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It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

Author: NPR

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Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.
320 Episodes
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The newsrooms that covered the protests for racial justice are now being forced to confront racism and inequity within their own organizations. Black journalists and other journalists of color are sharing their experiences on social media and leading a public debate over what it means to be "objective," whose stories are told, and how whiteness still dictates newsroom practices, opportunities and compensation. Sam chats about this reckoning within newsrooms with The Undefeated's Soraya Nadia McDonald, Futuro Media president and founder and Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa and NPR public editor Kelly McBride. Thanks for listening to our show! We want your feedback. Please visit npr.org/ibamsurvey to submit your thoughts now.
Four months into the pandemic, it seems like we're no better off in dealing with the coronavirus. There are still so many questions and few definitive answers about how this all ends, and for a lot of us, that's turned into anger and frustration. Sam talks to comedian Laurie Kilmartin about how she used Twitter and her iPad to process her mother's illness and death from COVID-19. Then he chats with Houston bar owner Greg Perez about how he's trying to keep workers and customers safe while also keeping his business afloat. And Sam asks Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo in Miami about how to make sense of all the mixed public health messaging on the coronavirus.
Last year, comedian Chelsea Handler made a documentary on Netflix called, Hello Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea, where she explored the idea of white privilege. Which happens to be a thing that a lot of people are talking about again... right now, in 2020.Sam talks to Chelsea about what she's learned since then, her latest book — Life Will Be the Death of Me...and You Too! -- and coming to terms with both her own white privilege during the protests... and herself, in therapy.
It's summer without a lot of the usual summer fun because, you know, pandemic. But we've got music and TV recommendations to keep you company. Joining Sam are All Things Considered co-host Audie Cornish and Code Switch co-host Gene Demby to chat about their TV picks — Netflix's Bojack Horseman and HBO's I May Destroy You — and to play a special summer songs version of Who Said That. Then, Sam chats with gospel musician, songwriter and author Kirk Franklin about how his music and faith are a balm for these turbulent times.
Ever wonder what it would be like to take hundreds of photos of yourself for a giant coffee table book ... wearing only a bikini? Comedian Nicole Byer has. And did, for her new book: #VeryFat #VeryBrave: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini.Sam talks to the "Nailed It" Netflix host about what it was like to make the book, what it taught her about her body, and why the store Lane Bryant touches a nerve.
How much has Big Tech changed since the 2016 election? Sam is joined by Washington Post tech reporters Elizabeth Dwoskin and Tony Romm. They chat about Facebook and Twitter and how their platforms and views on free speech have evolved since the last presidential election. Sam also chats with Washington Post columnist and satirist Alexandra Petri about her book of essays Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why and how she uses humor to uncover bigger truths.
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross has been acting for years — from the early 2000s sitcom 'Girlfriends' to her Golden Globe winning role on ABC's 'Black-ish.' She talks to Sam about pushing back against Black stereotypes on and off-screen, pursuing success at any age, finding Black joy during a tumultuous time, and sharing her singing work in her latest film 'The High Note' with her mother, music legend Diana Ross.
What does it all mean when so much change happens at the same time? This week, the Supreme Court protected the rights of two marginalized groups — DACA recipients and LGBTQ workers — and protests against police brutality continued around the world. Sam chats about the Supreme Court with Slate's Mark Joseph Stern, then checks in with Tobore Oweh, a DACA recipient who is hopeful yet realistic about her status. After that, Sam calls across the pond to UK writer Candice Carty-Williams about the Black Lives Matter protests near her.
James McBride is the National Award-winning author of The Good Lord Bird and the best-selling memoir, The Color of Water. His latest book is Deacon King Kong, which is set against the backdrop of 1960s Brooklyn and tells the story of how one man's decision upended an entire neighborhood. Sam talks to McBride about race, religion and community, the parallels he sees to the world we're living in today, and why he's still optimistic, despite protests and a pandemic.
The killing of George Floyd has inspired global protests against police brutality, and it seems like everyone has something to say, including the entertainment industry. Sam's joined by NPR television critic Eric Deggans and Tonya Mosley, co-host of NPR/WBUR's Here & Now and host of the KQED podcast Truth Be Told. They talk about the cancellation of the long-running reality TV show Cops, the removal of Gone With the Wind from HBO Max, and what it all says about this moment. After that, Sam chats with Rev. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan, and Rev. angel Kyodo williams, a Zen priest. They talk about what Black people and white people should be doing differently now and give Sam a bit of sermon.
2020 is '68 all over again. But not the '68 you think. Yes, 1968 also saw protests, racial divisions and political polarization. Adam Serwer covers politics for The Atlantic, and he says you can certainly draw comparisons between Trump and Nixon – in that Trump is actually a backlash to the policies that came out of 1968. But Serwer says 1868 is a better point of comparison – it was a moment of hope, when white Republicans had been fighting for black rights for years, before ultimately abandoning them to pursue white voters. Serwer sees Americans coming together in this moment, as they have in the past, but as a student of history, he says the backlash always comes eventually.
Not Just Another Protest

