving the Race: Conversations on Du Bois) wants us to acknowledge that race is at the centre of every issue in America. The series features 15 essential conversations about race in a pivotal year for America, where Carroll speaks to experts and fellow journalists.
Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. No aspect of the country that would be formed in America has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. 1619 is a New York Times audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, examines the long shadow of that fateful moment.
America’s National Public Radio flagship podcast, Code Switch, is about race and culture. It takes on race and racism across a spectrum of identities and includes personal stories, historical context, and impactful analysis on the challenging past and present of race in America.
Mixed Up hosts Emma Slade Edmondson and Nicole Ocran started the podcast out of a frustration over not being able to find stories about the lived experience of mixed race people. The show is about straddling two worlds and multiple identities, unpicking the nitty gritty and opening up an inclusive dialogue. It’s a warm space filled with real insight, shared experiences and a lot of belly laughing along the way.
No Country for Young Women
Sadia Azmat and Monty Onanuga describe No Country For Young Women as a podcast that tackles “life, love and work in a white man’s world”. The pair “work out how we balance our identities as British women of colour” and no subject is off limits.
Say Your Mind
Tackling discussions on race in a truly unique way, actor Kelechi Okafor presents Say Your Mind. She takes on Tarot card readings, current events and pop culture with unapologetic and no-nonsense chat. It’s very funny, but also carries strong messages about big issues.
Pod Save The People
Hosted by organiser and activist DeRay Mckesson, Pod Save the People offers a salient analysis of the day’s headlines and their deeper impact on race, society, and culture. They also give direction on how to take action on issues.
The United States of Anxiety
The United States of Anxiety started as a series that reported on the extreme polarisation visible in the lead up to the 2016 American election. It continues to take us all the way back to the Civil War, when American first began trying to build a multi-racial democracy, and investigate why we still haven’t arrived today.
The Echo Chamber
Friends Jade and Ez discuss issues that they hope will resonate among black British people, speaking from their perspective as black, working class women.
Her Style Secrets
Fashion bloggers and cousins Amber Leaux and Prinny Rae are the voices behind fashion and lifestyle podcast, Her Style Secrets. The hosts usually discuss current trends, celebrity fashion and personal style through funny but important conversations.
In their They See Us Now episode, recorded following Floyd’s death, they powerfully discuss the Black Lives Matter movement, how fashion brands need to be held accountable and race issues within the industry and the wider UK.
Dope Black Mums
Dope Black Mums is a movement to empower black mothers and include them in the mainstream motherhood narrative.
The hosts – Nina Malone, Natalie Duvall, Endy Mckay, Nana-Adwoa Mbeutcha and Carina White – give insight into their experience of modern day motherhood, with top tips, inspirational guests, insightful topics, eye-opening honesty and lots of laughter.
Since its launch in 2016, Tolani Shoneye (Tolly), Milena Sanchez and Audrey Indome have hosted The Receipts, where no topic is off limits.
The podcast’s unfiltered discussions and advice on sex and relationships is exactly what gives it such a refreshingly unique selling point. From dating to race and everyday millennial situations, this is the unadulterated “sisterhood” talk that we need.
The Gurls Talk Podcast
Hosted by activist and model Adwoa Aboah, The Gurls Talk Podcast features different guests as they talk, share, listen and take control of their lives. Covering topics from sex to success, the episodes are motivating, inspirational and thought-provoking.
Slay In Your Lane
The authors of the groundbreaking Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible – Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené – follow-up their widely acclaimed guide with a new fortnightly, topical podcast that addresses current news while continuing to drive the conversation around the experiences of black British women.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…