Black history podcasts are an invaluable resource for learning about the history of the black experience in America.
Not only is it a way to support black and POC creators in the podcast industry, listening to black history podcasts is a powerful way to connect with American history and gain a deeper appreciation for the history and culture of the African diaspora. Through the stories, perspectives, and experiences shared by black individuals in these podcasts, we can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the history and culture of the United States.
By listening to black history podcasts, we can gain knowledge and insight into the struggles, injustices, and injustices faced by the African-American community over the years. In doing so, we can better appreciate the culture and history of the African diaspora and better understand the unique challenges faced by the black community in the United States today.
Below we’ve listed (in no particular order) our picks for this year’s best podcasts to listen to during Black History Month, as well as throughout the whole year. Read on to build your playlist with our recommended episodes from each series.
Black History Buff Podcast
With topics ranging from afro-samurai to pistol-wielding poets, The Black History Buff podcast is a weekly podcast that explores the often overlooked stories and people of African American history.
Hosted by Dr. Ty-Ron Douglas, the podcast dives deep into the hidden stories of Black history and celebrates the contributions of African Americans to American culture. The episodes feature interviews with historians, authors, and experts, as well as discussions about the importance of Black history and its impact on our society today.
An episode from this series we recommend: African Proverbs, Myths and Legends – Go together
Codeswitch by NPR
CodeSwitch is a podcast from NPR that explores the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity, and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting. The show features interviews with guests from a variety of racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as stories about language, identity, and the changing cultural landscape.
They’ve even created a Black History Month Playlist filled with stories on everything from sports activism, to the Black Panther Party, to one woman’s fight for respect that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
An episode from this series we recommend: The Road to the promised land, 50 years later
The MLK Tapes by Tenderfoot TV
From the creators of Undetermined and other chart-topping true crime shows comes another quality story surrounding a very vital point in black history.
The MLK Tapes is a true crime podcast that explores rare recordings of eyewitness interviews and never-before-heard testimonies of the individuals present at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death.
The series reveals evidence that backs claims that the plot to assassinate Martin Luther King was far more nefarious than mainstream history has recorded.
An episode from this series we recommend: Episode 13: 125,000 Reasons
Black History Year by PushBlack
You can’t celebrate Black History Month without listening to an episode from Black History Year.
Much like the name suggests, the podcast was created to highlight the accomplishments, struggles, and turning-point stories of black history three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year.
It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.
An episode from this series we recommend: Though Held Captive In A Free State, She Plotted Her Freedom
1619 by The New York Times
The first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in August of the year 1619. This, many historians and scholars believe, set the stage for slavery in North America.
Produced by The New York Times Magazine, the 1619 podcast is hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones and examines the events that led to the beginning of American slavery in 1619. The podcast explores the history of slavery in America and examines the legacy of oppression and racism that continues to this day. The podcast also examines the impact of slavery on the culture, politics, and economy of the United States.
According to the show’s creators, The 1619 project ”aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” It has stirred much controversy over the years from prominent political figures over its gruesome depictions, verifiable accuracy, and public reaction. The New York Times published this warning:
“A word of warning: There is gruesome material in these stories, material that readers will find disturbing. That is, unfortunately, as it must be. American history cannot be told truthfully without a clear vision of how inhuman and immoral the treatment of black Americans has been. By acknowledging this shameful history, by trying hard to understand its powerful influence on the present, perhaps we can prepare ourselves for a more just future. That is the hope of this project.”
– From NY Times Magazine’s “Why We Published the 1619 Project”
Though we believe this show is not for the faint of heart, it is definitely a monumental piece documenting a crucial part of black history that we believe should be heard. And we’re not the only ones, it seems; streaming network Hulu is currently in production of a limited docu-series of the six-episode podcast.
An episode from this series we recommend: Episode 2: The Economy That Slavery Built
The Nod is a weekly podcast from Gimlet Media that celebrates the genius, innovation, and resilience of Black culture. Hosted by Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse, the show covers a wide range of topics, from music and art to the politics of race and the history of Black America. Each episode includes interviews with special guests, conversations about the news, and stories from the Black experience.
An episode from this series we recommend: Hair, Laid
Notes from America with Kai Wright
Notes from America is a weekly podcast from WNYC Studios that explores the stories behind the headlines of the day.
Hosted by Kai Wright, the show dives deep into the conversations around race, class, gender, and the economy, bringing together experts, activists, and everyday people to uncover the facts and tell the stories that explain how we got here, and where we’re going.
An episode from this series we recommend: The Origin of Black History Month
Worth checking out
Below, we’ve included a list of podcasts that you can listen to all days of the year, not just during Black History Month. While not entirely about black history, these podcasts include themes of black empowerment, representation, and excellence.
Express yourself black man
The Express Yourself Black Man podcast is self-dubbed “the largest healing community for Black men created by Black men.”
The aim of the podcast is to aid black men in managing their stress and provide them access to health resources including therapy, health care, and more.
Sista Brunch is a podcast created to share first-person stories of Black women+ across media and entertainment.
Hosted by NAACP Award-winning director Anya Adams (Blackish, Fresh Off the Boat, G.L.O.W.) and Fanshen Cox, award-winning playwright, and co-author of the Inclusion Rider, the podcast’s mission is to build a community around the isolating experience that is career hunting—and inspire young people to reach for their dream careers.
Blaxit Global is a podcast dedicated to educating, informing, empowering, and “inspiring brothers and sisters of the African diaspora to pursue a life abroad.”
Their audience and community consist primarily of Black Americans interested in leaving the United States to remove themselves from systemic racism, discrimination, oppression, and other indignities.
Professor Odi Presents: Tha Antidote
Young black therapist, holistic life and relationship coach hosts Tha Antidote. Through takes posted on his Instagram and YouTube channel, The Antidote looks at Intersectional Blackness from an Africentric perspective.
Audacious Black Girl
From black millennial woman Amanda Paul comes the Audacious Black Girl podcast. The podcast invites black millennial women to embrace their divinity as opposed to accepting institutional discrimination.
According to their website, the podcast’s vision is “to encourage black women to live audaciously by embracing their authenticity and by practicing radical self-care, self-love, and acceptance.”
By recognizing the accomplishments of African Americans, we can honor their legacy and pay tribute to their resilience and perseverance.
Black history month is an important part of our collective history, and it is essential to remember and commemorate the contributions of African Americans throughout the years.
The celebration of this month is a time to honor and recognize the resilience and strength of the African-American community. Enjoy your new playlist!