A Black female artist fighting to control her career, her body, and her life, Janet Jackson was a 20th century icon. As a part of our minicast on politics, Ayanna Dozier – author, filmmaker, and performance artist – shares her experience writing about The Velvet Rope for our 33 1/3 series, while tackling Black women’s sexuality and bodily autonomy, technophilia, online structures of oppression, and much more. This episode is for anyone wondering about Janet Jackson’s life and legacy and the influence she still has on artists today.
Slavery is a horrifying yet fundamental part of history that still shapes modern racism and culture. As a part of our minicast on politics, author and historian Ana Lucia Araujo draws on archival research, interviews, slave narratives, and other resources to explain how slavery is discussed and taught in modern society and the role that memory plays in how we understand race. This episode addresses issues such as the collective and public memory of enslaved people, the willful forgetting of past trauma, and modern attempts at reparations. It also addresses current movements such as the Black Lives Matter protests, the dismantling of pro-slavery monuments and symbols, and the construction of memorials around the world. For anyone looking to discuss collective memory and learn how we can create systemic change to heal from the past.
In order for any politician to be successful, they need to tell a good story—one they can weave into their platform and policies, and one that grabs the voter’s attention. As a part of our minicast on politics, author Philip Seargeant discusses how narratives are used by conservatives and progressives, activist movements and conspiracy theorists, to create a political identity. Covering everything from the US presidential election to domestic terrorism to the climate strikes and Black Lives Matter protests, this episode is for anyone wondering how our leaders, our media, and the people around us are manipulating facts in the era of social media.
The spread of false information, whether purposeful or unintentional, poses one of the biggest threats to democracy today. As a part of our minicast on politics, author and analyst Nina Jankowicz draws from her experience working in Russia, Ukraine, and Washington DC to answer questions on combating Russian interference, regulating tech and media companies, fighting foreign and domestic terrorism, and confronting disinformation in the digital age. This episode is for anyone wondering how we can protect our democratic process while still maintaining our basic rights and freedoms.