Top 5 Powerful ABAR Podcasts
Before we dive into the podcast descriptions, I’d like to sink into this conversation.
ABAR stands for Anti-bias, Antiracist. It is a method for learning about our own bias, prejudice, privilege, and oppression with the end goal of creating a racially equitable society. When students learn about inclusivity at school, the goal is that they take their learnings into the community to counteract systemic oppression and appropriation. Of course, it’s important to continue these conversations at home, but school is key because, historically speaking, we learn a sugar-coated, Eurocentric history.
Quite frankly, most public school history courses celebrate murderers as victors and forget the rest. When we purposefully exclude the horrors that white people have perpetuated onto BIPOC communities for hundreds of years, we knowingly build a system that upholds systemic racism and oppression. These systems only continue to perpetuate racial inequity, cultural appropriation, and microaggressions. (In other words, if history is power, and history has been white-washed, uh-oh, we then unfortunately equate whiteness with power.) With awareness, continued education, and sustained action, I deeply hope we create the equity we wish to see.
If you’re white, like me, I’m really grateful that you’re here. I believe it’s quite literally our moral and societal obligation to dive into ABAR work. We need to unlearn our deeply rooted biases, we need to have important conversations with our white peers about race, and we need to actively take steps to dismantle and reconstruct the systemically racist society that directly benefits us. We need to be socially aware as to not further appropriate other cultures or continue to spread microaggressions that were likely commonplace in our houses growing up. As educators, it is also crucial that we don’t allow microaggressions and appropriation into classroom culture. Keep in mind, there is no shame in learning and changing your opinions, actions, and words as you evolve in your ABAR learnings.
The fact that you’re reading this article tells me that you’re likely open to learning with me. I would also like to preface that there is a fine balance between using your voice to educate your peers and then overshadowing voices who have been doing the work their whole lives. Take your learnings into the world, and then direct people to the rich, varying voices from which you learned. (If you notice that I need to work on this balance, please email me.)
Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi
hosted by Ibram X. Kendi
“We’ll tie the past to the present, inviting listeners to consider what an antiracist future might look like,” Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author and professor, says in his podcast introduction. Filled with tangible tips, universal definitions, and honest conversations, Be Antiracist skillfully manages to make difficult topics enjoyable to listen to (not in the traditional sense of the word ‘enjoyable’).
Episodes On My List
- “Black & Asian American Solidarity: Exchanging Ideas, Sharing History”
- “Repairing the Past: Returning Native Land”
- “Antiracism & Immigration: People First”
- “Leveling Difference: The Antiracist Struggle for LGBTQ+ Justice”
hosted by Jen Yamato, Johana Bhuiyan, Tracy Brown, and Suhauna Hussain
Following the profound ups and downs of being Asian American, each episode features a variety of guests who share their unique lived experiences. (The title of each episode is the guest’s name, how cool!) From musicians, drag queens, sociologists, and chefs, the wide array of guests cultivate powerful stories of being Asian American.
Episodes On My List:
- “Bonus” Simu Liu” (Marvel’s first Asian superhero)
- “Weijia Jiang” (CBS News White House correspondent)
- “Jujubee” (Drag queen)
- “Anthony Ocampo” (Sociologist and writer)
In The Thick with Maria and Julio
hosted by Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela
Co-hosts and journalists, Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, dive into relatively untouched conversations about the intersection of race, identity, and politics. Their podcast highlights a variety of important topics that are either briefly mentioned or are missing from mainstream news. From human rights and climate change to imperialism and apartheid, Maria and Julio cover it all.
Episodes On My List:
- “We Need To Center Humanity”
- “Settler Colonialism”
- “ITT (In The Thick) Sound Off: Not A Humane System”
- “A Climate of Racial Equity”
hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones
1619 is part of a larger project from The New York Times educating about the lasting implications of the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in colonial Virginia. Nikole Hannah-Jones provides context and prior knowledge while also digging deep into the continuing aftermath of American slavery. This podcast is an excellent starting point to learn the historical facts that add up to the systemic issues in today’s world.
Episodes On My List:
- “The Fight for a True Democracy”
- “The Economy That Slavery Built”
- “The Birth of American Music”
- “The Land of Our Fathers, Part 1 & 2”
Code Switch on NPR
hosted by a team of multiracial, multigenerational group of journalists
With a beautiful variety of topics between food and politics, Code Switch offers necessary and upfront conversations about race. I particularly like this podcast because it’s similar to an anthology. Each self-contained episode is 18 – 50+ minutes and paired with clear descriptions so the listener knows what’s in the conversation ahead. This is especially helpful when listening with children.
Episodes On My List:
- “Who Runs The World? Kids.”
- “The Folk Devil Made Me Do It” (About critical race theory in schools)
- “Who You Calling ‘Hispanic’?”
- “The Once and Future ‘Karen’”
About the Author
Kat St.Pierre (she/her) is a former 8th grade English teacher turned freelance content/copywriter. Passionate about being kind to others, the planet, and herself, she loves using her voice to amplify important conversations and educate with empathy. Contact her at email@example.com or www.katstpierre.com.