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Black Stories. Black Truths.
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Black Stories. Black Truths.

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Welcome to a collection of some of NPR's best podcast episodes and features from across the Black experience. Some might make you laugh. Some might make you feel inspired. Others might make you uncomfortable. And some might make you feel all of that in the same five-minute span. This is NPR, noir.

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36 Episodes
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As soon as Epic Records exec Sha Money XL hit play on the music video for "Hot N****," he knew Brooklyn's Bobby Shmurda was a star in the making. Forget Bobby's casual toss of his New York Knicks fitted, or even the instantly viral Shmoney Dance that follows it: Sha says it was really the rapper's street credibility—his undeniable authenticity—that blew him away on sight. Bobby was in a league of his own at a time when New York hip-hop wasn't popping off. Sha just had to sign him. But in the eyes of the law, that same authenticity would prove to be Bobby's downfall. Just months after his 2014 breakout hit, Bobby and about a dozen of his friends were arrested and slapped with conspiracy charges in connection with a murder and several other shootings. The case became part of Bobby's legend. Six years later, Bobby was still making news from behind bars. In part 1 of this three-part story, we take you deeper than the headlines. We head to Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York to meet Bobby for an exclusive in-person interview, tour his neighborhood with his crew, grab a bite at his mom's seafood joint, and sit down with Sha Money to hear new details of the studio raid that changed Bobby's life. What happens when the industry capitalizes on a criminal persona? And do record execs have the juice to back Bobby up when things get too hot?Listen to more Louder Than A Riot at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
In the final chapter of our special documentary series Screening Ourselves, host Aisha Harris recounts the debates ignited by Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple. The 1985 film is remembered as a fan-favorite centering Black women's lives, but the acclaimed adaptation of Alice Walker's novel was received quite differently among female viewers and male viewers. Listen to more Pop Culture Happy Hour: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Before he was the face of a protest movement and a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick was a teenager who was trying to figure out who he was and where he was going. Kaepernick's new graphic novel Change The Game, written with Eve L. Ewing and illustrated by Orlando Caicedo, is about that time in his life. He talked to NPR about his coming-of-age story, his career, and whether the NFL has changed since his departure.Listen to more Consider This at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
While it may seem like Black-focused media is at a high these days, the reality is only 4% of all media in the U.S. is Black-owned. Moreover, experts say that biased practices from advertisers make it harder for Black-owned media companies to be profitable. NPR's Eric Deggans talks to Byron Allen about his ambitions to grow his media empire, hold advertisers to account, and control the narrative of how Black people are represented in media. Listen to more Consider This at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Communities of color are the most harshly affected by climate change in the United States. While the importance of environmental justice is becoming more mainstream, too often people in this movement who are Black, Indigenous and people of color are overlooked and left out of conversations about how to solve the crisis. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist, policy expert, and writer, wants the broader environmental movement to understand the crucial link between the fight to save the planet and the fight for racial justice. And we'll hear how the Donors of Color Network is working to increase philanthropic funding for environmental initiatives led by people of color.Listen to more Consider This at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
The world went into mourning after losing the Goddess of Rock n' Roll: Tina Turner. Veteran music journalist and Shine Bright author, Danyel Smith, joins Brittany Luse to unpack Tina's powerful performances and her role as an architect of rock. They also dig into the obstacles the star overcame, her smart strategies, and the lessons she has for us on resilience, peace, and happiness. Listen to more It's Been A Minute at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Black perspectives haven't always been centered in the telling of America's story. Now, they are the story. Introducing a collection of episodes from NPR's podcasts that are as varied, nuanced, and dynamic as the Black experience. 24 accounts of what it means to be Black today, told from our perspectives.
Follow NPR News Now

Follow NPR News Now

2024-02-0600:42

The latest news from around the word — updated every hour. Listen to NPR News Now at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Follow Up First

