‘Writing Black’ podcast with host Maiysha Kai to premiere on theGrio Black Podcast Network
The debut episode of "Writing Black" will feature poet and songwriter J. Ivy.
A new podcast series documenting conversations among prolific Black storytellers, hosted by theGrio’s own Maiysha Kai, is launching Sunday, Aug. 14 on Byron Allen’s theGrio Black Podcast Network.
“Writing Black” is a weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into the intersections of identity, craft and language from the perspectives of accomplished Black authors, comics, journalists, playwrights, poets, songwriters, and more.
Across six episodes, Kai, lifestyle editor for theGrio and expert on arts, culture, language and aesthetics, sits down for candid discussions with the likes of comedian and writer Sam Jay, political commentator Bakari Sellers and New York Times bestselling young adult author Ayana Gray.
“In creating a new podcast series for theGrio, I was excited to reach beyond the typical literary podcast to explore both the power of words and the craft of writing itself,” Kai said. “Specifically, I’m interested in how writers develop their voices, and how our identities inevitably inform our work.”
The debut episode of “Writing Black” on Aug. 14 will feature poet and songwriter J. Ivy, who has earned a Grammy nomination for his spoken word pieces and more recently wrote Kanye West’s Netflix documentary “#Jeenyuhs.”
Kai, who is also a Grammy-nominated writer working across the various mediums including songwriting, play writing and journalism, said the new podcast aims to unpack the complex web of factors that influence Black experiences and perspectives.
“While ‘Writing Black’ obviously focuses on how Black writers craft stories, it’s equally about how the other aspects of our identities—gender, age, ability, sexuality, socioeconomics, regionality, etc.— have created a rich, intersectional spectrum of Black voices and narratives,” Kai said.
“That’s what I hope to bring to listeners of ‘Writing Black’: frank, empathetic, often humorous and hopefully inspiring conversations with wordsmiths who relish the opportunity to share their stories and Black experiences.”
Following the Sunday, Aug. 14 premiere featuring Ivy, episodes will be released weekly. In episode two, Sam Jay discusses making space for fellow comedians and working on her hit HBO series “Pause” and “Bust Down” on Peacock.
Best-selling author Robert Jones joins the show next for a conversation about his book “The Prophet,” his influences and how identity influences his writing.
Political commentator Keith Boykin then sits down with Kai to chat candidly about his various published works, how identity influences politics, and the landscape of social media.
In the following episode, Ayana Gray joins the show to discuss her life experiences, Netflix picking up her novel “Beasts of Prey,” and her favorite authors.
Bakari Sellers then sits down with Kai to talk about activism and politics, his busy schedule and his new children’s book, “Who Are Your People?”
Finally, British best-selling author Candice Carty-Williams joins the show to discuss her new book “People Person” and Netflix picking up her TV show, BBC drama “Champion.”
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