For your listening pleasure: 15 podcasts produced for and by young, bold, and multitalented Black women
Here are some shows you should be listening to each week.
Podcasts are all the rage—and for good reasons. Convenient, offering diverse themes and topics, and bridging communities, it’s no wonder why people are binge listening all over the country. And with their increasing popularity, of course, it’s Black women who are using the power of tech to demand that their perspectives, thoughts, and politics are centered and heard.
Data from Edison Research shows that in 2018, Black women were 10 percent of monthly podcast consumers; which is extremely significant as African-Americans in general comprise about 13.4 percent of the U.S. population and Black women specifically makeup a little over 13 percent of the U.S. female population. This is why major tech hubs such as Google and Spotify are taking heed and investing in Black women podcasters.
Whether it’s conversations on self-care, health and wellness, body positivity, sports, or food, Black women always have the answers. Here’s a list of theGrio’s favorite 15 podcasts run by Black women for your listening pleasure .
Host with the Most: Dr. Joy Harden Bradford
Theme(s): Self-Care and Mental Health
Why It’s For Us, By Us: The Therapy for Black Girls podcast provides weekly conversations on the critical importance of uplifting Black women’s mental and emotional health, personal development, and well-being.
The Deets: As a licensed psychologist in Atlanta, Dr. Joy provides listeners with critical tips and strategies on how they can improve their mental and emotional health and well-being while providing a space to talk about things that are often considered taboo. She covers topics such as depression, toxic masculinity, living with bipolar disorder, and making peace with one’s body. Plus, on her website, Dr. Joy provides followers with a therapist directory of Black women mental health professionals.
Listen Up: According to Dr. Joy, “the Therapy for Black Girls podcast inspires the kinds of conversations that are vital to help us take good care of ourselves, especially our mental health. We offer very practical tips for how you might be able to do things differently in your life. We help sisters realize that it is okay to reach out for help and give them language and resources to be able to do it.”
Host with the Most: Jamie Broadnax
Why It’s For Us By Us: If you are into fandom, cosplay, comics or just an overall entertainment fanatic, then Broadnax’s Black Girl Nerds podcast is for you!
The Deets: As “an online community devoted to promoting nerdiness among Black women and people of color,” Black Girl Nerds is a pioneering one-stop geeky shop and guide for blerd women. Broadnax has everything from celebrity interviews to film and TV reviews and even some political commentary.
Listen Up: Broadnax already has over 4,000 followers on Soundcloud and boasting well over 200,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram combined., which is huge growth from when she created the podcast six years ago.
“A lot of the podcast industry at that time in 2013 was predominantly white guys talking about the fandom of comic books, gaming, movies, and TV shows. It’s important that Black women hear themselves and know there are communities of us that like these things; that celebrate these things; that participate in fandom such as cosplay; that go to conventions and do all of the things that, over the years, we thought was a ‘white thing.’ Hearing those voices is both comforting and refreshing.”
Hosts with the Most: Journalist and host of Crosscurrents Hana Baba (left) and journalist and senior producer for Pineapple Street Media Leila Day (right).
Theme(s): Society and Culture
Why It’s For Us, By Us: The Stoop unearths poignant, timely and imperative stories about Blackness, race, identity, and politics in the African Diaspora.
The Deets: Journalists Baba and Day provide riveting content and commentary on transnational Black stories, perspectives, histories, and present-day realities that are often told in private, not in public. By openly and candidly discussing themes such as colorism and skin-bleaching, homophobia, and even Diasporic disconnections between Africans and African-Americans, Baba, who is Sudanese-American, and Day, who is African-American, offer critical perspectives on the beautiful multifariousness of Blackness and womanhood.
Listen Up: With Black joy being at the center of all they do, The Stoop unabashedly and proudly offers a safe space where honest conversations can take place.
“We love narrative storytelling. It is a very pure way to hear stories. We are not offering to have the answers to any of these issues, but we are presenting conversations and offering a chance for people to reflect on them and to engage,” said Day.
