In honor of Black History Month, we’re taking you on an audio journey with the artists, activists, educators, culture-keepers and creatives who are making black history every day. You’ll find stories on the historic Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics, a freshly painted Nipsey Hussle mural, a guide for living with joy and the origins of the word “hella.”
So grab your headphones, hit that subscribe button and dive into these stories from the Bay Area and beyond.
Have an episode you’d like to add? Let us know by tweeting us @KQEDArts.
“There’s nothing more beautiful than black people loving each other. African people taking care of each other and expressing ourselves in our most creative ways.”
From D-Boys to Dope Art Oakland-born Timothy B. has been putting paint where it ain’t for some time now—and the center of his work is family. B’s family talks about the changes in Oakland from the ’90s to now and how they made sure to keep family strong.
Candice Antique talks about black motherhood, as she thinks about what lies ahead in raising her son. The best way to deal with these anxieties, she says, is to first shower her child with love and make art to create change.
Brookfield Duece, a Son of East Oakland
Brookfield Village in deep East Oakland has been a cultural hub for the city’s black and brown communities. The neighborhood has raised artists like rapper Brookfield Duece and his cousin, star player Damian Lillard, who are using their platform to change the narrative of their neighborhood.
How can you feel joy when the world is burning? It feels like the end of days—and yet we still want to laugh, dance and love.
In this inaugural episode of Truth Be Told, host Tonya Mosley travels to her hometown of Detroit to talk with her grandmother, Ernestine Mosley, and New York Times best-selling author Adrienne Maree Brown. The three share captivating conversations and life lessons on how we all can and should cultivate joy.
Well-Meaning White Folks Allies are necessary to our collective pursuit of racial equity and antiracism, but sometimes talking across and through differences can be messy, hurtful and downright exhausting. As people of color, we have all had our fair share of those “unintentionally” painful encounters.
Tonya Mosely and Code Switch host Gene Demby tackle two questions from people struggling with how to deal with well-meaning white folks, at home and at work.
Family Ties We’ve all had that one big question in our lives that looms over us and keeps us up at night.
Maybe you are making a life-altering decision about a relationship; whether to get into one, get out of one or stay in one. Or maybe, like Tonya Mosley, you are trying to figure out if you should start a relationship with your estranged father’s family.
What should you do when faced with a big “what do I do” moment?
Olympic Legends for Black Power Salute, Now Hall of Famers John Carlos and Tommie Smith were shunned after making the Black Power salute on the podium at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. They were kicked out of the Olympics and lost their track and field careers. Fifty years later, they’ve been inducted into the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame, where their athletic feats are being honored as much as their courage.
The Voice Behind ‘I Got 5 On It’
Mike Marshall has a voice you’ve probably heard before. He was the vocal on the ’90s anthem “I Got Five On It.” More recently, Marshall covered “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” in the movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco.
Marshall waited for decades to feel recognized for his voice. And it took two movies set around the Bay Area to make that happen.
The Moral Case Behind ‘Housing Is a Human Right’
Two black mothers who occupied a vacant West Oakland property had their day in court. Southern California-based Wedgewood Properties, which owns the home, argued this is a clear case of theft. But the moms are making another, more philosophical argument: that housing is a human right. But what does that mean, and will it help them stay in the house?
The Origins of ‘Hella’
How has “hella” become synonymous to the Bay? Adizah Eghan gets down to exploring the root of “hella” and how slang spreads from black English into mainstream culture.
“Very rarely in the African-American or black community do we pick up other people’s language and use them,” says Oakland-based multimedia producer Sean Kennedy. “It’s usually the language we create and other people use them.”
Join hosts Emmanuel, Jamedra and Carly as they find deeper meaning in what’s going on in the world, share quirky history your high school teacher never taught you and explore LGBTQ issues, race, feminism and social justice through a pop culture lens.
Black to the Future
Cartoonist Tanna Tucker breaks down Afrofuturism, the power black artists and cultural workers have to dream and reclaim the future for themselves.
DeRay Mckesson on Black Lives Matter, the X-Men and That Blue Vest
This episode of the Cooler features civil rights activist and Pod Save The People host DeRay Mckesson talking about his commitment to black youth and the movement for black lives. What does it mean to live in one of the longest domestic racial justice protests in U.S. history?
Jessamyn Stanley on Why Yoga Isn’t All Peace, Love, and Rainbows The Cooler is joined by Jessamyn Stanley, who became a yoga star by posting snapshots of her practice on Instagram. She recently released her first book, Every Body Yoga, which melds lessons of how to better your life through yoga with personal essays about her journey to self-love and a bunch of other good stuff.
We talk about what she thinks the media has all wrong about modern yoga.
Listen to all the episodes on the playlist below.
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