‘What’s In It For Us’ podcast’s first annual Best and Blackest Awards

This episode begins with the 'Best Callout' award with nominations given to social activist and leader Tamika Mallory, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Black Twitter

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

With the best and brightest hosts from both podcast lineups, Gerren Keith Gaynor, Shana Pinnock and Dr. Christina Greer, we’re kicking off part two of our power-hour award show. Joined by theGrio’s Senior Writer and Executive Producer Blue Telusma, our hosts review and react to 2020’s most memorable best, not-so-best, and Blackest moments. 

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Starting off the episode is the “Best Callout” award with nominations given to social activist and leader Tamika Mallory, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Black Twitter. Whether individuals or entities, these nominees called out wrong and laid truth to the foreground.

From Megan calling out out Tory Lanez to Black Twitter consistently “making accountability an art form” and a whole swathe of Black people “feel safe and sane” during difficult times, rhese nominees deserve their flowers. The winner, however, is Mallory for her impeccable ability to keep composure and making sure her words were powerfully felt during the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name protests. 

“Listen now, first off, Tamika Mallory said what needed to be said. Sis deserves,” notes Pinnock to the rest. 

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Civil rights activist Tamika Mallory (C) of Until Freedom speaks during a press conference at Jefferson Square Park on September 25, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Next up is the “Beyond the Sport” award with the WNBA teams New York Liberty and Seattle Storm, super-athlete and businessman LeBron James, Haitian-Japanese tennis champion Naomi Osaka and former NBA all-star Dwyane Wade. Not only did these nominees showed their range on and off the court, they stood their ground in moments that could have jeopardized their careers and relationships.

It’s not always easy to make a statement “at your workplace” the same way Osaka did on an international level, the host explain. Moreover, the “WNBA has always been at the forefront of these movements” and get paid “pennies on the dollar” in comparison to their male counterparts, the podcast team says.

“LeBron James was given hundreds of millions of dollars [since] he was 19. What he’s been able to do with what he’s been given is such an inspiration to me, being a socially conscious entrepreneur,” says Dr. Greer to Telusma.

The winner of this category, however, is Wade for being a proud Black father to his trans daughter, Zaya Wade.

Gaynor remarks that “to see a sports figure bring awareness to [LGBTQIA] community” and preach acceptance is powerful and could start a domino effect with other Black dads. 

The Best and Blackest Awards’ MVP ends on a high note with nominations going to the late Congressman John Lewis, Vice President Kamala Harris and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams. The legacies of our nominees is self-evident, and we believe unanimously that MVP deserves to go to the one person who should be recognized for their bravery, determination, and fight for justice and equal rights for all Black and brown people. 

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“[Stacey Abrams] is confident, she’s not waivered by people’s opinions. If I can see myself in Stacey, a lot of people can see themselves. Anytime to give her flowers, I’m game,” says Gaynor. 

So who do you think won MVP? And who do you think should win the “Where You At” award and the “Misguided Negro” award?

Find out on the What’s In It For Us, the funny, politically edgy Black commentary podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

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