Not Just Another Protest

2020-06-0541:508

There is so much to unpack in this current moment. Sam has a candid conversation with Aunt Betty about how history has shaped her view of the current protests, and he walks around downtown Los Angeles to get the perspective of people he meets. Sam also talks to BuzzFeed News reporter Melissa Segura on her recent reporting about police unions and what they mean for reform, and Morning Edition executive producer Kenya Young about being a black parent during this time.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj is not afraid of talking about his faith, even when it gets him in trouble. He's a two-time Peabody Award winner and host of the Netflix show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which has just begun its second season. He talks to Sam about being an Indian American Muslim, how he finds joy in family and what his faith means to him today.
The coronavirus pandemic has us worrying not only about our health, but also about money. Sam talks to CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, about the current economic crisis and how it's affecting different generations. Then, Sam talks to writer Samantha Irby about her newsletter "Who's On Judge Mathis Today?," which recaps the foibles of the syndicated daytime court show Judge Mathis.
Yvonne Orji plays the part of best friend Molly Carter on the HBO series Insecure, but Orji will soon headline her own stand-up special in June called, "Mama, I Made It." Orji talks to Sam about religion, getting her start in comedy at a Nigerian beauty pageant, growing up with strict immigrant parents and finding the humor in all of it. Email the show at samsanders@npr.org.
Maya Erskine has come a long way from the NYU experimental theater department where she met her PEN15 co-creator Anna Konkle. In this encore episode, Erskine talks to Sam about her starring role in the genre-bending romantic comedy Plus One and how she wrote her own life experiences into the character she plays on Hulu's PEN15.
Sam revisits his 2019 conversation with poet and writer Saeed Jones. Saeed discusses his memoir, How We Fight For Our Lives, a vulnerable exploration of his coming of age as black and gay in suburban Texas. The former BuzzFeed editor sat down with Sam to give a glimpse of the stories behind his book, including those of his mother and grandmother, and one where he faced violence during a sexual encounter with another man. This episode contains graphic discussion of sex, sexuality and abuse.
The Show Must Go On

The Show Must Go On

2020-05-1534:283

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic began, we've become more accustomed to life closing down than opening up. But for many, putting life on pause isn't an option. This week, Sam talks to people whose lives were thrown off course, but who scrambled to keep doing what they were doing. A home health aide talks about the risk she now takes to do her work. A political organizer explains how door knocking and canvassing had to go digital. And an international student is determined to stay in the United States, despite losing her classes, her housing, and her job.
The music of the band Chicano Batman has long defied genre. Funk, psychedelic, soul, indie — it's all these things and more. Sam talks to band members Carlos Arévalo and Bardo Martinez about their new album, Invisible People, what it's like not to be able to tour and how their music is the ultimate reflection of their hometown, Los Angeles.
Politics may not be the first thing on minds right now, but it's still happening. With the Senate returning to session this week, Sam checks in to see how Capitol Hill is operating safely. NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis discusses how congressional members are taking precautions, while NPR White House reporter Ayesha Rascoe explains how President Trump's election rallies could possibly continue with social distancing in place. Then, Sam calls up an artist in Sweden — which hasn't imposed strict lockdown measures— to find out what everyday life now looks like.
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Comments (23)

muffen jr

I want so BADLY to hear the unbleeped version of this episode.