“We are different from other podcasts in that we have these perspectives of people who are Black, but different kinds of Black. As a Black woman in this country, to feel seen, to feel like your story is out there and to feel represented in any way, has been a rare thing for us growing up, so to be able to do that even in a small way I think is important.”
Hosts with the Most: Rebecca “Bex” Francois, Sapphira Martin, Alysha Pamphile, Gia Peppers and Deanii “Scottie Beam” Scott
Theme(s): Society and Culture
Why It’s For Us, By Us: If you love weekly conversations on pop culture round-ups and if you love living your true purpose, then you should listen to this all Black girl crew.
The Deets: Black sisterhood is a beautiful thing and in the Black Girl Podcast audio series that is exactly what you’ll get. These five women with five very different perspectives first met when they all worked at hip-hop’s iconic radio station, New York’s Hot 97, and decided to take their immense talents to the podcast arena.
Listen Up: Host Sapphira Martin shared how the hosts of Black Girl Podcast have created an unbreakable bond, not only amongst themselves, but with their audience as well.
“All of us are uniquely different, but the common thread is that we are Black women, so we share a lot of the same pains and a lot of the same joys. You can be ambitious, a self-starter or an entrepreneur like myself or you can be a charismatic, television host and lover of sports like Gia. We represent every kind of Black woman.”
Host with the Most: Dr. Christen A. Smith, associate professor of Anthropology and African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin.
Why It’s For Us, By Us: The Cite Black Women podcast provides educational conversations with Black women scholars in efforts to ensure that our citation and memory are never erased or ignored, both in and out of academia.
The Deets: The podcast is based on Black women’s reflections, writings and other knowledge productions and helping to create a survival plan of citational politics in and out of academia.
Listen Up: “Cite Black Women allows us to really connect with people who are out there doing this work. And to me, that is really the mission of the podcast…to sit down and say, what does it mean to Cite Black Women? What we are doing is reaching deep, reaching back and reaching out in order to help people understand what this really means as a political project,” said Smith.
Host with the Most: Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School and co-founder of the African-American Policy Forum (AAPF), Kimberlé Crenshaw
Why It’s For Us, By Us: Crenshaw provides in-depth analyses on issues that impact Black women from an intersectional lens.
The Deets: This is the podcast to listen to for the tool to dissect politics, power, and policies. Crenshaw’s powerful discussions bring awareness to the everyday realities that impact the livelihoods of Black women every where.
Listen Up: According to Crenshaw, Intersectionality Matters “is the podcast that brings intersectionality to life by exploring the hidden dimensions of today’s most pressing issues, from #SayHerName and #MeToo movements to the war on Civil Rights and the global rise of fascism.”
Hosts with the Most: Michelle James (MJ) and Danielle M. Brown (Dani) (l-r) are Chief Collaborating Officers/Owners
Theme(s): Health and Wellness
Why It’s For Us, By Us: If you are in need of genuine conversations about feeling and looking your best that are mired in sister-girl friendships, then subscribe today.
The Deets: Best friends MJ and Dani share their honest reflections after experiencing MJ’s 2015 breast cancer diagnosis together.
Listen Up: During their first episode, MJ spoke about why they created Cocktails & Cancer and how doing so has helped her heal.
“People know that cancer takes a lot from you. A lot of times, it takes your confidence, it takes your health and a lot of cases, women feel like it takes away their beauty. It is important to for you to hold on to something that makes you feel like you. And for me, one of the things that I enjoy is a cocktail.”
