Angela David once said, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
Today more people than ever are interested in taking her words to heart.
Practicing anti-racism results from a conscious decision to see and work against the unconscious racial biases in ourselves and others. When we act without intention, we all (un)consciously enforce social norms that maintain white supremacy and inequality in our society. Being racist or being anti-racist is not about who you are. It’s about what you do.
There is no shortcut to change. The best way to see lasting results is to engage with information and stories that can change how we think and feel. Long-form audio provides the perfect medium for engagement.
Here are some of FRQNCY’s podcast picks that explore the Black American experience and will help provide the context and perspective we all need to start seeing how race manifests itself in the world around us.
1619 from The New York Times
1619 The Podcast is the audio companion to The New York Times Magazine’s acclaimed The 1619 Project, a deep examination of the legacy of slavery in America. The 1619 Project launched in August of 2019 in recognition of the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of Africans on American soil. The 5-part audio series is hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times reporter, project creator and winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Listen here.
Seeing White from Scene on the Radio
Hosted and produced by John Biewen, the podcast explores the origins of the notion of “whiteness.” Where did it come from? Why does is exist? What does it mean? And what is “whiteness” for? Listen here.
Code Switch from NPR
Whether we acknowledge it or not, racism informs our day-to-day lives – from how we learn, to how we work, to how we socialize. By exploring how race impacts every part of society, this podcast uses data and storytelling to ultimately show how ALL of us are impacted. Listen here.
Unlocking Us from Brené Brown and Cadence13
On this show, #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown, in her own words, “unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.” The show itself is an experience, but the episode with Ibram X. Kendi on antiracism is particularly powerful.
Intersectionality Matters from African American Policy Forum
As a concept, “intersectionality” refers to the ways that multiple aspects of our identities – such as race, class, and gender – intersect to shape our lives. On this podcast, scholar and Civil Rights advocate Kimberlé Crenshaw lifts up the work of artists, activists, and scholars to show us how intersectionality can help us make sense of our lives. Listen here.
Still Processing from The New York Times
This culture podcast offers a thoughtful and entertaining mix of conversations about TV, film, art, music, and the Internet. The hosts investigate what our media has to say about our culture, and therefore, about race, gender, class, and so on. Listen here.
Higher Learning from The Ringer
Each episode features energetic conversations that weave together a lighthearted catch-up between two friends with the latest in Black culture, politics, and sports. Expect laughs and honest discussion of the lived experience of two Black Americans. Listen here.
Ready to create your own kick-ass podcast, but have no idea where to start? Enroll now in our Podcasting 101 online course.
A note about white supremacy from our CEO and Founder Michelle Khouri
All links provided by Justice in June
Audio was made for this moment. FRQNCY was born for this reason. As a first-generation American Latina, my goal was to be the Trojan horse of patriarchal capitalism (read: white supremacist USA) from inception. But things change. I am not content with being a Trojan horse anymore. That connotes more stealth than I’m willing to embody. Today, I come to you as FRQNCY CEO 2.0 – more lioness than Trojan horse.
After decades of protests and riots, of kneeling and sit-ins, of speaking and preaching, of suing and beseeching have led to minimal progress, I am not willing to stay quiet and wait for the door to open, even if the plan was to infiltrate quietly all along. With a roar that can be heard from miles away and a calm strength that instills cautious respect, I and my team are ready to embody our full power.
As the news cycle quells – leaving the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery to faint away like a cloud of dust kicked up by a car hauling ass in the desert – 13% of the U.S. population is left to deal with the wreckages of their own violent oppression.
I am calling on every podcast and audio production company in the U.S. to join me in publicly issuing action plans with concrete steps for how you (the company as a whole) are using your capitalist superpowers to end the 400-year cycle of oppression, murder, and domination of Black and Indigenous people.
As founders/CEOs/owners/stakeholders/investors, we have the power to redistribute wealth to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) vendors, employees, contractors, and suppliers. We have the power to refuse working with companies and individuals who don’t align with our values. We have the power to refuse participating in panels or events that don’t make an effort to be inclusive or representative.
We have the power. And we have the privilege. It’s time to use our privilege to dismantle white supremacy.
These are the specific actions I and FRQNCY Media commit to:
Action 1: Invest our time and resources in producing a podcast for a frontline organization that is dismantling white supremacy.
Partner with a national organization that has local chapters across the U.S. to fully fund and produce a podcast that furthers the cause of stopping police brutality, ending white supremacy, and dismantling systemic racism.
Action 2: Use our platforms to support anti-racist education and empower Black voices.
Leverage our superpower of sound to amplify Black voices and provide educational audio resources to encourage learning about black history and anti-racism, and facilitate the unlearning of oppressive habits and programming.
Action 3: Prioritize the advancement of human rights over profit by continuing to push our original vision forward.
Our vision has always been and will always be to hire diversely, invest in training and development for women of color, and help to fund original content by BIPOC creators.
This has been the vision for FRQNCY from the beginning. It’s been just over a year and a half since we brought on our first client, and I have experienced firsthand what a challenge it is to change this deeply rooted system. And when I say “system” I’m referring to the close-knit brotherhood that is the patriarchy, systemic racism, and capitalism. A system that, in many ways, goes undetected while cloaking every American in its control. By the time we take our first steps, we are indoctrinated into this system and, either through conscious or subconscious bias, become tasked with upholding its myriad rules and standards; that is, unless we make the decision to wake up and step up.
I face the challenges of doing this every day as a Latina raised in lower-middle class America. I am constantly having to face the choice laid at my feet by an oppressive patriarchal system: either grow your company quickly with talent and tools easily at your disposal or face the reckoning that comes with trying to disrupt the system.
There are times when I and my early stage company must relent. There are times when my arm is twisted so strongly by the system that I have to hold faith in the future of FRQNCY as a multimillion-dollar embodiment of the Next Economy that is living its full vision: a diverse, human-first enterprise that has helped to train an entirely new class of BIPOC producers, editors, and engineers. It’s during those times when I feel helpless and ashamed. When I wish I held more power.
Many of you do hold more power. Many of you are more able than I am to make broader changes and cause further-reaching ripples. It’s time to use that power for good.
It’s time to be as big as you are.