• Sufia Alam

Pods & Pages Chapter 2

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

This week, we’re back with three more books and two podcasts to help you expand your collection. As promised, all works are either by or feature black creators. As we navigate and support the #BlackLivesMatter movement, we hope every week these new works add to your understanding and increases your ability to have important conversations with others.

This series is about sharing with others, comment below your favorite books, and podcasts by Black creators! (And check out our last week's list here ).

1. It’s been a minute with Sam Sanders

If it’s one thing we can all agree on, keeping up with the news is hard. Being woke is hard. Lucky for us, Sam Sanders, NPR journalist, helps us consume information in a way where it doesn’t necessarily feel like news. Each week Sanders interviews experts of their fields and shares with us how it mixes in with society and culture. Sanders is charismatic and always asks all the right questions.

Episode Recommendation: Lessons about Racism from ‘Cops’ and ‘Gone with the Wind.’ In this episode, Sanders has a conversation with NPR television critic Eric Deggans and Tonya Mosley, co-host of NPR/WBUR’s Here & Now and host of KQED podcast Truth be Told. In this episode, Sanders and guests look back on past shows and movies such as Cops and Gone with the Wind and discuss what impact these shows had ten years ago and what implications do these shows have now.

In this episode, Sanders and guests also satirically rated the statements major corporations put out in response to the #BlackLiveMatters movement. (Our favorite is the Gushers statement: “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with @fruitbythefoot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”)

Listen here: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510317/its-been-a-minute-with-sam-sanders

Also available on Spotify and Apple Music.

2. Code Switch by NPR

Sometimes we as Americans tend to think issues such as inequality and racism are distant problems of the past. Code Switch reminds us these issues are very real and relevant today. They may not be as blatant, but have taken shape in different forms in society today. Hosted by many journalists of color, this podcast dives on how races has taken nuances shapes in pop culture, history, sports, and everything else.

Episode Recommendation: The Reverse Freedom Rides: You’ve probably heard of the Freedom Rides of 1961, when civil rights activists, both black and white rode buses together to the South to protest segregation. However, you have not heard of the “reverse freedom rides” in which Southern politicians started sending black families to the North. This episode highlights the stories of one such black family and even interviews the sons and daughters of a mother who was forced to move her family to the North almost fifty years later.

Click here to listen, this podcast is also available on Spotify & Apple Music.

1. Poetry // dark // thing by Ashley Jones

In her second collection of poetry, Ashley Jones explores the lens of which the world sees Black people whether it’s in her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama or in the Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman. Jones works with a variety of forms and it keeps the collection moving at a natural pace.

Her poems examine racism head-on, and how our world allows Black people to be seen as "dark things" that can be oppressed, killed, enslaved, etc. Hold this collection close to your heart for Jones' words will stay with you long after you have finished it.

2. Non-Fiction // Becoming by Michelle Obama

“When you’re the first lady, America shows itself to you in its extremes,” is one of the first lines you’ll read from Michelle Obama’s memoir. As you follow her and her family navigate the Jim Crow South to Chicago’s South Side, we guarantee the journey will be empowering and inspiring. Obama speaks on her experiences of growing up as an “average” African American family and even sheds light on struggling for gender equality.

3. Fiction // Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Stories teach us important lessons. Red at the Bone is a very good example of that. This book tackles it all by exploring characters navigating and understanding gentrification, ambition, sexual desire, education, class status, and identity. Jacquline Woodson’s new novel uncovers the impacts of history and community on an individual and family level.

As the readers go back and forth through time and shifting points of view from each character, you’ll find yourself rooting and falling for each of them along the way.


Have a suggestion on a book or podcast we should check out? Let us know by commenting below or emailing us at camellias.bham@gmail.com

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