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Note to Self: Self-forgiveness must play a part in your story. . . Today was rough. Good—but rough. We are all getting over summer colds (gross), Ila napped for an entire 10 mins (watch my stories), screamed bloody murder at bedtime like the sandman was trying to kidnap her, AND refused to sleep in her crib (so she’s in our bed, lol). Whew! What. a. DOOZY! I almost came down hard on myself today. We were off schedule and have been since our colds started. Not being able to sleep, staying up late, and getting up late… I told myself that TODAY we would be back on track, and we weren’t. We got up at 10:30am, didn’t get moving until 12 really, and then Char had photography lessons w/ @erikalaynephoto at 2 (we were late) AND I was starving. LOL. So the list of how today DID NOT go as planned could go on. But, I’ll spare you. . . With all of that said, we ALL have bad days. Off days. Late days. Wonky days. It’s cool. If things don’t go to plan, don’t stress it. I’m learning that if my stuff isn’t in order from the jump, mothering (2 kids) will be a mess. Since I know that, I’ve got to do better with adjusting, shifting, and moving forward. Sh*t happens! Self-forgiveness can look like saying: girl, it’s ok. you’re doing your best w/ what you have today. . . Cheers to tomorrow being better—because fresh starts can bless us in the morning. And hopefully I won’t be wearing this breastmilk stained cami the rest of the week, because life…? . . photos: Char (my oldest girl) skirt: @shopdoen
Host with the Most: Alex Elle, a Washington D.C based author.
Why It’s For Us, By Us: Sisterhood and storytelling are at the foundation of this popular podcast.
The Deets: Hosted by Elle, who is both a poet and author, conversations include spiritualism, loss, grief, art, mental health, motherhood any a host of other issues that hit home with Black women, all the while highlighting the voices of awe-inspiring female experts.
Listen Up: “I’ve done so much work to love myself and to really stand tall in that,” said Elle on Instagram.
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Gratitude — readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It’s BIG for us at Black Girl In Om. As one of our team values, we embrace radical gratitude 24/7/365 and are constantly finding new ways to let you all know how much we are thankful for you. Join us — we’ve gotten started on a mini-gratitude list ? We encourage you take pen to paper today and write down 10 things you’re grateful for. Here’s our top three so you can get some inspiration — 1. We are grateful for the 60+ women of color who joined us for BGIO Self Care Sunday all January long! ? 2. We are grateful for our partner @hm who supported our programming — and our experience partners @gtskombucha, @imperfectproduce — allowing us to kick off 2019 with a major bang. 3. We are grateful for our 5 amazing new team members who are helping us amplify our mission even more. Come through, sisterhood! ✨ Your turn ?? And if you love these looks, click the link in our bio to shop! #HMSport #HMxME #Ad ▫️▫️▫️ Photo by Lili Fang (@lili__fang)
Host with the Most: Lauren Ash, founder and Deun Ivory art director have created a space for women of color to breathe easy.
Theme(s): Health and Wellness
Why It’s For Us, By Us: If you are looking for tips on wellness, this podcast will definitely give you what you need.
The Deets: Being the best and whole ‘you’ is the vision of this podcast.
Listen Up: In an interview with MindBodyGreen.com, Ash shared how Black women have shown their appreciation for their wellness platform.
“I’ve had a woman say, ‘Wow, because of you I realize that wellness is for me, and my life has changed.’ I’ve had women reach out and say that they became yoga teachers because of finding Black Girl In Om and they would have never considered that as a path, and it’s brought them so much joy and healing, as well as the people that they serve.”
Hosts with the Most: Model Tabria Majors and LA-based journalist Amanda J. Louis AKA Mindy J.
Theme(s): Society and Culture
Why It’s For Us, By Us: Loving life and your curves has it’s true benefits and these two will introduce you to a whole new world of fun and body positivity inspiration.
The Deets: The Thick offers weekly carefree conversations and opinions and advice on politics, pop culture, health, and beauty. Fans love that the hosts are truly BFFs who are unabashed, smart, and not afraid to get goofy on air.
Listen Up: The ladies take their time detailing aspects of dating, sex, pop culture and humans from the POV that includes deliciously curvy women of color; a group often ignored or exploited even by our own community.
Hosts with the Most: Registered dietitians Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones
Theme(s): Health and Nutrition
Why It’s For Us, By Us: If you are looking for a pathway to healthy food that is also soulfully delicious as much as it is nutritious, the Food Heaven podcast is for you.
The Deets: Every Wednesday, Lopez and Jones offer evidence-based tips from leading experts on food, nutrition, and lifelong sustainable changes to improve your health.
Listen Up: In an interview with Side Hustle Pro, Jones said they started the podcast to offer easy steps to living your best life.
