The start of February means the beginning of Black History Month—an annual celebration to acknowledge and commemorate the achievements of Black Americans and the impact they continue to have on our nation! Black Americans and their backgrounds have historically been excluded from mainstream media, which is why podcasts that illuminate the realities and stories of the Black experience are critically important. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge on Black history and the contemporary issues Black people face, check out these eight diverse podcasts that cover history, culture, and civil rights events as well as the impact of racism, trauma, and discrimination on the lives of Black people.
1. Black History Year
Black History Year is a podcast for anyone looking to learn about Black history, culture, and how racism has impacted the lives of Black Americans. According to the description, “Black History Year connects you to the history, thinkers, and activists that are left out of the mainstream conversations.” Topics include the meaning of Juneteenth, police brutality, and more. This podcast is produced by PushBlack, the nation’s largest nonprofit media company.
2. Witness Black History
Witness Black History features the stories of witnesses of—or those with close ties to—significant Black and civil rights history events. For instance, the episode focused on the Death of Trayvon Martin was told through the lens of Trayvon’s high school friend Ashley Burch. The podcast is produced by BBC World Service, which produces a high volume of podcasts ranging from topics like history and true crime to tv shows and more.
3. School Colors
School Colors is a narrative podcast that follows generations of parents and educators who are advocating for educational equity in Central Brooklyn. Topics include charter schools, gentrification, standardized testing, and more. Created by Mark Winston Griffith and Max Freedman, it won Best Podcast of the Year from The Atlantic in 2019. If you’re interested in learning how race and class influence the quality of the American education system, this one is for you.
4. Balanced Black Girl
Named a Top Mindfulness Pick of 2022 by Apple Podcasts, Balanced Black Girl focuses on topics pertaining to self-care, wellness, and personal development from a Black woman’s perspective. Host Les uses her background as a fitness instructor and personal trainer to guide listeners in weekly mindfulness. If you’re looking for tangible tips on practicing self-care and financial wellness—or if you want to learn about the experiences and daily personal, social, economic, and psychological challenges impacting Black women—this podcast is a must-listen.
5. Black Girl Blueprint
Black Girl Blueprint provides listeners an opportunity to learn about the unique perspectives, experiences, and accomplishments of young Black Gen Z women. Topics include how Black girls deal with generational trauma, imposter syndrome, and more. Hosted by Lauren Ritchie and Makeen Zachery, this podcast showcases how young Black girls influence culture in a way they only know how.
6. TransLash Podcast
Imara Jones’s TransLash Podcast features the stories and histories of Black trans people and allies as well as the inequities impacting the transgender community and how to create a more just society. Topics include transgender violence and creating more equitable health policies for trans people. Episodes are produced by TransLash Media, a trans-led organization that seeks to save trans lives by spreading the power of personal narratives to effect change for the transgender community.
7. Blackbelt Voices
Blackbelt Voices honors the history and contemporary culture and events impacting Black people in the South. This part of the US has always been a contentious and significant feature of the Black experience—both a place of pervasive racism and a region where the Black population and culture are widespread. The Blackbelt refers to the fertile plain stretching from central Alabama to northern Mississippi, denoting the historic area where cotton production on slave plantations was central to economic production. This podcast features first-person narratives of Black southerners living and creating their own legacy and reconciling with their own history.
8. Intersectionality Matters!
Intersectionality Matters! is hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and professor at Columbia University Law School who coined the term “intersectionality”—which refers to how multiple social identities like race, class, gender, and more interact to form cumulative impacts of racism and discrimination. This podcast covers historic and contemporary ills impacting the Black community, including stories on violence against Black women, Black voter suppression, and more.
Podcasts are an excellent and accessible way to learn about, honor, and celebrate Black history. This February and beyond, make a commitment to learn more about Black history and the Black experience any way you can. Happy Black History Month to the CollegeXpress community!
Continue to learn and celebrate this month and beyond with all the content we have under the "Black history” tag.