If you believe that #BlackLivesMatter, it’s not enough to merely post a black square or post protest photos and links on your Instagram Stories. As allies, it is imperative to support and advocate for Black People in America through our votes, our donations, and the media that we choose to consume. You can sign a petition, donate to your local bail fund or Black Lives Matter, purchase from Black-owned restaurants, stores, and businesses. Start at home by having tough conversations with friends and family members who may be either blissfully unaware or militantly vocal about their implicit biases. Stream movies, support Black artists on Patreon, and subscribe to podcasts from Black creators.
We’ve curated a list of podcasts to get you started and would love to hear additional recommendations you all may have. At Random, we are committed to educating ourselves and our clients on how to be better allies and responsible global citizens. While you make your way through these trailers, take a moment to ensure that you are registered to vote for the upcoming primary and general elections. And while you’re at it — fill out the 2020 Census. It’s never been more important.
1. Scam Goddess
Scam Goddess is a podcast dedicated to exposing fraud and all those who practice it. Each week, host Laci Mosley keeps listeners up to date on current rackets, digs deep into the latest scams, and breaks down historic hoodwinks alongside some of your favorite comedians. Every episode starts with a recent scam, funny story, or letter from a listener. My favorite episode so far featured Jameela Jamil and was released during quarantine. Together they broke down the scam from Caroline Calloway — the Instagram influencer who launched a “creativity workshop” that failed in a spectacularly public fashion. Some even called it a one-woman Fyre fest.
2. What A Day
What A Day is a daily podcast that cuts through all the chaos and criminal activity to help you understand important initiatives and how you can contribute– all in just fifteen minutes. The show is hosted by comedian Akilah Hughes and reporter Gideon Resnick. Episodes are available at 5 am every day, so it’s a perfect addition to your morning routine.
3. Keep It!
Keep It! has been around since 2018, which means there are SO MANY great episodes to binge. Each week, hosts Ira Madison III, Louis Virtel, and Aida Osman discuss the ways pop culture and the entertainment industry intersect with politics and society. They’re joined by insanely popular guests on every episode — Issa Rae, Tim Gunn, Ronan Farrow, and Angela Bassett just to name a few. In a recent episode with Bowen Yang, the Keep It! hosts discuss #BlackLivesMatter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, #BlackoutTuesday, and more. If you’re a white person with questions about substantive allyship, give this episode a listen.
This podcast is a must-listen for the inner nerd inside us all — whether you like virtual reality or Dungeons & Dragons. Each episode focuses on a nerdy topic and is hosted by Dani Fernandez and Ify Nwadiwe. Whenever I listen to an episode of Nerdificent, I feel like I’m nerding out with friends and it’s just pure, unadulterated fun. And if that wasn’t enough, they also break down the history, culture, and future of every topic. Below is one of my favorite episodes on my guilty pleasure: Pokémon
5. Margaritas & Donuts
If you love romantic comedies, this podcast is for you! Faith McQuinn created this sensational audiodrama about dating over age 40. The story centers around Josephine, her best friend Katrina, and her love interest named Malik. The casting, sound effects and masterful storytelling really sucks you in — I’m not even embarrassed to say that I binged all 6 episodes in one day.
6. Code Switch
NPR’s Code Switch tackles the subject of race head-on — how race impacts politics, pop culture, history, sports, and everything in between. It’s an extremely impactful and important examination of the structures that shape our lives, whether or not we are conscious of them. To keep up with the latest around the protests, #BlackLivesMatter, and policing, subscribe to the podcast, but also follow @CodeSwitch on Twitter. You won’t regret it.
If romcoms aren’t your thing, you should definitely check out Boom: A Serial Drama, another audiodrama created by Faith McQuinn. BOOM is an exploration of loss and recovery. Porter, a computer technician and outdoor enthusiast, must come to terms with the tragic murder of his best friend—and love of his life—Genevieve. It’s far from an easy road for Porter who suffers through a harrowing physical recovery as well as a mental one. The lead detective on the case believes Porter is the killer, and his two best friends are trying their hardest to get him to resemble the guy he once was. This story was a great commute podcast for me, and I highly recommend it as a switch up from Audible.
8. The Nod
While this podcast is no longer actively producing episodes, it’s still on our top 10 list due to the amazing stories of Black life and culture that don’t get told anywhere else. The show ranges from an explanation of purple drink’s association with Black culture to the story of an interracial drag troupe that traveled the nation in the 1940s. They celebrate the genius, the innovation, and the resilience that is so particular to being Black — in America, and around the world. If you’re a white person looking to expand your knowledge and understanding of the Black experience in America , this podcast is a must-listen.
9. Why Won’t You Date Me?
I have been a fan of Nicole Byer since her days on Girl Code in 2013. Her career in TV has skyrocketed since then, and like her other projects, this podcast doesn’t disappoint. Perpetually single, Nicole invites her friends, comedians, and ex-lovers to interview them about their love lives. Below is one of my favorite episodes with Ann Payne where they discuss a guy she met in AA who ended up in prison for arson. And when you’re finished binging her podcast, check out Nicole Byer’s original show on Facebook Watch called Loosely, Exactly, Nicole. It ended 2 years ago, but it’s worth every second of your attention.
10. Ear Hustle
Ear Hustle is a partnership between Nigel Poor, a visual artist, and Earlonne Woods, formerly incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison, and was co-founded with former San Quentin resident Antwan Williams. The show takes a deep dive into the life of prisoners at San Quentin State Prison with most episodes recorded inside prison walls. Ear Hustle reveals deep insight into the American prison system and the cultural factors that influence recidivism in the U.S. One of my favorite episodes in the latest season is called “Hold That Space.” In this episode, Nigel and Earlonne interview four women in relationships with incarcerated men and the unique challenges they face.