Navigating the sea of podcasts: Four podcasts I use to expand my horizons
There are too many podcasts in the world: Every noteworthy person seems to have a podcast. I can see why though. A good podcast is informative, entertaining and engages you in ways music and television cannot. Plus, they are free. Can you name another form of entertainment that is as widely accessible as podcasts? Even though I was late to get into the podcast game, I have found some gems that I think more people should give a listen.
New York has always served as a cultural hub for the world in the way of fashion, food and comics. Desus Nice and The Kid Mero continue the long legacy of great comedy from the city that never sleeps. They have jumped from Twitter to MTV to Vice and now to Showtime. In every format they have brought the uniqueness and swagger that has made the Bronx one of the most iconic and important places in America. They don’t shy away from any topic on the show and keep you laughing for the weekly hour-and-a-half-long podcast.
I’ll admit, when I first heard of the podcast from NPR, I was not enthusiastic at all. I pictured old, soft-spoken white guys talking about subjects that wouldn’t connect with me. Thankfully, “Code Switch” subverted my expectations in every way. This show focuses on the many complicated facets of race and identity by exploring as many sides of the conversation as possible. From the census, to arranged marriages, to the words we use, “Code Switch” brings much needed perspective to these issues we all must deal with. Best of all, the hosts are people of color who inject their personal experiences into the reporting, bringing a depth that is often lacking in traditional reporting about race and identity.
Everyone’s favorite salsa-dancing, Twitter-staple astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson brings the stars and mysteries of the universe into your ears with his podcast. Space, science and pop culture are discussed by Dr. Tyson and a variety of co-hosts from the worlds of entertainment and science.
Crissle West and Kid Fury began their podcast way back in 2013 and it has been going strong since. They examine current events and pop culture from the unfiltered perspective of two LGBTQIA* millennials of color. This show serves as equal parts therapy, entertainment and lecture as they inject much needed intersectionality into what is happening in the world. They include positive sections, such as “Black Excellence”, that highlight stories about people of color that the larger media ignores or does not fully understand, and “Crissle’s Couch”, which examines the touchy subject of mental health that is so often overlooked in the black community. They end the show with their “read,” which is their harsh opinion on whatever is bothering them in the world. Their passion is evident in everything they do and this podcast is a great way to expand your knowledge about communities that are oftentimes forgotten.
These are just four of the thousands of podcasts out there that allow us to have deeper conversations about the complex issues in our world. I have fallen in love with them because they introduce new perspectives and knowledge that I would have never known about in my own bubble of friends. Be adventurous and listen to as many as you can to keep expanding your mind.