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Black stories are more than a fad or fodder for opportunistic outsiders. We know them. We love them. We’re moved by them. They change our lives. And on this podcast, Black stories are the default.

  • 32 minutes 25 seconds
    Survival of the Crunkest

    Crunk music. Snap music. They go together like Atlanta and hip-hop. For the brief and delightful time that crunk and snap were in the limelight, hip-hop felt so carefree (and chaotic). Katie and Yves take a trip back to the aughts to pay homage to the two genres that brought people together — in real life and on the internet.

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    13 June 2024, 9:48 pm
  • 35 minutes 37 seconds
    Archive Alive

    Yves and Katie share the mic with archivists who detail the funniest or most poignant stories they’ve discovered while in the stacks.

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    6 June 2024, 3:15 pm
  • 2 minutes 25 seconds
    A VERY Important Announcement

    Katie and Yves share a very important announcement about the show. 

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    2 May 2024, 7:01 am
  • 35 minutes 53 seconds
    Living, Breathing Poetry

    Many anthologies of nature poetry and Black poetry have excluded Black nature poetry. But Black people have always written poetry about nature. We write about the land that supports us and challenges us. We write about the animals we care for and the disasters that destroy our homes. We write about the rivers we cross and the soil we till.

    Black nature poems reflect the enormous range of experiences that we have in our physical environments. As they show us, nature can haunt, and nature can heal. In today’s episode, Katie and Yves discuss the work of a few writers who train their words on the natural world.

     

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    25 April 2024, 7:01 am
  • 29 minutes 26 seconds
    Pixel Power

    Every photo tells a story. In this week’s episode, Katie and Yves take a look at specific instances when pictures were used for good…and for evil. Sometimes they expose the truth, but sometimes they obscure it.

     

    Act I: The Most Photographed Man In America

    How Frederick Douglass used his portraits to advance the abolitionist movement.

     

    Act II: The Polaroid Protest

    Two Polaroid employees discover that the company's technology was being used by the South African government to enforce apartheid. How they forced Polaroid into becoming the first major American company to withdraw from South Africa.

     

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    18 April 2024, 7:58 pm
  • 25 minutes 35 seconds
    Rediscovering THE Pauline Hopkins

    Pauline Hopkins was a literary pioneer in the science fiction, fantasy, romance, and detective genres. She wrote plenty of short stories, essays, books, and plays.

    But as is the case with so many Black women writers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hopkins’s work fell into relative obscurity. Thanks to the work of scholars like Dr. Claudia Tate, Dr. Mary Helen Washington, and Ann Allen Shockley, Hopkins is now getting recognition for being the literary pioneer that she was.

    There are many more pieces to Pauline’s puzzle that have yet to be found. But the rediscovery of Pauline’s legacy is an ongoing labor of love. In this episode, Yves and Katie honor the life and work of the legendary author and editor Pauline Hopkins.

     

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    11 April 2024, 8:09 pm
  • 38 minutes 50 seconds
    The Myth of Atlanta

    It’s 404 Day, an annual celebration of all things Atlanta. And because Katie and Yves love Atlanta — Black Atlanta specifically — they’re talking about the myths Atlanta perpetuates and how those myths impact Black folks. 

     

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    4 April 2024, 3:59 pm
  • 45 minutes 33 seconds
    On Risk and Liberation With Raquel Willis

    Folks in all kinds of media are great at crafting stories that use misinformation and disinformation to sway opinions about transgender people. When you’re the target of this kind of damaging propaganda, it can be super important to create spaces where you can take control of your own narratives.

    Enter "The Risk It Takes to Bloom," a new memoir by award-winning author, activist, and media strategist Raquel Willis.

    As we approach the end of another Women’s History Month, we speak with Raquel about the beauty of Black trans people telling their stories with agency … and how honest, personal storytelling helps pave a path toward freedom.

    Keep up with Raquel:

    raquelwillis.com

    @raquelwillis on all social platforms

    Buy "The Risk It Takes to Bloom"

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    28 March 2024, 8:41 pm
  • 43 minutes 15 seconds
    Diary Dialogues

    A lot of us would never want our diaries to see the light of day. But that hasn't stopped people from archiving and publishing their own and others' diary entries.

    It's not just about exposing people's secrets, though. Through these diaries, we get to learn more about historical eras and about the day-to-day experiences of our ancestors. We get a sneak peek into the private, interior worlds of everyday people, unmarred by the specter of surveillance.

    To be honest, it does feel a little voyeuristic ... but we’re lucky to have the diaries we do. So in this episode, Katie and Yves grab their tiny keys and crack open the locks on a few Black women's diaries — and we get a glimpse of their lives during Reconstruction, during the Harlem Renaissance, and today.

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    21 March 2024, 5:23 pm
  • 36 minutes 45 seconds
    Literary Detectives

    What happens when a writer’s words are read for the last time? If they’re lucky, curious readers make sure that never happens. And if they’re blessed and highly favored, their readers spread the gospel far and wide. Today, Katie and Yves discuss Alice Walker’s search for Zora Neale Hurston and speak with Michael A. Gonzales, a writer who rediscovered Diane Oliver’s writing in a little-known anthology. And the rest, as they say, is literary history.

     

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    14 March 2024, 4:18 pm
  • 33 minutes 53 seconds
    Which One Of Y’all Want Beef?

    Storytelling ain’t always love, peace, and kumbaya. Sometimes our favorite storytellers beef with each other in public. And we, the audience, eat it up.

    In this episode, Katie and Yves take a walk down a beef-laden memory lane, reexamining feuds between Zora Neale Hurston and other Harlem Renaissance writers.

     

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    7 March 2024, 8:01 am
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