Black History Month isn't over yet! Although we're in the latter half of February, there's still time to respect, celebrate, and learn from our nation's annual observance. When it comes to the world of audio, you can find Black history in every little corner.
While we personally love to honor the occasion by focusing our time on Black musicians, we also enjoy listening to podcasts that center around Black triumphs, stories, and issues. We've been doing some digging and have compiled a list of 10 old and new podcasts centered around Black history we think you'll enjoy. We hope you listen to these shows not only throughout the rest of February, but beyond the month as well!
1. Seizing Freedom
Hosted by historian/author/professor of U.S. history with a focus on African Americans, Dr. Kidada E. Williams, VPM’s Seizing Freedom is one of the hottest podcasts about Black history on the market. Season 2 has just dropped, and it tackles the struggle of Black Americans throughout the infamous rise of Jim Crow.
Each season of Seizing Freedom includes eight history episodes using the wise words of great Black leaders to bring the past back to life, plus eight interview episodes. They feature artists, activists, and intellectuals discussing how the legacy of the time period covered still impacts our nation today. The unique format provides a modern context to history and thought-provoking insights. So far there are only 26 episodes, so it's easy to catch up on Season 1 while diving into Season 2!
2. Code Switch
Journalists of color Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby host this resourceful audio show, which topped Apple’s podcast chart back in May 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. With fearless conversations about race and identity and their impact on every part of society, Code Switch is one of the best educational tools for learning about race while also offering digestible empathy and humor.
A spinoff from the NPR blog of the same name, this podcast covers diverse topics: from Black gun ownership and how to talk about race with children, to why hip hop and mass incarceration are so entangled. There are over 270 episodes available to listen to, and with a new episode every week, you'll be covered for a very long time.
3. Historically Black
As part of The Washington Post’s coverage of the Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of African American History and Culture, participants submitted dozens of objects relating to their own experience of Black history. A "people's museum," if you will. In this podcast by The Washington Post and APM Reports, their stories are brought to life through interviews, music, and archival sounds.
There are only a few episodes of this podcast and it hasn't progressed since 2016, but the rich personal accounts make for some truly gripping episodes. Hosts include Keegan-Michael Key, Roxane Gay, Issa Rae, Heban Nigatu, and Tracy Clayton.
4. Witness Black History
We're in love with BBC-produced podcasts, and this show is no exception. As part of their Witness History collection, the BBC released the spinoff podcast Witness Black History in 2020.
Each episode features interviews with a person who was at the forefront of important Black civil rights events: from the first Black England footballer to a Black women who helped NASA get to the moon. There are 63 stories to sink your teeth into, so you'll have much to learn.
5. Black History Buff
For those who enjoy unconventional fun facts, Black History Buff was made just for you. This fun show covers little-known topics centered around the African Diaspora: from black samurai to pistol-wielding poets to the first Black women to enlist in the United States Army.
6. Noire Histoir
This podcast offers Black history and literature from a uniquely Noire perspective. Noire Histoir showcases Black history facts, literature, and motivational stories from across the Black diaspora. Natasha McEachron hosts, and the show boasts that its major themes are "pride, excellence, and power."
Noire Histoir used to solely focus on books, movies, and museums related to Black history. Moving forward, McEachron will expand the amount and types of content to focus on not just Black history from the past, but Black history in the making. Episodes for this podcast are posted very regularly, so you'll always have something fresh to listen to!
7. Go Off, Sis
This one's for the ladies. Refinery29's sub-brand Unbothered is behind this stellar podcast, which is currently in its fifth season. Go Off, Sis is a series that confronts the hard truths around being a Black woman in America. It champions dialogues centered around creating a community that uplift all Black voices - no matter what gender you identify as.
The podcast features vibrant stories and includes some pretty awesome special guests. In the current season, Tiffany Haddish and Keke Palmer have made appearances.
8. Blackbelt Voices
The Blackbelt Voices podcast spreads the richness of Black Southern culture by telling the stories of Black folks living down in the southern part of the United States. It's hosted by Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins, and Katrina Dupins, and told through first-person narratives and deep conversations.
Blackbelt Voices is very new - there are only 37 episodes so far. But, its fast rise in the podcasting world just shows how masterful it is. It's also available on several platforms, so you won't have trouble listening to it on your preferred service. Personally, we love the episodes about food (the newest episode with Dr. Ashante Reese was a treat!), but this podcast also has a lot to say about Black history, culture, and future.
9. Questlove Supreme
With his recent award-winning documentary Summer of Soul, Questlove has proven he is a connoisseur of Black musical history. His podcast, Questlove Supreme, is a fun, irreverent, and insightful show that digs deep into the stories of Black musical legends and cultural icons.
If you're a music nerd, this weekly show is for you. Questlove and Team Supreme dive into genres and topics in a way only they can. Previous guests have included Usher, Michelle Obama, Chris Rock, Steve Miller, Maya Rudolph, Weird Al, Chaka Khan, Babyface, and many more.
10. Black Men Can't Jump [In Hollywood]
Finally, a podcast for the cinephiles. Black Men Can't Jump (In Hollywood) is a hilarious podcast that reviews films with leading actors of color and analyzes them in the context of race and Hollywood's diversity issues. It's hosted by Jonathan Braylock, Jerah Milligan, and James III and has been featured as an iTunes Editor's Choice podcast. It has also peaked at #2 on the iTunes Film/TV charts.
With more than 340 episodes to choose from, you'll find a deep-yet-lighthearted analysis of any Black-led film you love! The buddies' latest episode covered Denzel Washington's Oscar-nominated performance in The Tragedy of Macbeth.
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