Society & Culture has always been a top genre among podcast listeners. The podcasts that fall in this category tend to focus on a blend of cultural awareness, societal issues, and representation. Black voices are a very prominent part of this genre as they provide an unfiltered lens into the Black perspective on cultural and societal topics and interests as well as feature Black leaders, creators, influencers, and newsmakers in the discussions and interviews that are often overlooked in mainstream media channels.
Here are 9 Black-led podcasts with powerful voices in the Society & Culture charts:
Marsha’s Plate: Black Trans Podcast (Diamond Stylz)
Marsha’s Plate is hosted by three Houston-based, Black trans feminists who explore topics of gender, current events, politics and systemic oppression from a Black trans feminist lens. Diamond Stylz, Mia Mix and Zee host their podcast with a very open and raw narrative that leaves no subject off limits. They are able to stay entertaining while also incredibly informative in their discussions and truly provide an inclusive lens for their listeners into trans experience and trans perspective on societal and cultural topics discussed. A regularly trending podcast, these Black trans feminists have created a stage of honest and authentic representation of the Black trans community and its leaders with lots of love, learning, and laughter for all.
Listen to Marsha’s Plate here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
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The Nod (Gimlet)
A large focus of the Society & Culture genre for all media is the ability to showcase the representation of a culture or community to a mainstream audience. The Nod, with hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings, does just that for Black life. Brittany and Eric take a different approach to covering Black culture by celebrating it in a very direct and intentional way through stories, discussions and interviews that explore all dimensions of Black life. They allow their listeners to learn about Black culture, Black people, Black history and more through the personal stories and perspectives of the hosts and their guests. Every episode has an underlying message of enlightenment, relatability, and education around Black culture while also keeping the conversation entertaining, humbling, and authentic.
Listen to The Nod here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
For All Nerds (LoudSpeakers Network)
The For All Nerds Show is a great representation of multicultural nerds interested in fandom culture. DJ Benhameen, Tatiana King Jones and Jeff J serve as the hosts for this humorous, informative, and thought-provoking podcast. They provide a much needed Black perspective into all things nerd fandom. Their guests span industries – from music to politics to comics, movies television and tech – and keep the topics fresh and interesting every episode. The unique lens bestowed upon the listeners breaks all stereotypes and societal norms around “nerds” and shows that inclusivity in nerdom is a beautiful and insightful experience to behold. For All Nerds continues to be a fan, and nerd, favorite in the Society and Culture charts and is definitely worth an addition to your weekly feed, nerd or not!
Listen to For All Nerds here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
3 Educated Brothas
3 Educated Brothas focuses on a lesser served area of interest in the podcast space: Education. Co-hosts Pat, Marc & Edmund discuss the implications of current events on the education system through the lens of 3 Black educators, as well as speak about personal experiences they’ve gone through as Black educators. Their content touches on a very overlooked segment of our education system and Pat, Marc and Edmund do a fantastic job of representation through their podcast. Their organic conversations with each other, as well as their guests, sheds a very refreshing light on Black identity in education.
Listen to 3 Educated Brothas here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Snap Judgment (Snap Judgment and WNYC Studios)
Snap Judgment brings a new concept into the podcasting medium which is combining musical composition with storytelling to create a cinematic experience and bring a new level of engagement to a listenership audience. They do an incredible job of featuring intimate and authentic stories with people from all walks of life. The composition of music and sounds accompanying the story takes it a step further and triggers emotion and empathy to truly bring a listener into the moment and creates a beautifully crafted experience for their audience. Snap Judgment has continued to provide incredible content since 2017 and has become a regular fan favorite in the Society & Culture as well as the Arts Podcast Charts.
Listen to Snap Judgment here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Still Processing (The New York Times)
Still Processing is the creation of two Black culture writers for The New York Times. Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham explore TV, movies, art, music and the internet to find topics and issues that trigger their emotions. No topic is off-limits, no matter how large or small, and their ability to break down cultural and societal issues with such grace and candor speaks to the power of their voice and the value of their representation as Black writers and podcasters. Wesley and Jenna’s synergy is spot on and every episode provides a balanced and thought-provoking discussion for their listeners.
Listen to Still Processing here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Black History Year (PushBlack, Limina House)
Black History Year tackles one of the greatest hindrances in mainstream America, which is transparency in information. It is no surprise that history books and mainstream conversations often leave out the stories of the oppressed and skew the realities of what actually happened. Black History Year is combatting those hindrances by spotlighting Black thought-leaders, activists and innovators that are left out of the mainstream but are true change-makers and deserve attention. The balance between historical references and stories with current events and issues provides a very well-rounded lens into the Black experience in America in both the past and the present. Produced by PushBlack, the nation’s largest non-profit Black media company, Black History Year is a must-have on the podcast feeds of those searching for an unsanitized view into the Black experience often voided in most history books and mainstream conversations.
Listen to Black History Year here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders (NPR)
Another popular NPR podcast is It’s Been a MInute with Sam Sanders. Sam Sanders earned his popularity as a campaign reporter during the 2016 presidential election with his sense of humor in his reporting. He is channeling that sense of humor into a conversational podcast that covers the intersection of politics and pop culture. The series drops two episodes per week, one focuses on deep diving into a certain topic or interview and the other is a weekly news roundup with other journalists. Sam’s thorough approach to his interviews gives a very valuable and powerful voice to his guests, who are often Black news-makers, creators and influencers that deserve more mainstream attention. His dedication to amplifying Black and underrepresented voices is incredibly inspiring and speaks to the power of the podcast medium. His ability to balance the conversations with his humor keeps his episodes interesting and regularly trending in the Podcast Charts.
Listen to It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Behind the Brilliance
Behind the Brilliance is a fan favorite among listeners who are intellectually curious. Lisa Nichole Bell conducts long form interviews with culture-shaping leaders in art, technology, business, lifestyle and personal development. Lisa’s personal charisma and humor shines in her interviews and brings out the heart of the story among her guests in such a smooth and graceful manner. Every week features a new journey and a fresh conversation that drops gems of information on life, lessons learned, struggles overcome, and more that leaves her listeners with a sense of inspiration and empowerment in their own lives. Lisa is an incredible Black female podcaster that is using her voice to amplify others, and listeners are definitely paying attention every week.
Listen to Behind the Brilliance here and amplify your favorite pieces across social media using the sharing feature on the Backtracks Player.
Looking for more Black voices to amplify? Check out the other podcasts recently featured on Backtracks’ blog. From significant Black voices in health and wellness to hilarious and unique Black perspectives in comedy to Black perspectives on culture, race, society, and systemic oppression to much-needed discussions by Black women, Backtracks has made it a priority to promote Black voices in podcasts. In addition to being all different kinds of entertaining, educational, and challenging, choosing to amplify Black voices means choosing to stay informed while standing in solidarity with those who are unfairly marginalized and oppressed by our society on a daily basis.