February Podcast Roundup: Honoring Black History Month
Did you know? Black listeners are the fastest growing podcast audience segment. In fact, from 2020 to 2021 alone, Black weekly podcast listeners . What’s driving this ferocious growth? The uptick in content created by Black storytellers, with Black audiences in mind. After all, per our very own 2021 Black Podcast Listener Report, which we co-sponsored with Edison Research and Mindshare, we found that 60% of Black monthly podcast listeners say that “it is important that the podcasts they listen to include Black stories and perspectives.” That being said, brands who are interested in engaging with Black audiences must take the time to immerse themselves in Black stories and culture—and we have just the shows for you.
Having released their first episode of The Read all the way back in March of 2013, hosts Kid Fury and Crissle are some of the original podcasters. After nearly ten years, the show’s loyal audience of millennial women, 74% of whom are Black, continues to tune in weekly to get the duo’s “read” on hip-hop and pop culture's most trying stars. Throwing shade and spilling tea with a humorous attitude, Kid Fury and Crissle take no prisoners. No celebrity is safe (unless their name is Beyonce… or Blue Ivy).
In the fan-favorite show For Colored Nerds, which first published in 2014 (and re-launched with Stitcher last November after a nearly four-year hiatus), BFFs and cultural critics Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings deconstruct the nerdier side of pop culture. Joined by a rotating cast of artists, thinkers, and innovators, the two spend each week peeling back the layers of Black culture that rarely get discussed in mixed company—from film and TV to news and current events. No wonder their enthusiastic audience of highly-educated, Black millennials promptly re-emerged upon hearing the news of the show’s return.
In this More Sauce podcast, hosts Rory Farrell & Jamil "Mal" Clay were determined to create a show that disrupted the status quo. Instead of following the same steady drumbeat as other chat-casts, the duo told Vulture that they “wanted to add different sketch elements to [the podcast], different types of interviews, different types of people.” The result has been a deeply engaging, truly unique show that delivers new stories, new laughs, and random hot takes that no one could have expected. As such, the content has resonated strongly with a mostly-male listenership that heavily over-indexes for being Black, as well as Latino.
From Macmillan podcasts, Driving the Green Book is a living history. Listen along as award-winning BBC broadcaster Alvin Hall and attorney/activist Janée Woods-Weber drive from Detroit to New Orleans, collecting powerful, personal testimony about how Black Americans used the historic travel guide, “The Negro Motorist's Green Book,” during the height of segregation to quell fears, find safe havens, and travel with dignity. Alvin unearths both inspiring and heartbreaking tales that tell a different story from what Hollywood would have you believe. This podcast honors those who lived through the era, supported and uplifted each other, and fought for equality.
MSNBC’s Into America is a show about being Black in America, hosted by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Trymaine Lee. These weekly stories explore what it means to hold truth to power and this country to its promises, told by people who have the most at stake. The show brings in a highly-educated and diverse audience.
NBC’s Southlake is a six-part series that takes a magnifying glass to the town of Southlake, Texas—an idyllic suburb that seems to have it all: stately homes, manicured lawns, and, by their own definition, terrific schools. So, when Black residents came forward to share stories of harassment and bullying, the school board vowed to make the district a more welcoming place for all. However, that commitment was the match that lit the firestorm in Southlake, resulting in a bitter, neighbor-vs.-neighbor feud over how to talk about race. Hosted by NBC News national reporter Mike Hixenbaugh and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton, Southlake follows students and families trying to figure out the painful new reality in the place they called home—and what it truly means to belong.