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Black stories are more than a fad or fodder for opportunistic outsiders. We know them. We love them. We’re moved by them. They change our lives. And on this podcast, Black stories are the default.
42 Episodes
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Black Donald Trump

Black Donald Trump

2024-07-1831:10

Donald Trump is everywhere — cable news, social media, those silly red hats, Black sitcoms and rap lyrics. Wait, what? That’s right. In this episode Katie and Yves are looking at Donald Trump’s cameos in Black sitcoms and rap music to track how Black folks’ attitudes toward The Donald have changed over time.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Wash Day Woes

Wash Day Woes

2024-07-1146:16

Black haircare YouTubers built a brand-new storytelling genre from the ground up. So today on the podcast, Yves and Katie give them their much-deserved credit. Then they speak with LaToya Ebony, a content creator and actress who's been giving us haircare game on YouTube for over a decade.   LaToya Ebony Hair LaToya Ebony Someday Sunday   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Ever wonder why news can feel so different depending on where you read it? In today’s episode, Katie and Yves compare how Black and white newspapers cover the same topics. From big events to everyday stories, we'll explore why the news isn't always so black and white.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
People have been branding themselves for a long time, but personal branding is a whole new beast in the digital age -- especially for Black folks. Katie and Yves speak with Bridget Todd of There Are No Girls on the Internet about what it means to share carefully crafted personas on social media.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We're done with the trauma for trauma's sake. But can we trust folks to make informed, nuanced stories about enslaved people? Cheyney McKnight of Not Your Momma's History is skeptical. Katie and Yves speak with her about the horror of slavery films in Hollywood, her favorite movie about an enslaved person, and the kinds of slavery movies she wants to see in the future.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Join us on Juneteenth for a special edition of Write Club Atlanta! Write Club is a literary event where writers go head-to-head on opposing topics. Expect amazing writers, stories that will take you on an emotional roller coaster, and an appropriate amount of joyous yelling.   All Black writers. Blackity Black themes. Come see 'bout it.   This event will take place at 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8. Tickets $10 at the door.   Head to ontheme.show/juneteenth-write-club-atlanta for more info.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Crunk music. Snap music. They go together like Atlanta and hip-hop. For the brief and delightful time that crunk and snap were in the limelight, hip-hop felt so carefree (and chaotic). Katie and Yves take a trip back to the aughts to pay homage to the two genres that brought people together — in real life and on the internet.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Archive Alive

Archive Alive

2024-06-0635:37

Yves and Katie share the mic with archivists who detail the funniest or most poignant stories they’ve discovered while in the stacks. Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Katie and Yves share a very important announcement about the show. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Many anthologies of nature poetry and Black poetry have excluded Black nature poetry. But Black people have always written poetry about nature. We write about the land that supports us and challenges us. We write about the animals we care for and the disasters that destroy our homes. We write about the rivers we cross and the soil we till. Black nature poems reflect the enormous range of experiences that we have in our physical environments. As they show us, nature can haunt, and nature can heal. In today’s episode, Katie and Yves discuss the work of a few writers who train their words on the natural world.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Pixel Power

Pixel Power

2024-04-1829:26

Every photo tells a story. In this week’s episode, Katie and Yves take a look at specific instances when pictures were used for good…and for evil. Sometimes they expose the truth, but sometimes they obscure it.   Act I: The Most Photographed Man In America How Frederick Douglass used his portraits to advance the abolitionist movement.   Act II: The Polaroid Protest Two Polaroid employees discover that the company's technology was being used by the South African government to enforce apartheid. How they forced Polaroid into becoming the first major American company to withdraw from South Africa.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.show  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Pauline Hopkins was a literary pioneer in the science fiction, fantasy, romance, and detective genres. She wrote plenty of short stories, essays, books, and plays. But as is the case with so many Black women writers from the 19th and early 20th centuries, Hopkins’s work fell into relative obscurity. Thanks to the work of scholars like Dr. Claudia Tate, Dr. Mary Helen Washington, and Ann Allen Shockley, Hopkins is now getting recognition for being the literary pioneer that she was. There are many more pieces to Pauline’s puzzle that have yet to be found. But the rediscovery of Pauline’s legacy is an ongoing labor of love. In this episode, Yves and Katie honor the life and work of the legendary author and editor Pauline Hopkins.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Myth of Atlanta

