Black Lives Matter has been a regularly featured movement in the national discussion since its founding in the haunting aftermath of the July 13, 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin. It’s once again been on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers and at the forefront of our collective mental space since George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis Police Department officer. As demonstrations bleed into the following days, a discussion about the treatment of black souls has hit a fever pitch. There are numerous podcasts that have broached the topic of Black Lives Matter, and we have found several that have become must-listens, particularly given current events.
Vurbl unveils 10 Black Lives Matter podcasts. They are varied and many movingly and informatively dissect the origins of this entire landscape. They also put a voice to the struggle for not only basic human rights, but equality in the view of the law and those charged with enforcing it. There has been a seismic disconnect. One thing that has emerged from these 10 podcasts who celebrate and extol the black lives matter movement is … hope.
Let’s hope that is as contagious as COVID-19.
1. Podcast: The Intelligence
In the days after the killing of Floyd, the podcast from The Economist asked the question, “Black Lives Matter has the opportunity to speak up and be noticed again, but will it do so?” The Intelligence notes that protests have been unleashed coast-to-coast (and abroad, too!) and outrage is at a fever pitch. Following what happened in Minneapolis, the panelists wonder how the powerful Black Lives Matter movement will make itself heard.
Host: Jason Palmer
Why You Have to Listen: What’s fascinating is how this broadcast comes at BLM from the point of view that it has faded in national prestige. After the events of Minneapolis and this podcast, that question may never again be posed.
Must-Listen Episode: Crying foul again, Black Lives Matter
2. Podcast: The Documentary
The BBC’s podcast, The Documentary, takes its studious look at the BLM movement and traces it back to its origins, and beyond. This episode finds the hosts traveling across America, getting first-hand accounts of Black Lives Matter activists, the families of black men killed by police, and they even got to talk to the Rev. Jesse Jackson and police officials.
Hosts: Mukul Devichand and Mike Wendling
Why You Have to Listen: The BBC podcast stalwart digs deep and not only profiles the movement but interweaves it into how it can influence the country’s future.
Must-Listen Episode: Black Lives Matter: The Story of a Slogan
3. Podcast: On the Media
One of the founders of Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, visits the On the Media podcast once again to directly address the charges that the movement should be held accountable for violence against police. She not only pushes back against that assumption but lays out the blueprint for what they are trying to accomplish.
Hosts: Bob Garfield, Brooke Gladstone
Why You Have to Listen: The Black Lives Matter co-founder also stresses that the organization’s goals go well past police attacks on the black citizenry but seeks to raise up the actual communities where this authoritarian abuse occurs.
Must-Listen Episode: Black Lives Matter Moves Forward
4. Podcast: The Takeaway
The weekday daily podcast looked back at an important milestone with this podcast episode. It looks at the fifth anniversary for Black Lives Matter and how it went from a hashtag to a sweeping movement for societal change. It’s fascinating to hear these details about the organization as it lands on the front pages of newspapers the world over once again.
Host: Tanzina Vega
Why You Have to Listen: The group, which is organized around local chapters, organizes to build community power structures, and to provide intervention against anti-black violence. Black Lives Matter often faces existential questions, like what is the overall strategy? And how specifically will the group advance its agenda? Black Lives Matter co-founder Cullors visits Vega to fascinatingly share her insight into where they go from here.
Must-Listen Episode: Black Lives Matter: Five Years On
5. Podcast: Lost Together (LT)
Hot off the presses! Posted this week, the Lost Together podcast looks at the Black Lives Matter landscape and stresses that this is a pivotal moment that could not only change the movement, but the larger American culture as well.
Hosts: Jiaming Li, Matthew Pierre and Gabriel Gu
Why You Have to Listen: Given the podcast’s mission statement, to “discuss and try to understand the world they live in by discussing topics, sharing their own experiences and having conversations with friends alike,” the trio of hosts bring a sharpened lens to the issues of the day and none can be more timely and urgent that Black Lives Matter.
