12 must-listen podcasts about racial injustice and culture

As we all look for ways to continue our activism pursuits with the Black Lives Matter movement, consider adding these podcasts into your rotation. The more we seek to understand, the better we can listen, become allies, and provoke change globally. From gripping storytelling to funny, yet impactful, episodes, these 12 podcasts will open your eyes and inspire you to keep up the good fight.

Code Switch

From National Public Radio (NPR), this popular podcast goes deep into race, identity, and other issues to prevent captivating, mind-opening episodes. Stories are told and shared by journalists of color, and you can expect to learn more about how race has played into pop culture, employment, politics, and more. Best of all, they take the uncomfortable conversations and don’t shy away from them. Rather, they dig in and present solutions. 

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United States of Anxiety

This podcast title is an appropriate way to describe the country these days, but this podcast has been exploring racial issues for years. Throughout each season, you’ll learn about various topics, including the Civil War, the impact of racial disparity in the 2016 election, and more. 

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The Stoop

If you enjoy humor, wit, and smart reporting, you’ll love this podcast hosted by Leila Day and Hana Baba. In a fun yet poignant way, they explore some of the lesser-known issues of race in modern life by asking questions. Like, why do many people believe Black people can’t swim? And how are Black introverts different than white? Or, what is it like to travel around the world as a Black woman? 

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The Nod

Much of the history taught in America surrounding the Black Rights Movement has been shaped by cookie-cutter white authors who wanted to make it less violent to digest. This, of course, prevents us from getting to the root of racial injustices. You can think of this podcast as a learning lesson on what was left out of your textbooks. Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings guide various lectures that will surprise—and at times—horrify you. 

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74 Seconds

How can a little over a minute change your life? Or more to the point: end it? For Black American Philando Castile, it only took 74 seconds from being pulled over to being shot dead by a white police officer, Jeronimo Yanez. This was watched—live—on Facebook for the world to witness. Even with this evidence, Yanez was still found not guilty. In this podcast series, you will learn about how race played a significant part in this heartbreaking, headline-making story. 

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Identify Politics

Black Muslims in America face harsh injustices from their communities, the public, and even their families. This podcast covers topics of gender, race, and religion in America, and is hosted by two women, Ikhlas Saleem and Makkah Ali. They often have guests on their show to highlight personal stories and fight against racism and Islamophobia. 

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Still Processing

If you want to stay up to date on the latest stories, developments, and crises impacting the Black community, subscribe to this podcast from The New York Times. Journalists Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris discuss current events and also add their own anecdotes from personal experiences, too. This is a helpful and beneficial show to find a better grip on your biases—whether you realize you have them or not. 

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Caught

One statistic from the American Civil Liberties Union should stop you in your tracks: one out of every three Black boys born in America will be sent to jail for a period of time. This disturbing reality for the Black community is scary, biases, and illustrates the vast need for reform in our judicial system. This documentary investigates mass incarceration and provides ways we can all do our part.

Listen here.

Natal

Here’s another jaw-dropping statistic, this time from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant black women are three to four times more likely to die than their white counterparts. This is true not only during pregnancy but in childbirth and the year after their child is welcomed into the world. If you are passionate about maternal rights and health, this podcast will serve as an eye-opening listening experience. It’s a must-listen for all moms.

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Atlanta Monster

If you’re a fan of crime podcasts like Serial, you won’t be able to stop listening to Atlanta Monster. You may not remember, in the last 1970s and early 1980s, a serial killer, went on a spree, resulting in at least 28 victims. Of these, the vast majority were Black children. After investigating, local police in Georgia gave credit to Black man Wayne Williams, who is currently serving time for two murders. The thing, though? No one is quite sure he is the one to blame. This podcast explores the case’s mistakes, all while painting a picture of what it’s like to live and grow up in a marginalized Black community.

Yo, Is This Racist?

For a funny podcast, tune-in to this weekly podcast hosted by writer Andrew Ti and actress/musician Tawny Newsome. Each episode, they invite a new guest to listen and answer questions from listener-submitted questions. If you’ve ever wondered if your words or actions were unintentionally racist, this show will give you a dose of humor—and reality, with nothing off-limits. 

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Come Through with Rebecca Carroll

As a producer, editor, and writer, Rebecca Carroll invites various guests to join her on her podcast. Though it isn’t entirely about race every episode, most of the content centers around uncomfortable, essential discussions on how white communicates can do better. You can expect to hear from inspiring professionals like author Robin DiAngelo and notable journalists and activists. 

Listen here.