Listen Up: The Most Necessary Podcasts About Race

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In 2020, amid nationwide protests against racism, many Americans are having important discussions about race. One great way to stay informed, educate yourself, and continue these important conversations is by listening to podcasts. Many focus on current issues, while others use humor to talk about race

There are many great race-related podcasts to check out. Some are hosted by activists, others by journalists. You can choose from education-focused podcasts or those that are more conversational. Check out this round-up of some of the most essential podcasts about race:

Pod Save the People

pod save the people

This show is hosted by Deray McKesson, a Black Lives Matter activist who was visible during protests in Ferguson in 2014. You might know him by his iconic blue Patagonia vest. The show focuses on activism, social justice, current events, and politics. He has regular contributors like Sam Sinyangwe, Kaya Henderson, and De’Ara Balenger


NPR Code Switch

NPR Code Switch 2020

“Code Switch” is a team of reporters at NPR who cover race, ethnicity, and culture. The podcast is an extension of their reporting work. The episodes are thoughtful, well-researched, and entertaining. They don’t hesitate to have difficult conversations about race–just listen to their recent episode, “What’s In a Karen?” 



The New York Times’ 1619 Project is still making headlines almost a year after its publication. Spearheaded by Nikole Hannah-Jones, the project takes a look at American history through the lens of slavery. “1619’ refers to the year African people were first brought to the United States against their will. The podcast is an audio companion to the collection of essays. It explores the way slavery left a legacy of racism and discrimination against Black people that still exists today.

Still Processing

still processing

Another podcast from the New York Times, Still Processing is hosted by NYT culture writers Wesley Morris and Jennifer Wortham. The hosts look at media with a critical lens, often focusing on the ways race affects the art and media we consume. In the show notes, you can find links for all of the articles, videos, and other media discussed in the episodes. 


Yo, Is This Racist?

yo is this racist

If you like advice columns, this the podcast for you. Hosted by Andrew Ti and Tawny Newsome, each episode features questions from listeners about different scenarios that could potentially be racist. The show often includes interviews with celebrity guests, like this recent episode with Ashley Nicole Black of The Black Lady Sketch Show.


The Nod

the nod

This podcast is about Black culture in all its forms. It’s hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings. Each episode, they discuss Black life and the way it intersects with politics, art, culture, and current events. The show often features expert guests like leading academic scholars and journalists.


Asian Not Asian

asian not asian

For a lighthearted take on race issues, check out Asian Not Asian. It’s hosted by two Asian-American comedians who explore the dynamics of being Asian but not from Asia. Asian-American issues rarely make headlines, so this podcast is a great way to stay informed.


Identity Politics

identity politics

This podcast bills itself as exploring race, gender, and Muslims in America. It often explores the ways Muslim and Black identities overlap in the United States. It’s hosted by two Muslim-Americans, Iklahs Saleem and Makkah Ali. Learn about a number of contemporary issues in Islam, as well as conversations about foundational topics, like hijab and modesty.



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