7 podcasts getting to the root of why we should celebrate Black history this month and every month
February is Black History Month, and we’ve rounded up podcasts focusing on the achievements, struggles, and stories of Black people in America. On our list, you’ll hear readings from luminaries’ work, such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett and W.E.B. DuBois, as well as modern voices advocating for racial equity. National Geographic presents a new series hosted by a Black scuba diver to share history and pay tribute to the people who died in the Middle Passage.
“Say Their Name” is a podcast memorializing Black people assaulted and killed by police officers. There’s a series sharing artists’ stories and investigating the connection between hip-hop and incarceration. A podcast on our list explores racial conversations and Black experiences in places like America, Italy, Martinique, and more. Scroll down to check out our complete list to stream during Black History Month and beyond:
Black History Year
PushBlack’s “Black History Year” talks with thinkers, activists, and more to unpack important topics. Recent episodes discussed Basquiat’s commitment to art, the original Black Mermaid, myths about Nat Turner, and the most powerful Black politician you haven’t heard of yet. Tune in for new, weekly episodes.
Season 2 of “Seizing Freedom” is hosted by Dr. Kidada Williams, and shares stories of Black people fighting for progress, liberation, joy, and more. Hear letters, diary entries, newspaper articles, and autobiographies from bright minds like Ida B. Wells-Barnett and W.E.B. DuBois read by voice actors. Listeners will also hear oral histories from everyday voices advocating for racial equity. This series is presented by VPM.
Say Their Name
DCP Entertainment’s “Say Their Name” honors Black people assaulted and killed by police across America and in ‘Stand Your Ground’ states. Episodes interview victims’ family members, generate awareness, and support affected communities. There are episodes on Korryn Gaines, who was killed inside her home in 2016 by police, and Miriam Casey, shot 26 times in 2013. “Say Their Name” has released over 45 episodes, running 45 minutes on average.
Into the Depths
National Geographic’s “Into the Depths” is a series about Black scuba divers looking for shipwrecks from the 15th to 19th centuries, during the transatlantic slave trade. In this 6-part series, National Geographic Explorer Tara Roberts chats with historians, divers, marine archaeologists, friends, family, spiritual advisers, and descendants of people who were brought on the slave trade’s ships. Tara is honoring the estimated 1.8 million people who died in the Middle Passage and shares their stories.
Louder Than a Riot
NPR’s “Louder Than a Riot” discusses the history of mass incarceration and hip-hop. Episodes share stories of oppressed artists, such as Nipsey Hussle getting called a gang member, Bobby Shmurda’s summer single and a shooting, and how Mac Phipps’ lyrics were used against him in court. With these stories, hosts Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden investigate how the criminal justice system affects Black Americans and marginalized communities of color. We’d recommend streaming all episodes from the very beginning, with all episodes running an hour on average.
“Beyond28” honors Black history and community all year long, past February’s 28 days of Black History Month, and we’ll hear about the Bay Area’s history. Host Marc J. Spears, senior NBA writer for ESPN, is joined by guests in episodes to discuss topics like Dr. King’s work, advancing liberation, athletes and activism, and Black Wall Street, just to name a few. This series is presented by Audio Up Media, Chase, and the Golden State Warriors. All episodes are under an hour in length.
Race Beyond Borders
The Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity produces “Race Beyond Borders,” a series exploring racial conversations and Black experiences in places like Colombia, Martinique, Italy, and more. We’ll hear about what progress has been made and what changes still need to take place. The series released over 12 episodes, under 45 minutes long.