Following Charlottesville, the news and social media coverage were, in an understatement, overwhelming. Twitter was aflame, Facebook was worse, and cable news was, well, cable news.
What to do? It was a no-brainer: On that Monday’s commute, seeking insight and expert perspective from informed and trustworthy figures, I turned to my two favorite podcasts, Politically Re-Active and Pod Save the People.
Every week in the former, comedians W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu try to make sense of the world’s happenings through interviews with the wokest, most relevant names in the game, including Janet Mock, Michael Skolnik, and Killer Mike.
The latter, hosted by civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson, “provides a unique lens toward a myriad of subjects including women’s health, the Black Lives Matter movement, cultural appropriation, and more,” says Blair Imani, activist and civic action lead at DoSomething.org, the largest tech company exclusively for young people and social change. “[Pod Save the People’s] range of participants in dialogues about movement building is essential in these political times because we must all contribute to the movement for liberation.”
Looking for inspiration and information to make your own contribution? Below, Heard Tell follows its Resistance Book Club and Resistance Film Club with 10 podcasts for the resistance, recommended by organizers across the country.
1. Politically Re-Active with W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu
2. Pod Save the People with Deray Mckesson
3. Still Processing with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham
“It’s thoughtful and a salve during 45’s administration. The hosts, Jenna and Wesley, are so conscientious it bleeds over into my day-to-day life and helps me center myself and allows me to be a functioning, productive and ultimately useful citizen. I adore them and their podcast. Jenna is my favorite part. She teaches me how to listen and be a good conversant, and I feel more connected to everything around me because of her.”
－David Ballard, formerly Democratic Party of Florida
4. Pod Save America with Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor
“Pod Save America releases new podcasts more frequently than most other podcasts I’ve been listening to recently. Since our president syncs his announcements with each news cycle, I love that Pod Save America is always covering the big announcements. They’ve hosted a wide range of amazing high profile speakers. This, plus the podcast hosts’ experience working in the White House and their witty banter makes this podcast a must listen, IMO!
The podcast is honest, funny, and straight to the point. But more importantly, it often compels action. In a political climate where everyone is trying to figure out what they can do to get involved, Pod Save America often offers ways its listeners can make a difference.”
－Ashni Mehta (@ashnimehta_), Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law
5. The Axe Files with David Axelrod
“The Axe Files are definitely about politics, or at least grab some of the most influential names ~in~ politics for a great interview. But for political junkies: you can tell the difference between the thoughtfulness of both Axe and his guest on this program, and the all-too-familiar talking points repeated across cable news. [The show offers] fantastic access and thoughtful interviews. Episode 1: Sen. Sanders…Episode 108: President Obama — you get the idea. These go beyond what you hear elsewhere on TV or in the news. (Special shoutout to Episode 40: Abner Mikva!)”
－Jake Mikva, GoodWerk
6. The BGD Podcast with Raquel Willis
“Raquel Willis’s BGD [Black Girl Dangerous] Podcast is essential. Willis is herself a black queer trans woman and her podcast centers voices that are often erased and dismissed. [The show] puts a fun spin on difficult conversations, tying academic discussions to pop culture phenomenon and making it more accessible.”
－Blair Imani (@blairimani), DoSomething.org
7. The Daily with Michael Barbaro
“The Daily is produced by the New York Times and generally focuses on the biggest news story of the day. In a time when many people feel that politics is touching their lives in a more tangible way than ever before, I think it is critical to be aware of what is happening in our country and world. The Daily keeps you updated on key issues and leverages experts on each topic to provide the listener with context and a deeper understanding. Plus, each episode is only 20 minutes, so it’s very digestible.
The host, Michael Barbaro, asks direct and clear questions that encourage the interviewees to explain whatever topic they are speaking on in a way that is easy to understand. He often builds in questions to review the basics of the issue being discussed, which I find to be helpful in following the conversation.”
－Rachel Schneider, formerly Hillary for America
8. The Weeds with Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias
“It’s easy to get lost in the headlines, the Facebook click-bait, and the one-liners of your leftist social circles. And yet, we know that moments like these are precisely when we need to reject dogma and collect our own data sets. The Weeds is your primer for understanding what Paul Ryan’s PowerPoint means for your uninsured great aunt Betsy–or for you.”
－Ami Fields-Meyer (@amifieldsmeyer) – Writer and Coro New York Leadership Center alum
9. LGBTQ&A with Jeffrey Masters
“[The show features] frank conversations with LGBTQ artists that aren’t happening elsewhere. It will open your eyes to things you don’t know and how to be a better ally.”
－Ira Madison III (@ira), The Daily Beast
10. Young, Dumb, and Ill-Informed with Kristen Johnson
“Young, Dumb, and Ill-Informed is a space for discussion, debate, and commentary on current events and politics that aims to disrupt a common stereotype of American youth with fresh, accurate, and accessible media content. It is composed of segments curated to best foster constructive conversation and help the country move forward. [It was] created by HFA alum organizers, who are finding their space in the current political climate just like the rest of us.”
－Rachel Pollak (@rachelwpollak), formerly Hillary for America