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It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders


Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.

Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.


Washington, DC




Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.



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Remembering André Leon Talley

André Leon Talley became a major part of the global fashion zeitgeist while navigating being one of the few, if not the only, Black, queer man at his level. Sam is joined by author and poet Saeed Jones and Zach Stafford, host of the podcast In the Deep, to remember the late fashion editor and celebrate Talley's legacy. Read Saeed Jones' essay on André Leon Talley here. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at


The legacy of ACT UP and its fight to end AIDS

Sam revisits his 2021 conversation with Sarah Schulman about ACT UP. The organization united a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. In Schulman's book, Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993, she draws from nearly 200 interviews with ACT UP members to document the movement's history and explore how the group's activism transformed the way the media, the government, corporations and medical professionals...


The financial aid conspiracy; plus, 'For Colored Nerds'

A group of elite colleges and universities this week found themselves at the center of a lawsuit alleging that they conspired to limit financial aid to admitted students. Sam talks to Washington Post higher education reporter Danielle Douglas-Gabriel about the lawsuit and what it means for students and families across the country. Plus, Eric Eddings and Brittany Luse join Sam to talk about the era of Black abundance in media and their revamped podcast, For Colored Nerds. You can follow us...


It's still Trump's GOP

Former President Donald Trump is still one of the most influential members of the Republican party even after leaving office nearly a year ago. Sam chats with Vann R. Newkirk II, senior editor for The Atlantic, and McKay Coppins, staff writer for The Atlantic, to make sense of what Trump's GOP has been up to this past year — and its strategies going into the next elections. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at


Revisiting the January 6 insurrection, one year later

It's been a full year since the January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, perhaps the most shocking political event of the past year — or even this generation. But has our understanding of the insurrection changed with time? Sam chats with Hannah Allam, national security reporter at The Washington Post, and Tom Dreisbach, NPR investigative correspondent, about how the U.S. government has responded to the insurrection — and how we've moved from political polarization into political...


Presenting 'Throughline': Nikole Hannah-Jones and the war over history

In this special episode from our friends at Throughline, co-hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei explore the war over history with Nikole Hannah-Jones, an investigative journalist at The New York Times and the creator of the 1619 Project. They discuss how the 1619 Project became one of the most dramatic battlegrounds in the fight over our country's historical narratives — and whether an agreed upon history could ever exist.


Looking back at Whitney Houston's 1991 national anthem

Happy New Year's Eve, y'all! Before we officially end 2021, we're revisiting on one of our favorite episodes of the year — our deep dive into Whitney Houston's 1991 national anthem. Sam chats with Danyel Smith, host of Black Girl Songbook, about how Whitney Houston captivated the entire nation with her rendition of the national anthem that year and why it still matters more than 30 years later. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at


The holiday movie machine

Do holiday movies actually make money for networks like Hallmark and Netflix? How many Vanessa Hudgens characters is too many Vanessa Hudgens characters? Sam is joined by Pop Culture Happy Hour co-host Linda Holmes and author Kat Chow to discuss the best and worst 2021 holiday movies on TV and talk about the business behind them.


'The View' is cultural (and political) canon

In an era when social media and streaming reign supreme, how has a daytime talk show on network television managed to stay relevant? With help from Ramin Setoodeh (author of the book Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View) and writer Amanda FitzSimons (who covered this for The New York Times Magazine), Sam explores why — and how — ABC's The View continues to trend on Twitter, regularly lands presidential candidates in the guest chair, and turns its Hot Topics roundtable...


2021 in music with 'Switched on Pop'

Sam chats with Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan, the two co-hosts of the podcast Switched on Pop, about the year in music. They discuss how TikTok and streaming continue to change the pop landscape and share their favorite albums of 2021. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at


Did That Really Happen This Year?

We take a look back on the year in news and pop culture... in quotes. For this special episode of It's Been a Minute, Sam is joined by NPR All Things Considered hosts Audie Cornish and Ari Shapiro to play a deluxe version of our favorite game, Who Said That.


Presenting 'Alt.Latino': Elvis Costello, reimagined en español

In this special episode from our friends at Alt. Latino, host Felix Contreras talks to Elvis Costello and Grammy-winning producer Sebastian Krys about Costello's classic 1978 album, This Year's Model. It was reimagined as Spanish Model this year by a score of Latin artists. And unlike its predecessor, all the songs are in Spanish.


What has Biden accomplished (or not) in 2021?

Now that we're nearly a year into Joe Biden's presidency (and out of Donald Trump's)... what has Biden actually achieved? What promises has he kept or not kept? Sam talks it out with Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour and moderator of Washington Week, and Ayesha Rascoe, NPR White House correspondent, about the year of Biden. They also play Who Said That.


How to make working from home better

Has working from home during the pandemic been frustrating for you? You're not alone. Charlie Warzel and Anne Helen Petersen's new book Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home tackles how remote work can improve, no matter what industry you're in. They talk to Sam about how companies can create sustainable and flexible work environments, the history of workplace culture in the U.S., and how employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Was 2021 labor's year? Plus, 'Like a Virgin'

Was 2021 the labor movement's year? It certainly felt like it — thousands of workers went on strike this year, at numbers considerably higher than in 2020. But in the context of American labor history, this year's organized strikes are small in comparison. Sam chats with author and labor historian at Georgetown University Lane Windham about why labor activism might be on the rise again. Plus, Rose Dommu and Fran Tirado chat about their new podcast, Like a Virgin, and how they bring their...


Presenting 'Pop Culture Happy Hour': is 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' stuck in nostalgia?

In this special episode from our friends at Pop Culture Happy Hour, guest host Ayesha Rascoe joins co-hosts Glen Weldon and Stephen Thompson as well as NPR contributor Cyrena Touros to talk about the new movie Ghostbusters: Afterlife. They discuss why it's hard to recapture the original Ghostbusters magic and if the latest installment of the franchise added more to its world — or not.


What people miss when talking about banned books

Guest host Ayesha Rascoe is joined by NPR senior editor Barrie Hardymon and Traci Thomas, host of The Stacks podcast, to talk about banned books. They talk about why it's important for kids to discover books freely, even if that means starting a hard conversation with them. They also discuss their favorite — and least favorite — books that often show up on banned book lists.


From Taylor Swift to Thanksgiving, Dear Prudence gives the gift of advice

What better gift to give this holiday season than the gift of... advice? And solicited advice at that! For this episode, Sam is joined by Jenée Desmond-Harris, Slate's Dear Prudence advice columnist, to help answer everything from how to deal with a partner's overbearing adult daughter to a boyfriend's recent conversion to becoming a Swiftie (read: a fan of Taylor Swift) to the group dynamics of the Thanksgiving prayer in an atheist household. Happy holidays, everybody.


The hidden costs of holiday consumerism

A lot of consumers are worried about supply chain delays this holiday season — but there are also other issues to watch out for when shopping. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe talks about the hidden costs of holiday consumption with The Atlantic staff writer Amanda Mull and The Washington Post retail reporter Abha Bhattarai. They discuss the potential downfalls of buy now, pay later services and where online shopping returns really go. Then, they play a game of Who Said That?


Permission to feel joy with Rax King's 'Tacky'

Why do we feel shame for sincerely enjoying something that others don't like? That's one of the big questions tackled in Rax King's new essay collection Tacky: Love Letters to the Worst Culture We Have to Offer. She talks to Sam about her love of the band Creed, The Cheesecake Factory, and Jersey Shore, and embracing the things that others consider bad taste.