Episode 34: Power and Pleasure of Podcasting (part three): Amber J. Phillips & Chenjerai Kumanyika on podcasting as a vehicle for counterhistory

Amber J. Phillips (aka the High Priestess of Black Joy), podcaster and Participatory Civic Media Fellow at USC, takes the reins to interview Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor – Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University, and host of Uncivil Podcast. Following our podcasting event at USC (see episodes 32 and 33), they speak about some differences of black voices, performativity, and expectations of “authenticity” in podcasting. We also discuss what is considered professionalism in radio, and where the definition of what radio should be emerged. How was the standard set, and who was excluded from public radio? How do black podcasters negotiate code-switching, in order to be “inclusive” of the wider public, while also being able to speak to their own communities? We delve into trying to bring marginalized stories to mainstream listeners. We get into how and why Chenjerai chose the stories he did for the Uncivil podcast: what are the questions that will help us understand history with the most clarity? Civil war stories for example, are focused on the larger narratives of battles and policies, but the marginalized stories do not get told because of a lack of imagination. We also talk about the word “innovation” and criteria for it, but how the word is being used by opposite communities.

While we chose not to interrupt this conversation by editing in the reference, we also couldn’t leave you hanging – here’s Chenjerai and his former group, Spooks:

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

Follow Amber J. Phillips on Twitter and Instagram
The Black Joy Mixtape podcast (recognized by Essence Woke 100 Women 2018, #53)
Culture Genius podcast

Follow Chenjerai Kumanyika on Twitter
Uncivil Podcast (Episode 1, The Raid)
Seeing White podcast
Chenjerai on The Moth

Storydriven podcasts:
Bronzeville (Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate)
Fruit (on Stitcher)

Classic Black Radio:
Frankie Crocker
Tom Joyner, Tom Joyner Morning Show
Reggie Osse (obit and legacy tribute on The Root)

This American Life Podcast (On Demand); Ira Glass
First Episode of All Things Considered
Chenjerai’s pieces on local color and public radio on Transom and NPR Codeswitch

Sorry to Bother You  and the white voice

Jussie Smollett
Kevin Hart
D.L. Hughley
Lena Waithe
Janelle Monae

Audre Lorde
Fred Milton – “The Resources in Blackness”
bell hooks, Margins to the Center
Adrienne Maree Brown
Harriet Tubman as a spy
Derrick Bell“how will your success be used against your people?”

Some of the hip hop groups Chenjerai mentioned:
Brand Nubian – homophobic lyrics
Lord Jamar – hip hop conservatives
Migos – misogynistic lyrics

Chuck Schumer
AOC on Twitter and Instagram

Pitchfork Economics podcast – Nick Henhauer
Eric von HippelDemocratizing Innovation

Ken Burns – Civil War

And don’t forget to check out our previous Black Panther episodes!

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