The Big Listen ended production in May 2018. While this site is no longer updated, all the content remains available for archive purposes.
Hey, pals! You probably know that in 2014, a police officer shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. His death sparked days of unrest and rioting. It’s also the event that catalyzed DeRay Mckesson’s activism and spurred him to action.
Before then, Mckesson was a school administrator in Minneapolis, pulling down a tidy salary and working normal hours. But when the first signs of protest began in Ferguson, something pulled at Mckesson. He needed to be there. So he hopped in his car and drove nine hours to be a part of fray.
Fast forward to 2017 and Mckesson is one of the most recognizable and outspoken people in the movement for racial and social justice that has emerged since Ferguson. He’s been on just about every cable television show, he has more than a million followers on Twitter and he even ran (unsuccessfully) for mayor of his hometown of Baltimore.
Now the blue-vest-wearing activist has a podcast called Pod Save The People where he holds court with everyone from Edward Snowden to Katy Perry and all kinds of changemakers in between. But he’s not the only one wading into issues of race, identity and division in the U.S. via podcast. Below are a few others in that vein that have piqued our interest.
What Else Is On This Week’s Show?
- Ferguson Voices — The summer after Michael Brown was killed, students from the University of Dayton traveled to Ferguson, Mo., to collect oral histories with folks impacted by the uprising there. They spent two weeks recording stories of everyday people there and recently they turned those interviews into a podcast series hosted by UD senior, Jada Woods.
- Uncivil — If you grew up in the U.S., you surely learned about the Civil War. But most likely, the focus was on battles. Yet there are so many untold stories of the Civil War that resonate today, like the who women fought in some of those battles disguised as men. And some are still fighting for their right to reenact those battles. The new show Uncivil uncovers those tales.
- Us & Them — Peabody Award-winning journalist Trey Kay understands that the U.S. is deeply divided in many ways — liberal and conservative, northern and southern, black and white, etc. And with the show Us & Them, he attempts to find out why we are so split on issues like Confederate monuments and coal mining and how we might try to bridge the divide. Check out his incredible documentary about the fight over multicultural textbooks in West Virginia.
- Very attractive listener recommendations: Reckonings and Wide Ruled
Do you have a podcast recommendation you’d like to share with us? We want to hear it! Give us a jingle on the Pod Line at 202-885-POD1 and leave a message. Then we’ll put you on the radio and your boss will probably give you a hefty raise!
Thanks for reading, pals! ‘Til next time…keep listening, America.
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