On this episode, we have a special extended interview with B Daht, host of the podcast “#IDKMYDE,” which is short for “I Didn’t Know, Maybe You Didn’t Either.” The podcast released short, two-minute episodes daily throughout Black History Month that looked into the history that we aren’t often taught in school
B Daht calls his podcast a “transparent journey of my ignorance,” which isn’t giving himself enough credit. He tells Dax and Alesha that after the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, he felt the need to learn more about American history that brought us to the summer of 2020.
Starting with Christopher Columbus, B Daht has been looking into the real stories behind history’s most famous figures and events. He recorded episodes about Columbus’ heinous acts of violence against the native people in the Americas, the history of hushpuppies, the Nat Turner’s Rebellion, the racist history of nursery rhymes, and much more.
B Daht says there is no shame in not knowing these things, obviously he didn’t know about them either! He said to Dax and Alesha that different teachers are teaching different things, especially when it comes to Black history. Many teachers are very comfortable teaching about figures like George Washington Carver and Harriet Tubman, but people like Huey Newton, one of the co-founders of the Black Panther Party, becomes more controversial and is less likely to be talked about in school.
He says that he wants “#IDKMYDE” to inspire people to go do their own homework on this history, saying that’s where the real learning begins. He doesn’t want there to be any shame in being ignorant to these stories, like the Tuskegee Experiment. He gives us a quick rundown of the wildly unethical experiment, which was meant to track untreated syphilis in Black men in America. The 400 men that were afflicted with syphilis by the government didn’t know that they were test subjects in this experiment, and it caused the massive spread of syphilis in their community. The study that ended up lasting 40 years after whistleblower Peter Buxton outed the experiment, but not before it killed over 100 people. Alesha brings up that this experiment is a major cause of governmental distrust among the Black community, and learning about the Tuskegee Experiment brings in a lot of context to this issue.
Dax asks B Daht how he finds new things to talk about, especially when he’s searching for things that he doesn’t already know. B Daht says that he actually started this venture in 2020 before he was recently picked up by the Black Effect Network, so he’d had a backlog of tidbits and factoids. He also receives listener suggestions. Basically, B Daht says that once he started with Columbus and made his way through American history, it’s just a rabbit hole of information.
Alesha asks him how he keeps his joy in the face of these dark stories. B Daht tells Podsauce that he recently spoke to a class of elementary school students who were so excited to speak to him specifically about “#IDKMYDE.” He says that he loves making content that reaches people from ages 8 to 80 and finds inspiration in going on a journey of reprogramming with other people who also want to learn.
As for the episode of “#IDKMYDE” that has continued to stick in his mind, B Daht says his episode on Uncle Tom struck him hardest. He said that he had no idea that Uncle Tom from Uncle Tom’s Cabin actually sacrificed his own life to help two women escape slavery. Alesha agrees that this shocked her, along with his “Cowboys Are Racist?” episode when she found out the original Lone Ranger was actually Black unlike the white actors who have played him.
To top it off, B Daht recommends some podcasts for us. He’s a huge North Carolina fan, so he recommends “Carolina Insider,” “The Player & The Fan,” and “Quick Blitz.” He also throws a lot of love to his fellow Black Effect Network podcasts like “Drink Champs,” “The Breakfast Club,” “85 South,” and more.