For this month’s resource roundup, we’re featuring podcasts. It seems like everyone has an idea for a podcast these days, and it’s easy to see why. Podcasts are bite-sized serial programs that you can stream or download, and listen to from anywhere. They’re amazing opportunities to learn about pretty much anything — especially to expand your anti-racist knowledge. We’ve brought in our friend and podcast expert Alexandra Cohl to share five of her favorite podcasts hosted by Black women:

In the past year, folks have been eagerly seeking out anti-racism educational resources. Spurred by the events of May 25, 2020 involving the murder of George Floyd, people across the nation have rallied to shed light on police brutality and racial discrimination. Now, 11 months later, we not only watched the white police officer be tried for murder, but were able to witness as the jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts. Yet within the same time span that the trial commenced and closed, we learned of yet another Minnesota police officer killing a Black man named Daunte Wright at a routine traffic stop, as well the incidents in which a Chicago police officer murdered a 13-year-old Latino child named Adam Toledo, and a Columbus police officer murdered a 16-year-old Black child named Ma’Khia Bryant.

To say there is much work left to do in this country is an understatement — and I don’t know about you, but sometimes it can feel hard to make an impact and be a catalyst for change. That is when I try to remind myself and others of one major thing: The real impact is the everyday work we do and the choices we make, whether through tough conversations with our family and friends, continuously engaging in self-reflection of our own actions and thoughts, or actively choosing to diversify the stories and life experiences we read, watch, or listen to.  

That’s where podcasts come in. I am a huge believer in podcasts as a medium for accessible learning, as well as a space for challenging one’s own biases and for building emotional intelligence. Plus, they can be a lot of fun, too. In thinking about anti-racist action and not just education, part of that starts with listening to Black women and enacting what we have learned into our daily practice. As I have heard time and again in my research of Black feminism and in listening to Black leaders: When Black women are free from oppression, we are all free from oppression. And, specifically Black trans women and the most marginalized within already marginalized communities.

Below is a curated list of some of my top five favorite podcasts hosted by Black women. And, let me be very clear: these women are not all anti-racist educators and not all of these podcasts are “serious” or “education-based.” The podcasts range in genre and topics because we need to listen to Black women speak about joy, culture, love, sex, relationships, mental health, comedy, politics — all of that and more. We need to listen to them share their full experience. 

  1. NATAL 
    1. “NATAL” is a docuseries co-hosted and co-produced by Gabrielle Horton and Martina Abrahams Ilunga. The first season explores a diverse range of Black birthing stories from pregnancy loss to advocating for oneself throughout pregnancy. Each story captures the resilience of Black folks, the history of pregnancy and systemic racism in this country, and solutions that we can start to put in place. The NATAL team is currently working on their second season which will focus on Black birthing parents and stories specifically in Rural America and is set to launch later this year. 
    2. Start with: One: Myeshia’s Story
  1. Imperfectly Phenomenal Woman 
    1. “Imperfect Phenomenal Woman” is all about women breaking down limiting beliefs and reframing those beliefs into new ways of thinking so that they can live more authentic lives. Each week, host Lauren Williams interviews a woman about a particular limiting belief she has been or is grappling with and they talk through her story behind it, while also exploring questions together that ultimately help them with the reframe at the end of the episode. This podcast shows us just how many limiting beliefs we can have and how we can move past them. 
    2. Start with: Dating 101: You Can(‘t) Date Yourself
  1. Intersectionality Matters! 
    1. “Intersectionality Matters!” is hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, who developed the theory of intersectionality — something you may have been hearing more and more in the past few years. As a lawyer, civil rights advocate and a scholar of critical race theory, Crenshaw is the perfect person to help you really dive into some education. Her podcast features nuanced conversations with activists, scholars, and other folks to really explore the state of our world and the impactful work that they do.
    2. Start with: 24. Storytelling While Black and Female: Conjuring Beautiful Experiments in Past and Future Worlds
  1. This is Good For You 
    1. “This is Good For You” is hosted by one of my all-time favorite hosts Nichole Perkins (she was also the co-host of Thirst Aid Kit — another great podcast that explores female sexual desire and the fun that can come along with that). For this new podcast,  Nichole “wants people to stop feeling bad about feeling good” and empower people to explore “all the ways we find pleasure in life.” Conversations feature experts as well as regular folks who just love the things they do.
    2. Start with:  Ep 3: Plants are Good for You 
  1. Marsha’s Plate: Black Trans Podcast
    1. “Marsha’s Plate” is hosted by Diamond Stylz, Mia Mix, and Zee and calls itself a Black trans podcast that “centers the Black perspective.” They break down cultural moments, politics, current events, and more from a Black trans feminist lens — sometimes just the three of them or sometimes with a guest. They are hilarious and insightful and continue to challenge these societal norms and expectations that actively harm the trans community. 
    2. Start with: #164 Creating Trans Joy feat. Aria Sa’id and Mariah Moore

A longer, more comprehensive list of podcasts by Black women can be found in my original post on POD.DRALAND. POD.DRALAND is a website dedicated to uplifting podcasts hosted by women. Learning from women in podcasting, I share episodes that have impacted me in order to amplify the work of these women, both established and new in the industry.

Mochi magazine’s Black Allyship @ Mochi column is an ongoing project that urges an awareness of racial injustice in the United States, particularly the oppression of Black people in America. The articles, resources and opinions we share are a call to action, an open discussion, and a place to take a stance against anti-Black racism. Read more about the column here.

We want Black Allyship @ Mochi to spark productive conversation. We want to know how we can do better: Feel free to email the co-editors at giannina.ong@mochimag.com. 

Photo credit: Neil Godding//Unsplash

Author

  • Alexandra Cohl is the founder and editor-in-chief of POD.DRALAND, an online platform dedicated to amplifying the diverse voices of women in podcasting. She provides PR and social media strategy services to podcasters and is the host of The Pod Broads: A Podcast About Women in Podcasting.