Episode 27: Critics of color: The added value of subtleties, with Eric Deggans

In our third and final installment of the need for critics of color, Eric Deggans, NPR’s first full-time TV critic and author of Race Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, talks to Henry and Colin about his longtime trajectory in radio and print media. Our guest speaks about how his first encounter with white culture was through radio, and asserts that “podcasting is radio for young people” now. When starting he thought, how can we talk about culture in a unique way, of things that other people cannot see? In his case he thought not only about race, but also about other dimensions, such as being a musician. In terms of television, we talk about how critics of color are needed not only to understand the new shows that better represent minority culture, but also to make visible the prevalence of and default to white culture in general. He says that Luke Cage, for example, hit a few touchstones of growing up black in that time, creating a powerful feeling of nostalgia and understanding that he could not get, for example, with The Sopranos, which he enjoyed as an outsider.

Here are some of the things mentioned in this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

My Proudest Moment as a Pundit: Bill O’Reilly Calls Me a Race Baiter

Our producer Rennie recommends this opinion piece by columnist Leonard Pitts

Eric’s profile of Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Coker

Eric’s review of The Chi

Eric’s podcast recommendations:

It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

Pop Culture Happy Hour

We’ll be taking a break for the rest of the year, but have already recorded some great episodes you can expect in mid-January. And make sure to let us know how you like it so far!

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