Jun 30th
Reply

Ntete Bassey Duke

such a rollercoaster of emotions episode

Jun 19th
Reply

Jes L Schultz

I wonder what history lessons you may have about what the big upperclass to rich America have done to keep the lower-lower middle classes quiet and happily pegged/immobilized .

Jun 12th
Reply

Arielle Niss

Love what you do with this show, Sam! Thank you for producing and reporting this.

Jun 10th
Reply

Xavier Doc Jenkins

Andrew Glouberman

Mar 11th
Reply

Sam Yeagle

"Scooters are bad, but people are good." 😊

Feb 22nd
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i.am.fearlessone

"Anyway, this has been everything I wanted it to be." 🤣🤣🤣 This was fun to listen to. (:

Jan 1st
Reply (1)

Jennifer Ingram

💜💜💜💜

Nov 16th
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jabtrack123

Most campus sexual assaults are by people the victim knows not strangers and also occur outside of frat parties. It's also not like drinking stops after college but we clearly don't use that as the scapegoat for sexual assault elsewhere. Drinking is a factor but it is not the cause and going after that won't magically stop assault. A lot of people drink and the majority do not assault someone while doing so. I really don't think the presentation of the issue by Gladwell was accurate and quite frankly it did sound like victim blaming not "victim prevention."

Sep 18th
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Xavier Doc Jenkins

I need that “what” sound byte as a text tone.

Aug 24th
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TheRealMrPink

if the trans Victoria secret model is hot, I'm sure it'll get some views but guaranteed if Victoria's secret keeps going down this ridiculous Woke path and think the majority of their viewers of the show want to see plus size models and trans people who do not come off as well as they'd like, they will go either out of business or their catwalk show will be cancelled. these are facts.

Aug 11th
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Cheng Zhang-Stoddard

Love this talented man!

Apr 10th
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Lizzie Sullivan

Thank you for the trigger/content warning right up front. I appreciate it.

Mar 12th
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Dani Vasquez

Sam is so tuned in. I love that he learns the language needed to help him connect to each person that he interviews. He brings in techniques that are probably representative of his training and education while maintaining an air of authenticity. This interview is no exception. Thanks for turning me on to artists that are new to me in a way that makes me feel like I've been listening to them for a while.

Feb 22nd
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Isaac Sanchez

one of my favorite podcasts. the tone is just right with a good balance of intellect and blissful pop culture ignorance. keep up the good work you guys!

Jan 12th
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Victoria Rose

I hire day workers for 20 an hour so I could work for that too. and if I need some Brawn I could higher one of those heavy lifting types for some Things. does that sound doable?

Dec 26th
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Anna Linnell

I'm challenging your declaration of the "youngest person elected to congress". Check it out, Abby Finkenaur from Iowa's first congressional district is just 29.

Nov 17th
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Danica Hay-Skattum

please be sure to talk about the sexual harassment of males especially when talking about servers. Women can be just as out of line with comments and unwanted touching of males but males are, in my opinion, even more so chastised for speaking up against it!!

Oct 2nd
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jmike s

thanks so much for the Updatez I gvxkmt pzx I'm looking hey mang oh Chris k

Sep 21st
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Pizza Monster

"American culture borrows from other cultures, never seen the reverse in a movie". Really? Have you been outside of the US? The whole Hollywood propaganda machine pushed American culture down the world's throat. What the hell are you talking about???

Aug 24th
Reply
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