I am obsessed with podcasts. I think they are a revolutionary alternative to mainstream media. While being deliberate, curated and interest-based content, they are free of censorship and very importantly, they have easily accessible archives. I mean, I generally love that about the internet, that almost everything is archived to exist forever. I love that. Podcasts become this repository of well-packaged information we can easily access, years later.
So like how I like to I re-watch television shows, re-read books and re-watch movies, I re-listen to some of my favourite podcast episodes. This being my first post after an unplanned break, I thought to start off with what I hope to be a series of my #FavePodcasts – old and new episodes. This idea came, in part, from a friend asking me what podcasts I enjoy and me sending her screen grabs of my phone’s My Podcasts menu. I thought it would not be a bad idea to share some great episodes I continue to enjoy, so I will share my #FavePodcasts in gobbets like I do with my ‘book reviews,’ and include the iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud and website links to access them.
…owning your authentic voice, being black in public radio in America, owning the proverbial butterflies-in-your-stomach and rising above workplace microaggressions while rooting for those who name them, call them out, shame them and Tumblr them.
On being an ‘other’ in a community where accents are a cultural marker:
“It’s very interesting to basically spend my entire childhood as an outsider because of my voice, finally get this job where I am paid to have this voice, and then have all these people be like, ‘but that’s not good enough, is that your authentic self?’ And it’s like, what do you want from me!”
“The way people feel about what it means to be black, what it means to be professional; like all of these stereotypes, like, I feel bad for people because I always feel like telling them that you don’t know but this is telling me more about you than it is about me; your ideas about who I am and what I sound like and what I should sound like…”
On black nerds pioneering the concept of a ‘different’ black:
“One of the things I love about the rise of the black nerd, and where they were like, ‘It’s our time’ is that, we don’t have to deal with this policing of blackness. You can be yourself, and thats ok; and I feel like collectively, we’re not so fearful of who we are [anymore], wherever you are on, I don’t know what this would be, the [Rachel] Dolezal spectrum of blackness…”
“I am very aggressive and believe very deeply in mentorship so when I was an intern, there were a couple of people that I came to at NPR and went to their office and I was just like, ‘Knock knock knock. Hi, it’s me, and I want to learn what you do’ …if you do that to five people, one or two of them will help you either because they have egos or because they actually want to help you.”
On being asked about the wildest workplace microaggressions she experienced:
“Microaggressions, it’s a very millennial thing. I feel like this was just called life before. You know just like Negro life. And you guys just identified it and you named it and shamed it and Tumblr-ed it and now it’s like a thing and so I gotta figure out now… ‘wait was that a microaggression or was that Tuesday?’ …I am going to be obnoxious and say I can’t remember. I would say that I would not have gotten to this point in my career if I took those on board and held onto them. It’s just impossible. I ran a gauntlet of people who underestimated me… the only way to get through… any job where people will underestimate you on arrival is to just not onboard it… I can’t collect it. And so maybe it means that I’ve been successful because I can’t remember them”
The podcast is here: