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8 podcasts you should listen to about race and racial injustice in the US

Each episode offers some historical perspective to the events of this week.

This week has been hard. In order for the country (and the world) to continue moving forward, we need to build more compassion towards one another and know our history, our collective story. To that end, we have created a podcast playlist that gives the listener an opportunity to engage with race and how we got to this moment in time.

Our hope is that it offers some historical perspective to the events of this week and sparks a conversation or a new way of thinking that helps us all see the world through someone else’s eyes.

1. "Code Switch"

Episode: "A Tale of Two School Districts" (30 minutes long)

Host Shereen Marisol Meraji reports on two school districts in Long Island, New York. They are just a 15-minute drive from each other but worlds apart when it comes to racial makeup and funding. She looks at the Supreme Court decision that helped cause this divide as well as how the disparity of resources affects the opportunities afforded the students.

2. "Scene on Radio: Seeing White"

Episode: "How Race was Made" (28 minutes long)

Host John Biewen begins this episode with excerpts of a talk by Suzanne Plihcik of the Racial Equity Institute. She says, “We need to know how we got this thing called 'race' if we’re gonna understand racism.” Where did the idea of “race” come from? What is it based on? Biewen reports on the history of how “race” became a construct.

3. "The Breakdown"

Episode: "Knowing How It’s Built so We Can Tear It Down" (16 minutes long)

Historian and activist Shaun King talks about what everyone can do to change the systems that result in police brutality and mass incarceration. Instead of thinking of it as one large system, he says, it’s imperative to understand it’s 30,000 microsystems. Big change can happen when you focus on the local level.

4. "1619"

Five-episode series

This New York Times-produced series marks the 400th anniversary of the first slaves being brought to Virginia. Through interviews and archival audio and writings, the five episodes examine the legacy of slavery in the United States.

5. "We Live Here"

Episode: "At the Table and Dismissed" (28 minutes long)

This Missouri-based podcast focuses on Dr. Will Ross. As a child, he experienced firsthand the disparities in health care based on race and finances. Today, he has made a commitment to address those differences. This episode tells the story of what he tried to do in St. Louis and how (and why) things didn’t turn out as he had hoped.

6. "The Daily"

Episode: "A Weekend of Pain and Protest" (36 minutes long)

This episode from the New York Times is a real-time account of what happened over the weekend from reporters on the ground in the 72 hours after George Floyd died in police custody. At minute 11, the episode includes a particularly moving conversation between three African American men in Charlotte, North Carolina: one 45, one 31 and one 16 years old.

7. "The Diversity Gap"

Episode: "Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria" (32 minutes long)

Host Bethaney Wilkinson interviews Dr. Beverly Tatum, author of the book "Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations about Race." They discuss how the question we should be asking is not “Is someone racist” but rather “Are they actively anti-racist.” They also share concrete ideas on how to build a diverse community.

8. "Unlocking Us with Brené Brown"

Episode: "Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist" (61 minutes long)

Host Brené Brown speaks with one of the country’s leading voices on what it means to be an anti-racist. As he says, it “requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism and regular self-examination.”

You can find these and other podcasts we recommend by following @tmrwxtoday on Goodpods, the new podcast-centric social network where you can follow your friends and influencers to see what they are listening to.