Strange Fruit

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Jaison Gardner and Dr. Kaila Story talk race, gender, and LGBTQ issues, from politics to pop culture. A new episode every week, from Louisville Public Media.


Louisville, Kentucky


Jaison Gardner and Dr. Kaila Story talk race, gender, and LGBTQ issues, from politics to pop culture. A new episode every week, from Louisville Public Media.






The 'Jim Crow Mentality' Of Social Media Trolls

Between growing public interest in the racial justice movement, a polarizing political landscape and folks trapped indoors for nearly nine months now, online activism is at an all time high. Accordingly, white supremacists who spew vitriolic and violent language and ideas also abound across social media platforms. This week Ron Dawson joins us to discuss his recent essay, "There’s a Jim Crow Mentality on Social Media,” which outlines his experiences combating racist trolls and threats of...


Why Body Positivity Must Include Black Bodies

The body positivity movement has been extremely important in combatting our country's fatphobia and teaching us all to love our bodies just as they are. Kelsey Miller, founder of "The Anti-Diet Project," is this week's guest and joins us to explain “How Whiteness Killed the Body Positive Movement.” Miller shares her learning journey about white privilege and intersectionality and she says the body positivity movement must heed the work and labor of Black fat positive activists in order to...


Using Light-Skin Privilege To Disrupt An Unjust System

This week writer Leigh Green discusses her compelling op-ed, "White Supremacy in Me: Light-skinned and part of the problem," where she acknowledges the privileges associated with her skin tone, and challenges other light skin folk to begin the work of using their proximity to whiteness to disrupt an unjust system and spark a revolution. Later, we speak with Peter Mercurio and Danny Stewart, who adopted their son after finding him abandoned in a New York City subway. They join us to tell...


Strength, Survival, And Black Families

Nefertiti Austin was adopted by her grandparents when she was a kid because her parents struggled with addiction. She joins us this week, as a single parent of two adopted children, to discuss her book, "Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting." And we talk about her New York Times piece, "Grandparents, Kin and Play Cousins: The Soul and Survival of Black Families," which explores how African American families' use of fictive kinship ties and multigenerational structures...


What White Parents Should Know About Transracial Adoption

Abby Johnson, the anti-abortion activist who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention, found herself at the center of controversy after a video of her went viral. In it, she said her adopted Black son was "statistically" more likely to grow up to be a criminal than her white sons who would likely grow up to be innocent nerds -- and thus police would be right to racially profile and stop him. Her racist comments sparked conversations about transracial adoptions (adoptions where...


'Kitchen Table Wisdom' For And From Gay Men

Navigating life as gay man in a homophobic and heteronormative society can be emotionally and spiritually taxing. This week author Britt East joins us to discuss his insightful new book, "A Gay Man’s Guide to Life," full of what he calls “kitchen table wisdom” to help gay men endure and thrive in an anti-queer world, by loving themselves more and by loving others as well. Later in the show, speculative fiction author and publisher Olivia Raymond joins us to discuss the creation of her Black...


Interracial Household Dynamics In 2020

As a historian of environmental justice and African American history, writer Faith Ashmore –- who is a white woman in an interracial marriage -– says she possesses the academic and intellectual knowledge to contribute to conversations about recent police killings with her Black husband but not the emotional knowledge. This week we discuss "What An Interracial Household Looks Like After George Floyd’s Murder.” Later, we speak to writer Allison Gaines about recent commemorations of the 19th...


Young Adult Fiction Author Arvin Ahmadi

Young Adult (YA) fiction is a literary tradition that has largely lacked diversity when it comes to the race and sexuality of its main characters. Author Arvin Ahmadi's new book, "How It All Blew Up," has a queer Iranian American teenager protagonist. He joins us this week to talk about how other authors of YA novels can be more inclusive of diverse communities and identities.


'The Chi' Star Jasmine Davis

Lena Waithe’s dramatic television series "The Chi" has garnered a strong following and has received critical praise since premiering on the Showtime network three years ago. Its season finale aired last week. This week we have a lively and insightful conversation with actress and model Jasmine Davis, who joined the cast of The Chi this season, to discuss her character Imani who is a multi-layered Black trans woman that is tender, loving and all kinds of fierce.


