‘Dear Culture’s’ first annual Best and Blackest Awards

See which celebrities and public figures took home the podcast's top prizes

In commemoration of Black History Month, this week the Dear Culture podcast is teaming up with the What’s In It For Us podcast to bring you our first annual Best & Blackest Awards!

The fun is just beginning with hosts from both podcast lineups: Dr. Christina Greer, Gerren Keith Gaynor, and Shana Pinnock, who are joined by executive producer Blue Telusma. Tune in as we review and react to 2020’s most memorable best, not-so-best, and Blackest moments. 

Starting off the awards, our first category is “Most Improved” with comedian and writer Amanda Seales, Real Housewife and social activist Porsha Williams and CNN Host Lemon. Given all the things that’ve happened in 2020, these nominees showed amazing improvement in their overall ability to own up to mistakes and make better change.

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This past year, Williams progressed from “not knowing about the Underground Railroad” to manning the proverbial train all by herself. Seales was able to process her emotions adequately “as a Cancer” sign. However, the winner of this category is Don Lemon for his evolution in social justice and collecting the heads of folks in power. 

“Shoutout to Don [Lemon], he actually helped me come out to my mom. We had a conversation and he pushed me to do it and I did it,” Gaynor tells Telusma about one of the standout public figures of 2020. 

Don Lemon speaks onstage in December 2019 during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts Ripple of Hope Gala & Auction in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

Next up, we have the “Hotep of Hotep Awards” with our nominees being social commentator Dr. Umar Johnson, media mogul Nick Cannon and lastly, all the Black folks who chose not to vote in the 2020 elections. Hotep is an Egyptian word that means peace, however in our contemporary language, Hotep is a word given to folks who open their third eye in strange ways.

These nominees take the cake for “nonsensical ideas” and rhetoric, according to the podcast. Unequivocally, our hosts cast their vote to all the Black people who chose not to vote, however, the winner is Johnson. The commentator took home the award for being a prime source of misinformation and ideas to both the Black and Hotep communities. 

“I direct all my ire to [Black] people who chose not to vote. This country tried to keep [voting] away from us since its inception,” says Dr. Greer.

One of our most highly coveted categories is the “Mask Off Award” with rapper and activist Noname, actress and activist Gabrielle Union and Tik Tok whistleblower Claudia Conway. This award is given to folks who ripped the mask off and showed us what really lies behind the scenes. From Noname breaking down capitalism, Claudia exposing that COVID-19 was running rampant in the White House to Union sharing her experiences of workplace racism on America’s Got Talent, these nominees deserve their place for ringing the alarm on institutions that can and have to do better. 

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“So you wanna do some slick stuff behind the camera during an investigation?” says Pinnock to Telusma on the alleged racial misconduct on America’s Got Talent.

Those are not the only awards we have to give. To find out who won “Mask Off Award” and whether Megan Thee Stallion and Jada Pinkett Smith won anything, tune in to Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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