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12 Podcasts About Black History to Add to Your Queue Right Now

black history month podcasts"
black history month podcasts

Who doesn’t love a good podcast? They’re an easy way to learn new information, stay up to date on current events, and enjoy a bit of entertainment. Finding a good podcast is like finding a good restaurant in your neighborhood—you’ll keep going back for more. Another bonus of podcasts is that they provide informative perspectives void of awkward debates or confrontational intensity. If you’re looking to add new content to your queue while raising your racial awareness, try giving these 12 Black history podcasts a listen. Each one centralizes race, culture, and politics as experienced by People of Color in America and beyond.

12 Black History Podcasts to Add to Your Queue

1. Black History Unveiled

black history month podcasts

Imagine having an entire library to explore, all to yourself. An endless number of books, where you could uncover the untold stories of all kinds of people and cultures, learning what you would have never encountered otherwise. Black History Unveiled is the podcast equivalent to this concept. Created toward the end of 2023 by Swedish-Gambian journalist and author Amat Levin, it’s an effort to bring untold African and African-American historical events, intriguing places, and life-changing people into the light of our minds and hearts. 

The show’s episodes introduce you to Burkina Faso, the Mali Empire, East African kingdoms, vital movements and revolutions for as real of a look at Black History as it gets. What’s unique is that the series is able to create a link between recent events and what has happened thousands of years ago. A listening experience that’s layered with knowledge and an interplay of emotions, Black History Unveiled will become your new favorite history class.

2. Black History Moments

black history month podcasts

So many of our Black history lessons are filled with familiar figures, like Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, or W.E.B. DuBois, just to name a few. While their achievements are undoubtedly praiseworthy, there is an entire lineage of leaders whose accomplishments have gone unsung. Black History Moments is a fresh podcast that elevates those essential leaders of Black History who have shaped it for the better.

Episode by episode, you get the chance to become acquainted with leading ladies like the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” or the “Godmother’ of rock and roll,” and groundbreaking gentlemen like the “man who killed Jim Crow” or “the backbone” of the March on Washington. Shaakira White, the show’s bright, passionate, and intelligent host, dives into colorful details of the lives of overlooked heroes—all of whom can bring us hope and ideas for a more inclusive present.

3. 1619

black history month podcasts

This audio series accompanies the controversial yet necessary 1619 Project funded by The New York Times and conceptualized by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. The 1619 Project launched in August 2019 and marked the 400th year after the first enslaved people arrived from Africa to the U.S. It is a journalistic endeavor that includes interactive articles, photo journals, a children’s book, and a namesake podcast. The 1619 podcast currently has six episodes, each of which are about 30 minutes long. The series begins with the founding of the U.S. as an independent democracy and journeys through the impacts of chattel slavery, capitalism, Black music, health care discrimination, and housing discrimination.

The 1619 Project as a whole aims to draw connections between enslavement and its lasting effects on American systems and culture. The reality is that American society continues to function and profit from the institutionalized legacy of slavery. It’s a heavy reality, but one that we can’t ignore. The 1619 podcast is an important listen because it directly confronts the ramifications of slavery, putting everything on the table in a clear, digestible format. If you’ve ever wondered what “institutionalized racism” means, this is the podcast for you.

4. Pod Save the People

black history month podcasts

Released a few months after its predecessor, Pod Save America, Pod Save the People examines current political issues from the perspective of People of Color. This podcast doesn’t necessarily recount Black History, per se. Instead, it provides historical context to present-day issues, particularly ones that disproportionately affect communities of color. Hosted by well-known social justice activist DeRay Mckesson, each episode includes conversations with experts, scholars, or historians with extensive knowledge about the episode’s subject matter.

Pod Save the People also features internationally-recognized personalities like Reverend Al Sharpton and soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe. With hundreds of recorded episodes, no topic is off limits. And there is likely an episode for anything you can think of—the criminal legal system, #MeToo, Black mental health, COVID-19, voting rights, and Eurocentric beauty norms, just to name a few. New episodes are released every Tuesday, and they don’t follow any chronological order. So listeners can dive right in wherever they’d like.