“We wanted to make the concept really simple, just like our brand – simple, practical; how do you incorporate more healthy recipes into your diet that you are actually excited about that taste good, but are not all these random ingredients, but yet are still creative.”
Host with the Most: Nicaila Matthews Okome
Why It’s For Us, By Us: This podcast is perfect for anyone who wants to know how to start a side hustle or turn one into a full-time profitable brand and business.
The Deets: Created by Jamaican born, Bronx bred, Matthews Okome, in 2016, Side Hustle Pro touts itself as “the first and only podcast to spotlight bold, Black women entrepreneurs.” With a loyal following of over 60,000 aspiring Black women entrepreneurs and a growing number of industry accolades, Side Hustle Pro is easily becoming the go-to destination for Black women who want to build their brand and bread.
From conversations with Yene Damtew, hairstylist to former and forever First Lady Michelle Obama to Adesola Olutola, founder of the popular African clothing brand D’IYANU, the podcast offers diverse perspectives from Black women business owners who share the good, bad, and ugly of entrepreneurship.
Listen Up: Matthews Okome started Side Hustle Pro with one agenda in mind – to help change the narrative surrounding entrepreneurship.
“I felt it was very one-sided and I didn’t see a lot of Black women entrepreneurs covered in the list and the magazines. I wanted to know more about their journey,” she told Yahoo Finance! in a recent interview.
Host with the Most: Luvvie Ajayi founder of the popular blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com.
Theme(s): Society and Culture
Why It’s For Us, By Us: Add a little flavor (and culture) to your life with a dash of hilarious shade in your overflowing cup of “tea” with this pop culture and politics driven podcast.
The Deets: Ajayi calls herself a “professional troublemaker” and she tells no lies. The award-winning author of “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual,” sought after speaker and sound digital strategist has found the perfect intersection between comedy, technology and activism to build her following on Rants and Randomness. Fans love her rants and raves about all things Black, and her unapologetic devotion to her Nigerian roots.
Listen Up: When asked by Philly.com what the most pressing issue Black women face, Ajayi stated: “There isn’t just one. For Black women everything is amplified. We sit at the intersection of two marginalized groups. We are dealing with racism and sexism. We are dealing with class issues. We are dealing with constantly having to prove our worth.”
Host with the Most: Multifaceted artist, singer and model, Boshia Raejean aka Young Muslimah
Theme(s): Religion and Spirituality
Why It’s For Us, By Us: If you are interested in understanding the experiences of Black Muslim women, then this podcast is for you.
The Deets: Raejean has several layers to who she is and what she’s about, which makes for her conversation all the more interesting. On the Young Black Muslimah podcast, she uses her experiences to connect and empower other women across the globe.
As the first person in her family to convert to Islam, Raejean examines, shares and analyzes the trials, triumphs, and powerful testimonies around the politics of religiosity, womanhood, and identity as a young, Black Muslim woman in America.
Listen Up: Raejean is proud of her ability to connect to her audience.
“I’ve developed so many friendships. I love the fact that we are able to create our own work,” said Raejean in an interview with Bustle.
Host with the Most: Author, speaker and business consultant Rosetta Thurman
Theme(s): Entrepreneurship and Self-Help
Why It’s For Us, By Us: If you are a Black woman entrepreneur or interested in starting a business, but lack the motivation to get things started, check out the Happy Black Woman Podcast for the tips needed to move the dial.
The Deets:Thurman has gone through her own ups and downs. After going to a good school and getting a great job, she had checked off all the boxes, but still wasn’t happy. In 2007, she started a blog that eventually grew into her becoming the founder and CEO of Happy Black Woman, a global empowerment company and online community that empowers ambitious Black women to create their ideal lives and businesses.
Listen Up: Thurman has shifted the mindset and business acumen of countless Black women with her podcast as a mentor and inspirational teacher. Part life coach, part business guru, women who have experienced listened to her advice have said that Thurman helps to validate the realness of their desires, transform their lives and provide the tools needed to simply commit to clarity.
Grio fam, what’s your favorite Black women driven podcast?
Add to the list and let us know.