Podcasts are my favourite corner on the internet – they are an incredible means of sharing our lived experiences with each other: whether it’s the work we do, our achievements, our thoughts and feelings, our political leanings, our identities, our jokes. So in a two-part article, I am sharing my favourite podcasts – this is part 1:
My blackety-black corner on the internet. It’s classified as comedy but this podcast is so much more. Hosted by Youtuber and comedian, Kid Fury, and social commentator Crissle West, the podcast talks pop culture and closes off with ‘the read’ – the segment the podcast is named after. What’s a read? I am glad you asked. Classically, a read is a light hearted insult levelled at one by focusing on their flaws. It’s appropriated from the drag scene – thank you, Paris Is Burning. On this podcast, the read is an unapologetic call out of shitty people, or things. It can be funny or serious but it is always honest From Kanye’s fave Donald Trump to security staff at airports, no one is safe. Except Beyoncé. The Read is peak entertainment and it always delivers great insight on culture and the politics of people. Each episode varies between 90 to 120 minutes.
This American Life
Possibly the oldest podcast on the interwebs and easily my favourite of all time. It’s produced by my favourite radio personality, Ira Glass(with a team of producers, of course) and each week, over about an hour, they discuss a theme using mostly real life stories. The storytelling format harks back to good old public radio, the kind that made appointment listening a thing, where families huddle together over the stereo to listen to tasty radio dramas. They delve into political issues, challenge our status quo and our many schools of thought. They go to places many other podcasts, news platforms and media will not go to. They navigate very serious issues and present them for the listener to engage, question and deliberate on. One of my favourite episodes is on Afrofuturism entitled, ‘We Are In The Future,’ narrated by one of the producers, Neil Drumming.
Buzzfeed did something right here. And then they didn’t. This podcast is hosted by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Claytonand each episode ranges between 35 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes. When the podcast began, both Nigatu and Clayton were Buzzfeed writers. Nigatu left for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Clayton remained with Buzzfeed, and the podcast continued. Then Buzzfeed canceled the show, 113 episodes in. My guess? They didn’t know how to contain it – the podcast and its hosts had become bigger than they’d imagined. Through Another Round, Clayton and Nigatu interviewed presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, Queen Latifah, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxanne Gay, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lianne La Havas and many others. One of my favourite episodes from them was with radio personality Audie Cornish entitled “Was That A Microagression Or Just Tuesday?”
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
This is Oprah’s podcast, a slightly edited audio version of the TV programme of the same name from OWN. Each episode is on average 35 minutes long, longer episodes are split into two parts. Oprah talks to some of my favourite people like Maya Angelou, Normal Lear, Nate Berkus, Malala Yousafzal, Paulo Coehlo and many others. It’s mentally and emotional nourishing. It’s positive, focuses on growth, on finding your purpose and on living honestly and sincerely. One of my favourite episodes is with Janet Mock where they discuss her book, Redefining Realness. You will always learn something about life from this podcast. Always.
New York Public Library Podcast
Through this podcast, I experienced a conversation between Toni Morrisonand Angela Davis, I basked in the glory of a discussion on prose and storytelling between Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie and Zadie Smith, Maya Lin inspired me with how through her art and design, she engages on space, memory and nature. The brainchild of curator and culture enthusiast, Paul Holdengraber, this podcast is hosted at the New York Public Library and profiles the thoughts of movers and shakers, mostly in the literary world. It follows two formats, either an NYPL staffer will interview a guest, or two guests will discuss each other’s works. Episodes are between 90 minutes to 2 hours long, and it is well worth it.