Three shows about black America
If you’re missing the 44th president, then immerse yourself in this sixparter from WBEZ. Released this year, Making Obama covers his early career in Chicago (WBEZ is a Chicago station), from 1985 to 2004. Though he’s now almost mythologised, due to the contrast with thug Thump, what’s interesting is how imperfect Obama was. “We had a fundraiser for him in this apartment,” says one contributor. “And, I must say, he was terrible.” Oral testimonies and some nice sound touches make this podcast series skip along.
Thirst Aid Kit
This podcast does make me laugh. Hosted by BuzzFeed’s Bim Adewunmi (British) and Nichole Perkins (American), it’s about unabashed, guiltfree lust (“thirst”). The show uses pop culture to examine female desire, so our hosts get to chat about who they fancy and then wonder why they do so. How do women’s histories, politics and economics affect who makes us hot? (Both women are straight, cis and black.) Redacted, their short fanfiction stories in which the listener is invited to imagine what happens next, are sweet and hilarious.
I stumbled across this on Radio
4 last week, and it stopped me in my tracks. Six plays written by black male American playwrights, aged between 30 and 40, Hands Up started as part of a New York theatre festival, the New Black Fest. The plays are a direct response to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, when 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer. They are linked by comments from young black men interviewed in New York City, Chicago and St Louis. Stunning.