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A Word … with Jason Johnson

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America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having ... the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock, to empty promises, to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race … ones that shine a light on the facts,Read more

Popular episodes

Colorism, Cluelessness, and Carefree Black Girls

Nov 19 • 28:59

Zeba Blay popularized the hashtag #carefreeblackgirls, a celebration of positive online representation of Black women and girls. In her book Carefree Black Girls, she reckons with why––even in a pop culture led by people of color––so many critics are white men. Blay joins the show this week to discuss The Harder They Fall, Passing, Dave Chappelle, and where today’s artists...

Lights, Camera, Revolution

Nov 12 • 26:14

Decades before Moonlight, Black Panther, or anything from Spike Lee, Black film artists worked through and around the studio system to bring their visions to the big screen. Now the Black Film Archive has brought together classics from 1915 to 1979. Its creator Maya Cade joins Jason Johnson on A Word to talk about the importance of African Americans connecting with movies ...

Legacy of Fire: The L.A. Riots

Nov 5 • 29:25

It’s been almost 30 years since the Los Angeles riots rocked the nation. Even now, many Americans remember where they were when they heard that four L.A.P.D. officers were acquitted for beating Rodney King. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Joel Anderson, host of Slate’s Slow Burn Season 6: The L.A. Riots. They talk about the roots of the 1992 crisis...

From Schoolyards to Prisonyards

Oct 29 • 27:26

School is supposed to be a safe environment for students to thrive. But too many school policies put non-white and disabled students on the path to prison. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with professor and author Lori Martin, about fighting the school-to-prison pipeline, and how parents can protect their children from falling into the criminal justice s...

Uneven Playing Field

Oct 22 • 28:46

Whether the issue is Covid policy or police violence, Black athletes can’t run, jump, or score their way out of the racial power dynamics of major sports. On today’s episode of A Word, veteran sportswriter and author Howard Bryant joins Jason Johnson to talk about the intersection of sports and race. They discuss the controversy over basketball star Kyrie Irving’s vaccine ...

Black to the Land

Oct 15 • 29:13

California’s Governor Newsom recently signed legislation to return Bruce’s Beach, beachfront property that had been seized from a Black family after a campaign of racist violence and intimidation. But it’s only one of thousands of cases where African American families lost property to everything from extra legal land seizures, to systematic lending discrimination. Professo...

Black to the Land

Oct 15 • 29:13

California’s Governor Newsom recently signed legislation to return Bruce’s Beach, beachfront property that had been seized from a Black family after a campaign of racist violence and intimidation. But it’s only one of thousands of cases where African American families lost property to everything from extra legal land seizures, to systematic lending discrimination. Professo...

Supreme Injustice

Oct 8 • 22:41

The Supreme Court is back in session and its public support is in free fall. But the unpopular court seems poised to radically alter the lives of millions of Americans. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by political analyst Elie Mystal to discuss what’s on the docket, and why so many Americans are braced for the Court to shred their rights.  ...

Las Vidas Negras Importan

Oct 1 • 26:48

The 2020 Census revealed that a growing number of Latino Americans are acknowledging their Black heritage. But that choice has never been simple. Professor Tanya Hernández of Fordham University School of Lawjoins Jason Johnson to talk about the bias Afro-Latinos have faced across the Americas, from their governments and even their own families. They also explore how Afro-L...

Texas Political Power Twins

Sep 24 • 22:30

Recorded as part of the Texas Tribune Festival, this week’s episode is a conversation with brothers US Representative Joaquin Castro and 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro. The brothers join Jason to discuss how the Biden administration is measuring up on the issues that were important to their own campaigns, the potential ripple effects of Texas’ new extreme aborti...

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