The Myth of Atlanta

2024-04-0438:50

It’s 404 Day, an annual celebration of all things Atlanta. And because Katie and Yves love Atlanta — Black Atlanta specifically — they’re talking about the myths Atlanta perpetuates and how those myths impact Black folks.    Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Folks in all kinds of media are great at crafting stories that use misinformation and disinformation to sway opinions about transgender people. When you’re the target of this kind of damaging propaganda, it can be super important to create spaces where you can take control of your own narratives. Enter "The Risk It Takes to Bloom," a new memoir by award-winning author, activist, and media strategist Raquel Willis. As we approach the end of another Women’s History Month, we speak with Raquel about the beauty of Black trans people telling their stories with agency … and how honest, personal storytelling helps pave a path toward freedom. Keep up with Raquel: raquelwillis.com @raquelwillis on all social platforms Buy "The Risk It Takes to Bloom" Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Diary Dialogues

Diary Dialogues

2024-03-2143:15

A lot of us would never want our diaries to see the light of day. But that hasn't stopped people from archiving and publishing their own and others' diary entries. It's not just about exposing people's secrets, though. Through these diaries, we get to learn more about historical eras and about the day-to-day experiences of our ancestors. We get a sneak peek into the private, interior worlds of everyday people, unmarred by the specter of surveillance. To be honest, it does feel a little voyeuristic ... but we’re lucky to have the diaries we do. So in this episode, Katie and Yves grab their tiny keys and crack open the locks on a few Black women's diaries — and we get a glimpse of their lives during Reconstruction, during the Harlem Renaissance, and today. Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Literary Detectives

Literary Detectives

2024-03-1436:45

What happens when a writer’s words are read for the last time? If they’re lucky, curious readers make sure that never happens. And if they’re blessed and highly favored, their readers spread the gospel far and wide. Today, Katie and Yves discuss Alice Walker’s search for Zora Neale Hurston and speak with Michael A. Gonzales, a writer who rediscovered Diane Oliver’s writing in a little-known anthology. And the rest, as they say, is literary history.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Storytelling ain’t always love, peace, and kumbaya. Sometimes our favorite storytellers beef with each other in public. And we, the audience, eat it up. In this episode, Katie and Yves take a walk down a beef-laden memory lane, reexamining feuds between Zora Neale Hurston and other Harlem Renaissance writers.   Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Last Image

The Last Image

2024-02-2931:50

In the U.S., funerals are typically sad occasions, and mourning must be private and appropriate. But as much as Americans like to be uptight about death, post-mortem photography is an art that's been around for a long time, and it's still alive today. Katie and Yves delve into the funerary photography of James Van Der Zee, the controversy of posting images of the dead on social media, and the spectacle of "extreme embalming." Get show notes at ontheme.show Follow us on Instagram @onthemeshow Email us at hello@ontheme.showSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Most of us have known of Rosa Parks since we were knee-high to a grasshopper, but how much do you actually know about Rosa Parks the person? Katie and Yves discuss fictional depictions of the civil rights activist and speak with her niece, Sheila McCauley Keys to gain a new perspective on Ms. Rosa Parks.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Rhyme and Punishment

Rhyme and Punishment

2024-02-1528:08

A new documentary — As We Speak — explores the weaponization of rap lyrics in the legal system, shedding light on using artistic expression as evidence in criminal trials. Directed by J.M. Harper and featuring hip-hop artist Kemba as a guide and character, the film delves into how rap lyrics have been used in court, examining the impact of this practice on the music industry and its artists. Yves and Katie caught up with J.M. and Kemba to talk to them about As We Speak and the implications of criminalizing an art form.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (1)

محمد عبد الكريم

"We be normalized a society that is not aware or compassionate with the sensitivity of children, which creates adults that are, terrifying"

Feb 1st
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