• Sufia Alam

Pods & Pages Chapter 4

We’re back again this week with two podcasts and three books featuring or written by Black creators. Now that we have reached the fourth in this series, we hope these recommendations have added to your understanding and increased 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. Scam Goddess

What is it about: Comedy and true crime

If you’re new to comedy podcasts, I highly recommend you start here. What’s even more fun about this one is that host Lasi Mosley, professional comedian and actor combines comedy with true crime, a combination we didn’t know could exist podcast form either. Every episode, Mosley invites hosts ranging from actors to fellow comedians to riff off each other dissecting crimes of the century, to funny family drama, in a witty, iconic manner.

Episode Recommendation: The Black Space Hitler (Yep!) with Arden Myrin. Best known for her role Regina Sinclair from the Netflix show Insatiable, Mosley invites Arden Myrin to share with us the story of how a black coal miner from Philadelphia who claimed to be Hitler while also plotting a spaceship revolt.

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

2. Side Hustle Pro

What is it about: Entrepreneurship and successful black women

Strong, independent women are what we’re all about. And Nicalle Okeme is just that. Jamaican born host Nicaila Okome, brings on to her show black women who are thriving in their field to highlight their successes every week - the only podcast of its kind. Okeme invites experts from all fields from beauty to fiance to food. Not only can you listen to individuals with inspiring stories, but maybe even pick up a trick or two about how to start or run your own side hustle.

Episode Recommendation: How To Move Forward When You’re An Unemployed Side Hustler, Okome’s latest episode, How to move forward when you’re an unemployed side hustler tackles all the questions you can think of operating a small business while being financially unstable or during a worldwide pandemic.

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

1. Poetry // Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

In this Pulitzer Prize winning poetry collection, former United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith weaves in allusions of David Bowie and celestial travels. Smith boldly reimagines a playlist for the universe filled with all of the joys and horrors of the human experience. Read these poems and be enchanted by our ever evolving universe, once you hold this collection in your hand you will understand how Smith has distinguished herself as one of the most beloved poets of our era.

2. Nonfiction // Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins

From the acclaimed cultural critic, Morgan Jerkins comes the emotional journey of her understanding both her Northern and Southern Routes. The Great Migration occurred between 1916 and 1970, as over six millions Black Americans left their rural Southern communities for opportunities in the North, Midwest, and West. This deeply powerful narrative grapples with Jerkins' understanding of what it means to be displaced, and to rekindle one's roots.

One of the most compelling aspects of this book is that not only does the reader follow in the footsteps of Jerkins and her heritage, but the reader begins to understand the history and modern connotations of an entire group of people who have been displaced and disregarded for centuries. Not only will this book open your eyes in regards to the hardships this community has faced but give you the opportunity to form a bond with Jerkins and her family.

3. Fiction // The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

In Brit Bennett’s latest novel, The Vanishing Half, she tells the story of people living in a small, Southern Black community. Taking place between 1940 and 1990, the novel explores the lives of twin sisters Desiree and Stella Vignes and their relationship with their family, community, and their own racial identity. Bennett’s words will have readers itching to turn the page as these sisters reckon with their past, present, and future.

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