Podcasts have exploded over the last fifteen years. It is a medium that has seen tremendous innovation in content and progress in diversity, as shown in this report. And with the systemic racism laid bare over the past months, there's been no better time to use our time and our ears to support and listen to people of color.
As a good starting point, we listed some great local podcasts led or co-hosted by people of color. These focus on everything from Milwaukee’s first hip-hop song to current events and pop culture. Sprinkled in are several excellent non-local podcasts about race, which are noted with an asterisk. Whether you want to educate yourself on identity and systemic racism, or you want to support local projects – or a combination of both – here are ten podcasts to check out. And if you want even more, go to Podcasts in Color, a directory which lists hundreds of podcasts led by diverse voices.
After leaving corporate life, Beth Ridley started a workplace consultancy company called The Brimful Life. The company, in addition to its consultancy, hosts a podcast partnered with BizTimes, where Ridley interviews a variety of business leaders and CEOs about their journeys and their thoughts on leadership. Her latest series of episodes have focused on diversity and inclusion, and they are all available on the website, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
LaVerne Badger and Natalie Hayden, both survivors of domestic violence, use their podcast to educate listeners about healthy relationships as well as the prevention and awareness of abuse. Despite the heavy subject matter, the two hosts manage to sprinkle in some levity in their enlightening weekly conversations. The podcast can be listened to on most podcast apps, including Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.
3. Code Switch*
The National Public Radio podcast Code Switch aired its first episode in 2016 and has been going strong ever since, even topping podcast charts as they note in their newer episodes. Named after the linguistic feature in which speakers switch between language or dialect depending on the context, Code Switch discusses race and identity in all aspects of our current culture and society. Hosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Maraji, this regularly updated podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and on NPR’s website.
This weekly lifestyle and wellness podcast has been running for almost three years. The two hosts, Chanel and Sherry Renee, discuss topics like relationships, mental health and spirituality in their hefty hour to two hour-long podcasts. You can find Brunch with Besties on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud and Stitcher.
If you want to stick close to home, why not take a listen to OnMilwaukee's own podcast hosted by Molly Snyder and Julie Davidson. The monthly podcast discusses a number of topics, covering everything from monogamy to death with guests appearing on each episode. The conversations are available on Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts and on OnMilwaukee.
This limited series from 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, hosted by DJ Tyrone Miller and 88Nine music director Justin Barney, debuted last year. As the title states, the two hosts go on a journey of interviews and research to find Milwaukee’s first hip-hop song to piece "together with a nearly forgotten musical story, unique to our city," according to its website. It can be listened to on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts and on their website.
Like the rest of the New York Times' larger 1619 project, host Nikole Hannah-Jones makes connections across history to see the lines between historical oppression and systemic racism in the country. Each episode of this limited series examines how oppression has effected the Black experience in America. It covers topics like medical treatment and land ownership, and it examines the racist past and present of each. This podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and on the New York Times website.
Milwaukee locals Tim, Eric, Camille and Ken discuss the latest in sports on TECKnical Foul, a weekly podcast. The four hosts go deep with their discussions, but they never fail to entertain throughout each of their one- to two-hour sessions. Their podcast is available Apple Podcasts, Sticher, Spotify, Google Podcasts and SoundCloud.
Owner of the Sherman Phoenix-based Vibez Creative Art Space, host Chrishella Roché interviews various creatives and artists around Milwaukee to showcase local talent. Roché keeps the content light and informative with each of these bite-sized podcasts. It is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Podcasts.
Focusing on Asian American experiences, the Self-Evident podcast attempts to shed light on identity and the various current and past struggles of Asian Americans. Hosted by Cathy Erway, season one of the series is available in its entirety, along with a few bonus episodes leading up to season two. The show is available on its website, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.