Black Culture & History Podcasts

Seizing Freedom
Summary: The story of the end of the Civil War you’ve probably been taught is that the slaves were freed by Northern white men (and maybe a handful of famous Underground Railroad conductors). What’s missing? The story of how Black Americans risked their lives to fight for their own visions of what freedom could be—struggling for their dignity in the face of horrific violence. Seizing Freedom tells the stories of these unsung American heroes.

Undisclosed: The Killing of Freddie Gray (1 season)
Summary: Before George Floyd’s murder, there was Freddie Gray’s killing. The Undisclosed podcast investigates wrongful convictions, and the U.S. criminal justice system, by taking a closer look at the perpetration of a crime, its investigation, the trial, and ultimate verdict… and finding new evidence that never made it to court. This season covers the events leading up to Freddie Gray’s killing on April 19, 2015, the community uprising, the trials of the six police officers and their aftermath. Each episode has a companion addendum episode hosted by Editor at Large for Salon D. Watkins.

The Root Presents It’s Lit!
Summary: Here at The Root we’ve always loved, praised, and centered Black literature in the broader conversation. Each week hosts Danielle Belton and Maiysha Kai sit down with an author we love to talk about their work, what inspires them, and what they hope to contribute to the culture at large. Guests so far include Nikole Hannah Jones, Brittney Cooper, Ijeoma Oluo, Morgan Jerkins, and Claudia Rankine.

Driving the Green Book
Summary: Award-winning BBC broadcaster Alvin Hall hits the road alongside activist and social justice trainer Janée Woods Weber. They drive from Detroit to New Orleans, collecting powerful, personal testimony about how Black Americans used the historic travel guide The Negro Motorist Green Book during the height of segregation as a vital resource to quell fears, find safe havens, and travel with dignity. As he drives the Green Book, Alvin unearths both inspiring and heartbreaking tales that tell a different story from what Hollywood would have you believe. Driving the Green Book is a living history podcast that preserves a powerful legacy and honors the stories of those who lived through the era, supported and uplifted each other, and fought for equality.

Louder than a Riot 
Summary: Rhyme and punishment go hand in hand in America. Louder Than A Riot reveals the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. From Bobby Shmurda to Nipsey Hussle, each episode explores an artist’s story to examine a different aspect of the criminal justice system that disproportionately impacts Black America. Hosted by NPR Music’s Rodney Carmichael and Sidney Madden, this podcast is invested in power from all angles — the power the music industry wields over artists, the power of institutional forces that marginalize communities of color, the power of the prison industrial complex and the power dynamics deep-rooted in the rap game.

Summary: Resistance is a show about refusing to accept things as they are. Stories from the front lines of the movement for Black lives, told by the generation fighting for change. Hosted by Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.

Unfinished: Deep South (1 Season)
Summary: A small town. A brutal murder. A journey into the heart of America’s unfinished business. Unfinished: Deep South is a race to resolve the unfinished business of a small Arkansas town by starting with one question: who lynched Isadore Banks?

School Colors
Summary: School Colors is a narrative podcast from Brooklyn Deep about how race, class, and power shape American cities and schools.

Slow Burn Season 3: Biggie and Tupac (1 season)
Summary: Season three tackles another of the biggest stories of the late 20th century: the murders of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. The story takes place at a moment when hip-hop was taking over pop culture, and a former theater kid from the Bay Area and a one-time crack dealer from Brooklyn were changing the music forever. They went from friends to enemies. And they ended up victims of a deadly rivalry between two rap scenes. How is it that two of the most famous performers in the world were murdered within a year of each other—and their killings were never solved?

The Secret Lives of Black Women
Summary: Join close friends Charla Lauriston and Lauren Domino on their hunt for the ‘secrets’ that have helped black women flourish through the bullsh*t. They connect with guests over shared experiences by wading through everything from sex and self-care to rage and anxiety. Each conversation centers on creating a space for joy with some newfound besties while asking: how do the black women we admire stay incredibly phenomenal?

In the Dark Season 2: the Six Trials of Curtis Flowers
Summary: In this season, In the Dark investigates the case of Curtis Flowers, a Black man from Winona, Mississippi, who was tried six times for the same crime. Flowers spent more than 20 years fighting for his life while a white prosecutor spent that same time trying just as hard to execute him.

Summary: A history podcast from Gimlet Media, where we go back to the time our divisions turned into a war, and bring you stories left out of the official history.

The Nod
Summary: Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life.

We Live Here
Summary: “We Live Here” is a podcast that shares stories about race and class from St. Louis and beyond. Episodes range from investigative accountability pieces to story-based reflections with a focus on everyday people interested in racial equity.

The Realness
Summary: The rapper Prodigy may have been the voice of New York, but he couldn’t escape a single recessive gene.

Black Girl Nerds
Summary: Black Girl Nerds is an online community devoted to promoting nerdiness among Black women & people of color.

Code Switch
Summary: What’s CODE SWITCH? It’s the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story.