Follow Up First

2024-02-0600:46

NPR's Up First is the news you need to start your day. The three biggest stories of the day, with reporting and analysis from NPR News — in 10 minutes. Available weekdays by 6 a.m. ET, with hosts Leila Fadel, Steve Inskeep, Michel Martin and A Martinez. Also available on Saturdays by 8 a.m. ET, with Ayesha Rascoe and Scott Simon. On Sundays, hear a longer exploration behind the headlines with Ayesha Rascoe on "The Sunday Story," available by 8 a.m. ET. Listen to more Up First at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
The story of civil rights in America is the story of legends like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. It is also the story of countless ordinary people who made a difference in their own, less-visible ways. In this episode, a conversation with NPR's Ayesha Roscoe about her series on the civil rights generation and how it is remembered by those who struggled against inequity and fought for a more just future. Listen to more Up First at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Serena Williams dominated tennis for the better part of two decades. Her athleticism and aggressive style changed the way the women's game is played. And she inspired a generation of young Black players who followed in her footsteps. Coco Gauff was one of them. At 18 years old, she was born five years after Williams' first Grand Slam singles title. Today, she's ranked 12th in the WTA rankings. "Growing up, I never thought I was different," she said, "because the number one player in the world was somebody who looked like me." In this episode of Consider This, Chanda Rubin of Tennis Channel reflects on Williams' career and her legacy. Listen to more Consider This at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
When folks think about where to get the latest in hip-hop, NPR doesn't usually come to mind. But that's changing, thanks to the team that produces Tiny Desk Concerts, which was nominated for Best Hip-Hop Platform in the 2022 BET Awards. Since 2008, Tiny Desk Concerts have delighted millions of listeners and viewers on YouTube with stripped-down performances from their favorite artists. Now the series is proving it's also an authentic space for showcasing all forms of hip-hop. Guest host Elise Hu talks to Tiny Desk Concerts series producer Bobby Carter about bringing new musicians into the mix, what goes on behind the scenes, and where the team wants to take the show next. Then, Elise plays a Tiny Desk edition of 'Who Said That' with Carter and video producer Josh Bryant. Finally, Elise chats with P.E. Moskowitz, author of the Mental Health newsletter, about how terms from therapy have crept into our daily language. Does it help or harm how we think about mental health? Listen to more It's Been A Minute at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
You finally get through the confusing, stressful work of doing your taxes only to get a notice in the mail from the IRS: You're being audited. It turns out that your race plays a big role in whether you get that letter and a lot more about your taxes, like how much you might owe the IRS, which tax breaks you can get, and even which benefits you can claim. In this episode, we're looking at the racial landmines in our tax code with Dorothy A. Brown, a tax expert and author of The Whiteness Of Wealth: How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans And How To Fix It. Her work laid the foundations for the first research study released earlier this year uncovering the racial disparities in how the IRS audits taxpayers. We also hear from Daniel Ho, the Stanford professor who led that study. Listen to more Code Switch at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
In December 2022, one of the biggest trials of the year unfolded in LA. Tory Lanez was facing more than 20 years in prison on charges of shooting fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion, and the internet was intensely divided: You were either pro-Tory or pro-Megan, and there was nothing else to say about it. In this episode, the first of our second season, we read between the lines and lies of hip-hop's most divisive trial to date with Louder Than A Riot's Senior Producer Gabby Bulgarelli. We also examine the roots of rap's misogynoir with the creator of the term, sociologist Moya Bailey. Although this isn't the first time a Black woman in hip-hop has spoken out about abuse, Megan's day on the stand revealed the level of mistreatment Black women must endure in hip-hop – and in America. Listen to more Louder Than A Riot at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Code Switch co-host B.A. Parker digs into what it means to maintain the legacy of her ancestors. In part one of two episodes, Parker goes to a symposium for descendants of slavery and meets people who, like her, are caretakers of "culturally significant historical places."Listen to more Code Switch at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Since releasing one of the most critically-acclaimed albums of 2022, pop titan Beyoncé has withheld the visuals for almost a year. NPR Senior Culture editor Bilal Qureshi went to the first stop on the Renaissance World Tour and joins producer Corey Antonio Rose to reveal one of the most highly-anticipated musical secrets. Then, journalist Tre'vell Anderson takes host Brittany Luse through a groundbreaking look at the history of transgender representation onscreen, in their new book, We See Each Other: A Black, Trans Journey Through TV and Film. Listen to more It's Been A Minute at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Black History Month is here, which means we're diving into big, sticky questions about what exactly it means to be Black. So in this episode of the show: Who is 'Black enough' for reparations? Because you know...we got some bills to pay.Listen to more Code Switch at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Republican officials in Louisiana want to change how Black people are counted in voting maps. If their plan is successful, it could shrink the power of Black voters across the country – and further gut the Voting Rights Act. Listen to more Code Switch at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
Beyoncé's Renaissance is a joyful, sonic immersion made for dance floors of all kinds. The album earned her nine Grammy nominations and won her four, including Best Dance/Electronic Album.Listen to more Pop Culture Happy Hour: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or wherever you get your podcasts.
How did the "bad bitch" replace the "ride-or-die chick" in hip-hop? In this episode, we talk to the original baddest herself, Trina, about how her career flipped the script on dusty old stereotypes of Black women in rap, and left men down bad. We also sit down with Trick Daddy, the man that put her on, to hear how he feels to see her shining, and check in with Latto, a rapper carrying the torch that Trina set aflame 25 years ago.Listen to more Louder Than A Riot at these links: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
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