Must-Listen Episode: #BLACKLIVESMATTER
6. Podcast: Louder with Crowder
When the self-proclaimed “most politically incorrect show on the web” looks at Black Lives Matter and titles their episode devoted to it “Burns Minneapolis” the conversation is going to be as lively as can be achieved in a podcast studio. Louder with Crowder traditionally looks at news, entertainment, and politics from a unique vantage point that often finds its host going off on what they openly call “rants,” as well as taking listener calls and comedic sketches.
Host: Steven Crowder
Why You Have to Listen: Judging by the fact that Crowder welcomes noted conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza on the broadcast, one can see how this podcast’s look at the movement may come from a different place.
7. Podcast: Musings of the Heart
The Musing of the Heart podcast could not have a better moniker. Perspective, honesty. and from the soul offerings arrive from its host and her guests/friends who stop by to share their take on the headline-grabbing news of the day. Given the seismic reaction to the police directed violence in Minneapolis, Musings of the Heart wax poetic over many episodes as the dialogue seems to know no bounds. A recent 2-part episode, for example, had the host pondering racial injustice, police brutality, and the way forward with a friend.
Host: Elizabeth, aka That Niger Muse, also known as Ayooluwa Ibiloye
Why You Have to Listen: For many reasons, not the least of which is mentioned in their “about” section on their website, “Knowledge is power.” Most notably, in Part 2 of her Black Lives Matter episode, the discussions concern the “way to go forward from a Christian perspective.” A powerful question is posed over these programs—”Till when do we keep quiet and nonchalant about the injustice concerning black lives in America? Is it when it comes knocking on our door?” The answer lies somewhere in the landscape between urgency and immediacy.
8. Podcast: Sincerely, Jennifer X
Details: A writer and musician by trade, the titular podcast’s host possesses a unique starting point for her points of view and ruminations. Her weekly show utilizes her background in literature, the use of language and her own personal history to shed a light on the biggest issues dominating our public conscious.
Host: Jennifer Juan
Why You Have to Listen: Juan shares her poetry and short stories that add unforeseen layers to an issue that some may say is literally black and white. She also talks about the larger scope of the fragility of life and how that aspect is an enormous aspect of the movement.
9. Podcast: Hardly Academic
In light of current events, the guys over at Hardly Academic ask the question, “Do Black Lives Really Matter?” They seek to talk about race and how it is has dominated our national consciousness of late, but from a larger societal point of view that helps explain how deaths such as Floyds, hardly a surprise, don’t arise out of a vacuum.
Host: Eric Dyson and Nick King
Why You Have to Listen: The two DC residents have had a front-row to some serious public unrest of late and getting their insight into the Black Lives Matter movement and its daily and nightly protests are uniquely, well … Hardly Academic.
Must-Listen Episode: Do #BlackLivesMatter?
10. Podcast: Candidly, Marie
Another broadcast that employs a stellar moniker is Candidly, Marie. It utterly captures the essence of the podcast and everything it stands for and espouses. In her episode, the host describes herself as a “woman with a penchant for writing and an opinion about nearly everything.” This particular podcast episode dives right into the pool as host and special guest, Divine Beauty, had an “eclectic discussion” about the enormous problem the United States of America has surrounding race.
Host: Natasha Marie
Why You Have to Listen: Despite being five years old, the episode finds Marie and Beauty bombastically and brilliantly encapsulates the complexities of the Black Lives Matter movement, everything it stands for, and the reality of what is happening on the streets of America. They certainly live up to their descriptor when they declare on their website that one finds Candidly, Marie “Where undeniable wit and everlasting shade collide.”
Must-Listen Episode: #BLACKLIVESMATTER, Yeah I Said BLACK
When discussing Black Live Matter – both as an organization and as a slogan – someone, usually someone white – interjects “All lives matter!” While that is true in principle, the reality is that society does not treat Black and brown people as if they matter at all. That is why, when a George Floyd, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, or Armand Aubery is killed, the event makes the news for a couple of days, the killers are not charged or set free, and life goes on with no change. Black Lives Matters wants to raise our consciousness so that the future is more just for all.
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