Podcasts for Your Quarantine Education
by Maya Cherins
During the coronavirus pandemic, I chose to drive 14 hours from my home in New Jersey to my college apartment in Madison, Wisconsin. While driving, I found myself in need of learning or storytelling, otherwise my usual car playlist would repeat 20 times and put me to sleep. I resorted to podcasts. Each podcast I listened to educated me on different subjects and helped me learn a little more about the world around me. My quarantine education has expanded, and for that, I have to thank podcasts.
Kimberle Crenshaw first coined the term “intersectionality” in 1989 after publishing Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex, an article dedicated to understanding the systemic oppression of women of color. Crenshaw defines intersectionality as “a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there.” Intersectionality is now used through academic and professional channels, as well as explained in daily conversations about racial, social, and reproductive justice.
In November of 2018, Crenshaw launched a podcast titled Intersectionality Matters in order to promote discussion and learning on intersectional issues affecting marginalized communities in different spheres of life. Intersectionality Matters covers all the bases, by talking about concepts such as the #MeToo movement, the intersections of Covid-19 and white supremacy, and apology politics. Crenshaw brings different guests to the podcasts and educates her listeners in an informative, fascinating, and compelling manner.
Favorite Episode - Under the Blacklight: Virus, Voting & Vigilantism in Georgia
The Narrative is a fairly new podcast led by two students at Washington University in St. Louis, Asia Porter and Samantha Weaver. Porter and Weaver sit down with their peers and unpack the intersections of race in their daily lives. They talk about subjects from white privilege to environmental racism, approaching each concept with an intersectional lens that excellently dives into subjects that affect BIPOC and students every. Damn. Day. Their Instagram account (@thenarrativepodcast_) introduces the new podcast episodes, as well as the guests, and resources to digest before listening. Porter and Weaver use the podcast approach to amplify and engage youth organizers, a powerful tactic for fighting racial, reproductive, and social justice.
Favorite episode - Greek Life
The Daily, a New York Times led podcast entertained five times a week for 20 minutes is hosted by Michael Barbaro, an American journalist. The New York Times defines the Daily as “how the news should sound.” Barbaro covers topics from the Black Lives Matter movement and the removal of confederate statues to the Supreme Court’s rulings on abortion. The Daily is a perfect way to get your news updates in the car or on-the-go, especially if you only have 20 minutes. Barbaro’s voice is soothing, and he covers such a wide range of topics that if you have the time, you’re able to breeze through three episodes in under an hour.
Favorite episode - The Case for Defunding the Police
In August of 1619, 20 enslaved African-Americans arrived in what we now know as Virginia. For 250 years, African Americans remained enslaved under white men across the country. “No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed.” The United States of America was built and founded on the ownership of and violence towards slaves. 400 years later in August of 2019, Nikole Hannah-Jones started the podcast 1619 to tell the story of the long-lasting slavery and oppression of African-American men and women.
Powered by the New York Times, 1619 covers topics from the American economy built by slaves, to systemic inequities in our American healthcare systems. Nikole Hannah-Jones strongly describes the racial injustices in our country founded on the enslavement of African American folx, and empowers you to learn more about the racist systems in our society.
Favorite episode - The Birth of American Music
As our quarantine continues and our desire for learning flourishes, I recommend to dive deep into each of these, as well as search for other podcasts that make you think critically.