5. Code Switch

black history month podcasts

National Public Radio (NPR) is one of few media outlets that remains relatively unbiased on the political spectrum, making its podcasts some of the best in terms of credibility and accuracy. Code Switch is NPR’s podcast that examines “how race affects every part of society.” The Code Switch production team is one of the most culturally diverse teams you could ask for, with multiple ethnic and gender identities represented. Code Switch truly exemplifies the saying “representation matters” because the diversity of the team lends itself to robust, well-rounded conversations about topics ranging from the school-to-prison pipeline to racial undertones in veganism and vegetarianism.

Code Switch began as a blog on NPR’s website in 2013, with occasional broadcast segments on local NPR affiliates. It became its own dedicated podcast outlet in 2016. With the self-prescribed commitment to put race in your face, this podcast is ideal for those who are already somewhat versed in racial issues and enjoy culturally significant conversations.

6. Good Ancestor

black history month podcasts

In the Black community, there is a growing emphasis on learning about the generations of people who came before us—our ancestors. This focus stems from the fact that enslavement makes it difficult for Black Americans to trace their lineage. When enslaved Africans were brought to America, their identities were erased. And they were forced to take on the names of their white owners. Companies like Ancestry and 23andMe help us understand where we come from but not who we come from. The Good Ancestor podcast, hosted by New York Times bestselling author and anti-racism educator Layla F. Saad, covers racial issues with this unfortunate fact in mind. It explores what it means to be a “good ancestor”—that is, someone who leaves a legacy of equity and improvement for the Black community. Many “good ancestors” of the past are nameless, and their efforts are often unknown and unrecognized.

This podcast highlights people who are doing the work and putting in the effort to dismantle racism and discrimination. Episode topics include motherhood, natural hair, spirituality, class, health and wellness, and feminism. While there hasn’t been a new episode lately (the last one was released in November 2022), the collection of episodes currently available are definitely worth exploring. For non-POC listeners, Good Ancestor is a crucial listen for understanding the everyday struggles and triumphs of People of Color in America.

7. Scene on Radio – Season 2, Seeing White

black history month podcasts

What does it mean to be white? That’s the question that Seeing White—which is Season 2 of the popular podcast series, Scene on Radio—seeks to answer. This collection of episodes takes a deep dive into the origins of the concept of “race” and its legacy of bigotry and white supremacy. Hosted by Duke University Audio Program Director John Biewen, Season 2 is a raw examination of the role whiteness has played in the world’s history of violence and destruction. Highlighting that the idea of “race” was a social construct based in the unethical and racist practice of eugenics, the podcast tackles assassination of Native Americans, citizenship discrimination against Asian immigrants, and the ways that white people—not ethnic minorities—have most benefited from affirmative action.

While sometimes unnerving, this podcast is necessary. Because the fact is, parts of American history are unnerving. And they don’t become any less so by sweeping people’s real experiences under the rug. The first step of healing is acceptance, and acceptance can only come from truth. Tune in to Season 2 of Scene on Radio to get some truth.

8. Blackbelt Voices

black history month podcasts

Black + Southern. That’s what the Blackbelt Voices podcast is all about. Blackness isn’t a unitary experience, and geography—domestic and international—shapes the Black experience differently. The Blackbelt Voices podcast discusses all-things Black and Southern, focusing on stories of families in small, rural towns throughout the southern U.S. The term “Black Belt” initially referenced a region in Alabama that was known for its dark, rich soil, and eventually, it was used to describe Southern communities that were predominantly Black.

This podcast expands what typically comes to mind when thinking about what’s “Southern.” And it amplifies Black voices in an area of the country that boasts more than half of the U.S. Black population. Hosts Adena, Kara, and Katrina leave no stone unturned, covering topics that disproportionately impact Southern Black Americans, including voting rights, protests and demonstrations, and hair discrimination. There are 30+ episodes, the last of which aired in October 2022. For a glimpse into a particularized community of Blackness that is a major part of larger Southern culture, give Blackbelt Voices a listen.

