Seeing yourself represented in media is important, and in the new wave of podcast journalism, it's just as important to hear diverse perspectives as it is to see them. The DIY aspect of the medium makes it possible for almost any individual, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation or political alignment to showcase their ideas on a massive scale. This means there is a huge avenue of resources for young people to utilize and build upon. Here’s a starter kit of podcasts that impart a diverse or interesting perspective on our world today, ending with our top recommended podcast.
8. Code Switch
Tuning in to hear Kat Chow, Gene Demby and the other co-hosts of this podcasts is an absolute joy every time, and this podcast is one of my personal favorites. I’ve been listening since the podcast began in the summer of last year and I can’t imagine ever having been without it. With each episode, the creative team based at NPR offers a fresh perspective on different charged topics, from OJ Simpson to trigger warnings to the Orlando Nightclub shooting. Code Switch has not only a racially diverse team of hosts commentating on the issues, but they talk about topics that, though our supposedly post-racial/post-prejudicial society finds them uncomfortable, young people of color, like myself, want to hear addressed.
7. Myleik Teele's Podcast (#MyTaughtYou)
“An astute businesswoman who unapologetically pursues excellence in all she does, Myleik Teele is the founder and Chief Experience Officer of curlBOX, the first monthly subscription service for naturally curly hair... A teacher at heart, her wildly popular, #MyTaughtYou podcast has become her global classroom where women from all walks of life tune in for guidance and a healthy dose of motivation to live life on their own terms.” — MyTaughtYou
“Myleik is the owner of curlBOX and is just all around helpful. Her podcasts range from a multitude of topics from getting an internship, getting over a break up and just stepping your life up in all types of ways. She is motivational and real; she gets very personal and is an inspiration.” — Imani Elliott (Howard University)
Where to Start: Why DISCIPLINE>Motivation!
6. and 5. A Different Perspective & Therapy For Black Girls
Podcasts concerning mental illness are especially helpful for providing solidarity and a sense of community between listeners. Especially among black families, where mental illness is not an often-addressed issue, podcasts like these are important so that people, black or otherwise, can know that they are not alone in their struggle.
“For mental illness or awareness, [A Different Perspective and Therapy For Black Girls] are my favorite. They both are black and address issues that are not usually talked about in the black community. They push for seeking help when you need it but also inform their audience on different mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, and how those signs differ in the black community. They address societal issues and how they permeate into mental health issues and give tips and recommendations as to how we can fix it.” — Imani Elliott (Howard University)
4. The Basement Yard
Even hearing similar political views from different people can be beneficial, as is the case with The Basement Yard by Joe Santagato of SantagatoTV.
“Sometimes the podcasts are pretty crude, but he’s so real about his job as a stand-up act and as an entertainer on Youtube. I’m usually pretty entertained and I appreciate that he calls out the misrepresentation in the comedy world. He’s Italian and Irish, and I also really like that he often addresses white privilege ... He isn’t open about his own political beliefs but from his content they're pretty glaringly obvious. He’s Catholic, but he’s addressed how being raised in a Catholic family has molded him and how he views religion pretty loosely ... He’s generally not afraid [of] attracting negative attention because he’s voiced some aspects of his feelings on immigration reform and he does acknowledge that this land was founded on immigration and on the backs of other people. I don’t agree with everything I hear, but I like him.” — Alexa Lopez (Baylor University)
Where to Start: Sober Joe's Inspirational Thoughts
3. Terrible, Thanks For Asking
"'Terrible, Thanks for Asking' is the first podcast that made me all out sob. Have you ever wanted to answer the age-old question of 'How are you?' with a more honest answer? Because some days aren’t great and this podcast is here to remind you that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s an honest conversation about pain, loss and awkward moments. It’ll definitely make you feel more human." — Alana Frank (California Baptist University Alumni)
Where to Start: Episode #0: Sad Nora and the Secret Baby
2. See Something, Say Something
In a time where many brown people are ignorantly associated with terrorism and blind distrust, See Something Say Something sheds a comedic, yet very real insight into the lives of our Muslim American neighbors. The podcast normalizes and educates listeners about what it means to be a Muslim in the United States and is simply a funny show in every aspect. The show has its fair share of serious and hilarious conversation, which always makes for a great listen. With the demonization of Muslim people by people as high up as the president, sometimes the best way to erase prejudice is simply by listening to what people have to say.
Where to Start: Episode 8: Why Are Samosas in Every Single Book?
1. The Read (The MOST Recommended Podcast)
“Every week 'The Read' puts out a podcast opening with the weekly black excellence, followed by the two co-hosts talking about current events and pop-culture. I think a podcast like The Read is necessary because it showcases the black perspective in an open environment. For me personally, it validates my opinions on controversial issues. A show like The Read is a necessary for black people to be able to express and share their opinions.” — Imani Branch (Howard University)
“I would have say 'The Read' podcast is my favorite. I think they are really hilarious and they also touch on social topics from the black male and female standpoint in raw format. They haven't done a podcast in a while but they had a lot of good ones.” — NyJohn Washington (Howard University)
"The Read podcast hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle represents me as a person through race and personality specifically. The show, similar to The Friend Zone, focuses on a black audience, pop culture, politics, etc. and just what it’s like to be black and funny. I am more in tune with The Read because of its recklessness but heartfelt realism ... In the past year that I’ve been subscribed to The Read, I feel as if I learned how to be more comfortable with myself and that at the end of the day, self-love and reassurance is really all you need. The podcast has definitely let me get more in touch with myself and has given me a different outlook on friendships and relationships." — Shiri Asangwe (Howard University)
Where to Start: Say No To F**k Boys
There are, of course, some other beautiful honorable mentions, such as the hilarious group of female gamers at The Polygon Show, the infamous Heben and Tracy of Another Round, In The Thick's Latino perspective on politics and even the very strange audio drama Welcome to Nightvale. Regardless of which podcast you choose to listen to, you are bound to get great journalism from a fresh perspective. Have your own favorite podcast? Tell us on Twitter.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels