It has been a couple of months since we shared our resource list, “Listen, Learn and Amplify,” where we had compiled a list of resources to educate ourselves on Black history and culture. I have been listening to a lot of podcasts during the past couple of months and wanted to pop in to share what I have been listening to, watching and reading.
I understand the privilege I have by being able to learn about these painful experiences through research instead of living through them. I believe it is important to educate ourselves as I feel we are a part of the problem and the best way we can support the Black community and create change is to listen, learn and amplify so that we can create a world where we can all live equally.
I hope you are as big of a fan of podcasts as I am because its the majority of my list today! If you have any recommendations, please feel free to share!
I have started off my list with this article and video, “What is the right term? Black vs. BIPOC vs. African American vs. POC vs. BAME” by Gabby from Packs Light, I thought it would be helpful to start at the terminology and learn from there.
What is the right term? Black vs. BIPOC vs African American vs POC vs BAME” by Gabby from Packs Light.
This was a helpful video and article that goes straight to the point of explaining the difference between Black vs. BIPOC vs. African American vs. POC vs. BAME and made it easy to understand. This video is a great starting point but it is also good to find additional sources online to learn more about terminologies and the histories behind them. As Gabby stated in the description of this video “There are complex ideas behind these terms and they can be confusing, but they are worth researching and trying to understand if you intend to use them.” If you would like to see Gabby’s video click here, to read the article version which is more detailed and up to date click here.
Now that we have an understanding of the terminology, I have listed a bunch of great podcasts and other resources below that I found educational and helpful to know more about Black culture and history:
If you read our June monthly faves, you will remember I recommended this podcast episode then, it’s still a fave so I have added it to this list as well! It seems that as more people are having conversations about Black culture and their history, I was finding it hard to come across conversations that were unfiltered and wouldn't make people uncomfortable. We can't grow and educate ourselves if we filter our conversations to make people comfortable and this podcast episode was definitely unfiltered - which was exactly what I was hoping for. This episode was as if you were listening to two Black friends having a conversation in a safe space. These are the kind of conversations we need and I think Emmanuel Dzotsi did such an amazing job on this episode - I even listened to it twice because it was so interesting and informative. This episode talked about how Black people across America are receiving Venmo payments from white people as an apology for their reparations.
Nancy is a podcast that features queer stories and conversations and is hosted by two best friends. I recently started listening to this series and found that this episode helped me learn more about Black Trans history and their community. This podcast is the perfect listen to help celebrate the LBGTQ community by knowing more about their history!
Nora, the host of Terrible Thanks for Asking, with permission, has reposted this panel discussion that spotlights the trauma on Black Americans and how it intersects with policing. I really appreciate that Nora reposted this and the conversation comes from a Black perspective so we can understand more about the trauma the Black community endures daily and listen to how we can support their community. This episode was really informative and a great resource to actively listen to, it was hosted by Angela Davis, in conversation with Resmaa Menakem, Justin Terrell and Brittany Lewis
This is a great historical listen to understand how public blackface has been in the past and present, it is crazy to think that a book like this sold millions of copies and yet I have never heard about the history of this book and how problematic it is. This episode on Radio Diaries discusses how journalistic blackface has happened in history and continues to happen today. In this episode, Radio Diaries teams up with Code Switch to discuss Grace Halsell’s book, which was published in 1969 and is about Grace, a white woman who pretends to live as a Black woman to get a Black perspective, it sold millions of copies. This episode discusses questions that are still relevant today about race and the limits of empathy.
The episode, My Brother’s Keeper, discusses how Black men have specific obstacles in America that no other people can relate to, it focuses on why mentorship is important and how it makes a noticeable difference to people. This podcast, Le Soap Box, is a great resource that is dedicated to informing young people, particularly young Black people, on subjects that affect them every day.
The Nod is one of my favourite podcasts, unfortunately, they no longer are making any new episodes because good news - the hosts and best friends Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings now have their own TV show. This is a great resource that tells stories about Black lives that don’t get told anywhere else and is hosted by two best friends. This podcast comes with a lot of educational information and is told with a great sense of humour, Brittany and Eric celebrate the resilience, culture and genius that comes with being Black in America and around the world.
Radiolab is another one of my favourite podcasts because whenever I listen to it I always feel so much smarter than I think I am, they make understanding difficult topics easy and interesting to listen to. Their sense of storytelling and the way they sound edit their episodes is so clever. Here are episodes that they have released on Black culture and history that I have found really informative:
Graham | This episode explores the origin of the reasonable officer standard and how the meaning has changed over time.