9. Noire Histoir

black history month podcasts

For those of you who enjoy book clubs and movie reviews, this podcast is perfect for you. Noire Histoir features reviews of books, movies, and museums that are related to Black History. It’s a trifecta of entertainment, intellectual discussion, and resonant Black history and culture. Host Natasha McEachron shares detailed reviews and relevant context for some of the most recognized books and movies in Black culture, from Spike Lee’s School Daze film to Angela Davis’s book Women, Race & Class. The podcast episodes range in length—some are 30 minutes and some are five minutes—but each of them honor Black history while celebrating the multitude of art forms in which Black people tell our stories. If you’re a media and culture enthusiast, you’ll be even more of one after listening to Noire Histoir.

10. Black History Buff

black history month podcasts

Black History Buff is the ultimate Black history podcast. U.K.-based host Kur Lewis started the podcast in 2019 as a way to teach his young son about Black history from across the world. Many of the episodes highlight lesser-known Black history stories and figures, like Yasuki, the first Black samurai to serve in the Japanese military during the 1500s. Black history is as vast as the African Diaspora, that is, African peoples’ lineage across the world’s continents as a result of the transatlantic slave system.

The Black History Buff podcast gives prominence to the stories that don’t get told, spotlighting people of African heritage who persevered despite being forcibly brought to various foreign lands. If you like an added visual component, the podcast episodes are also uploaded to the Black History Buff YouTube page, where the narratives are accompanied by photos and stories of the history-makers of today. With 30+ episodes—which wrapped up in November 2022—there’s plenty of insightful food for thought to choose from. History and trivia lovers, this one’s for you.

11. Black Stories. Black Truths.

black history month podcasts

If you’re looking for a taste of the best of the best content that illuminates the power of Black experiences, tune in to Black Stories. Black Truths. It’s NPR’s curated collection of podcast episodes that span across some of the network’s most highly-acclaimed programs, including Code Switch, It’s Been a Minute, and Consider This. Whether you’re in the mood for political issues, social awakenings, or commentary on pop culture, there’s something for everybody’s preferred lens for reflecting on Blackness in the United States.

Touching on history both old and new, you’ll recognize topics and leaders of interest like the Civil Rights Movement, Michelle Obama, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the NFL, legendary hip-hop musicians, the mental healthcare system, and more. Overall, Black Stories. Black Truths. presents creative and specific truths about being Black, with broader implications for how we can all understand each other, and our histories, better.

12. Being Seen

black history month podcasts

How you see yourself is one thing; the way you’re received, judged, and perceived by society is another. Despite extraordinary marginalization and misrepresentation, Black history into the present is full of empowering efforts to affirm a positive and accurate racial and cultural self-imageBeing Seen is an enlightening intersection of art and culture. Each episode focuses on a particular theme, and how we can expand our vision of who and what defines it. From “Motherhood” and “Laughter” to “Intimacy” and “Faith,” there are currently three seasons of rich content that will reshape how you think about yourself and those who may or may not share aspects of your cultural identity. 

An interesting tidbit is that Being Seen has been created in partnership with ViiV Healthcare, a leading healthcare organization devoted entirely to HIV medicine. The podcast’s team of talented creators has a deep investment in beautifying what we know about culture. Though the last episode (so far) aired in October 2021, any number of its assortment of episodes are certainly worth adding to your queue. You recognize a labor of love when you hear one, and Being Seen is just that (even the cover art for each individual episode is intentional and gorgeous!). 

Our ability to learn doesn’t stop once formal education ends. Fortunately, educational resources like podcasts exist so that we can be continuous, socially-aware learners. With so many tools at our disposal that raise our awareness and consciousness, ignorance can no longer be an excuse for cultural barriers. People often wonder what they can do to contribute to change in our society. And an easy first step is simply listening.

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