Conversations about race are crucial for everyone. 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.
Juneteenth (19 June) celebrates the end of slavery in America, marking the day when slaves in Texas found out they had been liberated. While the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation officially freed slaves, this news wasn’t communicated to enslaved Africans in Texas until two years later in June 1865.
Although this is a historic day still celebrated by many, it is not a federal holiday. However, amid nationwide anti-racism protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, there are calls to institute it as an official holiday in 2020.
Of course, coronarvirus means physical celebrations and events are limited, but people can still mark the day in continuing to watch, listen and learn from conversations around race. Podcasts are a great tool to help educate ourselves and amplify black voices: from the funny to the informative to the thought-provoking.
We’ve put together a list of the best podcasts, both American and British, where you’ll find these conversations; those about the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond.
Best podcasts about race
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.
Global News Podcast
Keep up to date with the big stories around the world with the BBC’s Global News Podcast. It has been covering the protests in much detail, giving political analysis and reports from the ground. New episodes are delivered twice a day on weekdays and daily at weekends.
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.
The Gurls Talk Podcast
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.
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.
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…