Birdie in the Cage | Reported by Tracie Hunte, this episode discusses the history of square dancing and talks about how it originates. This episode was produced by Annie McEwen, Tracie Hunt and Matt Kielty, mixed by Jeremy Bloom.
This Reply All episode is a bit older, it is from 2016 but it is still relevant today. Leslie Miley was a college dropout who ended up working as Twitter’s only black engineer in a position of leadership. In this episode, they discuss how important diversity is and how this is lacking in many worlds but especially the Tech one.
Here is another great episode from Terrible Thanks for Asking, to overview, this podcast talks about sad and hard situations that happen in people’s lives but normalizes these tough and uncomfortable conversations by creating safe spaces. This episode focuses on a KKK rally that happened in Charlottesville in 2017 and discusses how a protester, Constance, wanted to protest her rights for Black equality, instead she ended up being the face of the event. Constance’s story shows us how we cannot always control our own stories but how we can take ownership of them.
If you have read our June faves, you may remember me recommending this podcast. Here are some episodes that I have found informative and educational on how money relates to Black culture and their history:
The Fight for Fair Pay in Big Tech | Ifeoma Ozoma used to work at Pinterest, this episode focuses on her fight against the racial pay gap at Pinterest and opens up the conversation about the lack of diversity and pay in these Tech companies.
It’s Expensive to get Arrested | This episode talks about how a teenager lands in jail after protesting her rights for Black equality and the fight for justice.
From Prison to Pandemic | A wrongfully convicted man, Kevin Harrington, talks to Reema, the host of This is Uncomfortable, about what it is like to go from being wrongfully incarcerated to being quarantined in a pandemic.
The Windrush Generation refers to 1948-1971 when people who lived in Commonwealth countries like the Caribbean were invited to the UK by the government to help with the labour shortage due to World War II. In 1973 a new law passed that allowed Commonwealth citizens and their children to have the automatic right to live in the UK, many of them did without any additional documentation. Within the past decade, the UK government has abolished the Windrush documents and with laws changing, the government is now asking for proof from its citizens. Since the Windrush Generation was not given these documents, many of these people have been deported back to their country, wrongfully detained, refused medical care and unable to work even though the government had said they were UK citizens.
This was a difficult concept for me to understand, I only heard about this within the past couple of months when I was watching ITV news and heard about Windrush Day, I was shocked that I had not heard about it before and was surprised that more people were not talking about it.
I started to look into it more and came across Windrush Generation by Gab with Gwen, it helped me understand the details and pain of this situation. I would definitely recommend listening to this episode, as it gives a Black perspective on the Windrush scandal and makes it easier to follow along if you have not heard about it before.
To see another short clip from ITV news, that recaps who the Windrush Generation is and what is happening now, click here.
It looks like Gwen has a lot of informative episodes, I will be checking more of her podcast as it is a great way to know more about Black culture and history through a Black perspective.
If you were able to listen to the end Windrush Generation, by Gab with Gwen, you will know that Gwen discusses the differences of living in the UK, USA and Canada from a Black perspective. I think many of us think that Canada is great and racism does not exist here, it is a great place to live but we have a lot of mistakes that we have made in the present and the past with Indigenous people, their land and how we have and currently treat Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. This is something that still happens today and it is important to remember our past and try to make active moves to better ourselves in the present.
What has happened on Instagram and within the world in the past couple of months with #BlackoutTuesday and Black Lives Matter protests have been a great way to rally people together to listen and support the Black community, but the work does not stop there, this is not a trend. To support the Black community we must continue to grow and make changes in our own lives and by actively showing up through:
1. Educating ourselves
2. Having conversations that are uncomfortable
3. Being an ally by supporting and actively listening to how we can help the Black community
4. Creating more diverse spaces
5. Highlighting and supporting Black-owned stores, books, movies, art etc..
As we learned in the Raising the Bar podcast episode, diversity may be a hard thing to create in a workspace, government, community or school but it is worth the hard work. Many people don’t want to be the first to create more diversity because it takes time, the system is against you and they want to jump to the end result without having to do the work, but we have to be inclusive, slow and patient to create change.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out our full list of resources, click here. I have personally watched and read the following and they were all really informative:
BLACKkKANSMAN | Spike Lee (movie)
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, I understand the privilege I have by being able to research what the Black community has had to endure and that because of the colour of my skin, I don’t have to live in fear for my life and encounter these racial injustices and that is a privilege.
I am grateful for being able to hear these stories throughout these podcasts to help us become more aware and educated in supporting the Black community and wanted to say thank you to anyone who shared their story.
I hope you found this as helpful as I did, there are so many more resources out there to share and learn. I would love to write another post about more podcasts, reading and watching material that I find in the upcoming months that are connected to Canada and BIPOC’s different cultures and histories.