13 Podcasts To Listen To This Black History Month (And Every Month)
Whether you're interested in learning Black history facts you weren't taught in school, or soaking in discussions about social issues and pop culture, there are countless ways to educate yourself. You could read books like Saeed Jones' How We Fight For Our Lives, a memoir about coming of age as a gay Black man, and spend a Saturday at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (or another black history museum near you). If you prefer listening, consider podcasts during Black History Month, and in doing so, support Black artists and journalists.
Back in 2012, NPR touched on the history of Black voices in radio when it remembered "pioneer" Harold (Hal) Jackson, one of the first well-known Black sports announcers. Jackson had multiple shows in New York City in the '40s, and went on to cofound Inner City Broadcasting, one of the first media companies owned entirely by Black people. And this story only scratches the surface. Since then, Black disc jockeys, radio hosts, and podcasters have not only followed suit, but have also paved their own ways in the media world.
Here are 13 podcasts that should make it to your Black History Month must-listen playlist. They cover everything from becoming an adult as a Black woman to staying safe as a Black activist and more.
1. Black Girl Podcast
Black Girl Podcast features five Black women in the entertainment industry who come together to speak about their lives and experiences. The hosts chat about love, growth, pop culture, and pursuing your dreams. "Listen every week as their differing opinions and life experiences lead them to understand themselves, and the world around them, a little bit better," the description on SoundCloud reads. "Hopefully, you'll laugh, argue, and learn something about yourselves, too."
2. Talking Red Table Talk
While you may know that Jada Pinkett Smith and other members of the Smith family host the Red Table Talk as a web show, what you might not know is that you can listen to an entire podcast about it. Talking Red Table Talk, hosted by Black Hollywood Live, a web television and podcast network dedicated to Black entertainment, helps continue the conversation.
3. Code Switch
NPR's Code Switch features a panel of journalists of color who discuss different race and identity issues through a lens of contemporary stories. For example, some episodes include discussions on today's beauty standards and where people of color fit into it, as well as conversations about how racism affects our friendships. The show promises to always be honest and sometimes even make you uncomfortable.
4. Reid This, Reid That
Reid This Reid That is hosted by journalist cousins Jacque Reid and Joy-Ann Reid. They talk about all things pop culture, politics, and Black girl magic — and always have fun doing it. Topics of discussion include everything from the Oscar nominations' lack of diversity to Meghan Markle stepping away from royal duties.
5. The Read
The Read is a podcast that discusses the tumultuous lives of hip-hop and pop culture stars. The hosts of the show, Kid Fury and Crissle, don't spare anyone (except Beyonce and Blue Ivy, of course) from being examined and discussed. You'll laugh along with the hosts as they chat out every part of Hollywood that may deserve a second opinion, including Lil Nas X's rise to fame and Safaree's internet spats with ex Nicki Minaj.
6. My Taught You
My Taught You is hosted by Myleik Teele, the founder and CEO of curlBOX, a monthly subscription service for curly hair products. On the show, she provides advice to listeners about everything from business to romance to self-improvement. She even brings professional guests on the show to provide better advice to her listeners.
7. Gettin' Grown
Gettin' Grown features hosts Tykeia (Keia) Robinson and Jade Verette who are navigating adulting and living life as Black women in their thirties. "Join us each week for Kitchen TableTalk, Petty Peeves and Lessons in Black Women Self Care, as we try to figure out life as 30-somethings," their Soundcloud description reads. Episodes range from "Finding Joy" to "An Ode To Self Love" to "The Nahs of Thanksgiving."
8. Noire Histoir
French for "Black History," Noire Histoir is a podcast that features Black history facts, literature, and motivational stories. "Join Natasha McEachron as she celebrates Black pride, excellence, and power all 366 days of the year," the description reads. You'll hear in-depth stories about the history of important Black figures like poet Phillis Wheatley, journalist Claudia Jones, and surgeon Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, along with book reviews and insight from guest speakers.
9. The Nod
The Nod is a podcast featuring hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings who "gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life." They discuss things like how the "Cha Cha Slide" became so universal as well as how the "American Dream" can be detrimental to Black citizens. The show is thought-provoking, informative, and entertaining all at once.
10. While Black
While Black is a "podcast on Black Excellence with two seriously opinionated hosts bringing you the real and the sometimes raw on anything happening while black," according to the description. This includes the "Hands Up Don't Shoot" movement, knowing your rights if you're approached by a police officer, and how to stay safe as a Black activist.
11. Still Processing
New York Times culture writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham come together to host Still Processing, where they "try to understand the pleasures and pathologies of America in 2018." If you love analyzing film, TV, art, and music, the show is a must-listen.
12. The Stoop
The Stoop focuses on stories from the Black Diaspora and sheds light on important topics that aren't regularly discussed in mainstream journalism. Some episodes include "The Unexpected Family" on Black family cultural norms and "Assalam Alaykum, BMW," which talks about what it's like to be a Black Muslim woman in America. The show creates a space for the interesting yet difficult discussions that need to be had.
Licensed professional counselor Davia Roberts created Affirm as a positive mental health space for women of color. Some episodes include, "The Problem With Positive Vibes Only" and "Here's Why Therapy Isn't Working For You," where Roberts talks about different ways to seek wholeness and find self-value.