Farai Chideya is the creator and host of Our Body Politic, a nationally syndicated public radio show and podcast centering Black women and all women of color as we seek to build a better nation and world. Chideya has covered every Presidential election from 1996 on; worked for FivethirtyEight, NPR, CNN, ABC, and NPR; and appeared on numerous other networks. She is the former longtime host of NPR’s News & Notes and the author of six books, the most recent of which is The Episodic Career: How to Thrive at Work in the Age of Disruption. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, she graduated from Harvard University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
This list blends my favorite topics in podcasting – politics, culture, health and community. On Our Body Politic, we speak fluent politics, while also acknowledging our own humanity and drawing from a well of personal insights. These podcasts are some of my favorites to listen to to help me fill my own well, build community and stay informed.
Hosted by The Times tech columnist Kevin Roose, Rabbit Hole is a brilliant exploration of the seductive weaponization of hate on the web. The second episode in this eight part series shows exactly how algorithms can push people towards content that sparks anger, hate and sometimes violence.
Tiny Desk Concerts
The concerts on Tiny Desk Concerts are always amazing. I love seeing the variety of artists they bring in.
Truth Be Told
Journalist Tonya Mosley brings an amazing focus to the emotional wellness of Black folks on her show Truth Be Told, with fantastic guests. In October 2020, she and I talked journalist to journalist about our own friendship, the civic labor done by Black women, and how women of color are a powerful superdemographic.
On The Stoop, hosts Leila Day and Hana Baba tell stories from across the Black diaspora and always keep it super real. I recommend their episode on Black anti-vaxxers, and the shows’ innovative approach to getting experts to interact with a man who is on Team #NoVax.
Gender Reveal features beautifully-done interviews with trans and nonbinary thinkers and creators. The episode on Kai Cheng Thom is amazing – she’s a transgender social worker, author, and healer with deep insights about how human beings deal with identity and trauma.
Call Your Girlfriend
Hosted by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman – two intellectuals who are bestsellers themselves – Call Your Girlfriend keeps things real all day. I highly recommend checking out their episode on dating and Covid consent conversations.
I love the horror genre! Creepy builds a great narrative journey and fills my need for horror through terrors which are not real, unlike domestic terrorists and Covid.
Movie Therapy with Rafer & Kristen
This show is a fun romp where hosts match guests with movies they might like. I’ve been one of those guests – I recommended watching the movie Annihilation – and always love what they have to offer. Who doesn’t need to unwind right now?
Mental Illness Happy Hour
Comedian Paul Gilmartin of the Mental Illness Happy Hour does a great service on his show with this heartfelt and hilarious exploration of mental illness. The episode with Dr. Rachel Taylor is a phenomenal wonder of personal narrative about healing from abuse and science lecture on topics including mirror neurons.
Our Body Politic
And of course, I love listening to Our Body Politic. We unapologetically center women of color in politics, and report not just on the major political events of today, but how women of color are impacting those very issues – because all issues are women’s issues.