In Praise Of Quiet Allies

The word "ally" is frequently heard in the fight for racial justice, usually used by a white person seeking to declare just how "not racist" they are. This week, our guest Bridgette L. Hylton joins us to explain why she says “If You’re a Real Ally, You’ll Keep It to Yourself,” which she recently wrote about for Medium.


'Performing Black Harmlessness' Isn't Worth It

Educator and writer Rodney Fierce thought that performing a type of muted Blackness would shield him from the usual pitfall and roadblocks of discrimination, microaggressions and racism. He was wrong. Fierce joins us this week to discuss his essay "The Price of Being Pleasing," and explains why performing Black harmlessness isn't worth the cost.


Interrupting Our Own Unconscious Biases

This week we're joined by Chad Anderson, co-director of the new documentary “Dog Valley,” which details the largely unknown story of the brutal kidnapping, rape, torture and murder of gay college student Gordon Church in Utah in 1988. Later, we're joined by Michelle Silverton, author of ”Mom, Why Don’t You Have Any Black Friends,” and TEDx Talk, “We Are Not A Melting Pot: How to Stop Talking About Implicit Bias and Start Talking About Race." She discusses her work as a diversity educator and...


Loving Black People, Loving Black History

This week Jarvis Houston, the US spokesperson of tech startup I Love Black People joins us to discuss how the app helps Black people find businesses, accommodations and other services that are Black owned and the safest and most welcoming of Black people throughout the world. And in this week’s feature interview, Jermaine Fowler, creator, producer and host of "The Humanity Archive" podcast joins us to discuss his mission to expose listeners to history's unsung heroes and hidden figures,...


Live Streaming The Revolution

This week we return to coverage of the protests and uprisings that are still happening in Louisville in response to the police killings of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee and others. We're joined by independent journalist Chea K. Woolfolk, who tells us about the recent arrests of live streamers covering the protests. We question why her charges varied so severely from a white live streamer who was arrested alongside her, and she talks about how she doesn’t plan on letting her upcoming court...


The Role Of New Media In Protest Coverage

Recent uprisings around the country have made it clear to many citizens the importance of new media and amateur journalists in ensuring that folks to know what is happening on the ground, and keeping people updated in real time, without a corporate bias. This week former meteorologist and independent journalist Tara Bassett joins us to discuss her legendary career in journalism, how animal rights activists can better engage with intersectional movements, and how it’s never to late to come...


Celebrating Pride Online

With Pride festivals across the country being rescheduled or cancelled because of the Coronavirus outbreak, LGBTQ folks are finding inventive ways to celebrate Pride Month virtually. This week we speak with model, social media influencer, and Pop/R&B singer Teraj about his career, how he celebrated Pride virtually this year with the South Florida Pride Collective, and how queer and trans folks can celebrate Pride while amplifying the freedom calls of #BLM.


Breaking Stereotypes One Storybook At A Time

Kamen Edwards, author of "The One and Only Dylan St. Claire"


How The #FeedTheWest Initiative Is Responding To Unrest In Louisville

Taylor Ryan of Change Today, Change Tomorrow joins us this week to spotlight #FeedTheWest, an initiative which provides food and educational resources to African Americans in west Louisville affected by food deserts. The lack of access to food in the West End was made worse last week by the abrupt closing of a vandalized grocery store -– the only major grocer in the neighborhood. Later in the show, author Alexander Watson shares adventures from his recent book "River Queens: Saucy boat,...


How Black Moderates Are Complicit In White Supremacy

This week we continue discussing the high profile killing of 26-year-old ER technician Breonna Taylor by Louisville police officers. We are joined by Dr. Ricky Jones, head of the University of Louisville's Pan-African Studies department, who tells us why he thinks Black moderates helped kill Taylor and others like her, including Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd.


The Death Of Breonna Taylor

The March 13 shooting death of 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor by Louisville Metro Police Department officers has gained national attention in recent weeks and is sending shock waves throughout the city of Louisville and the nation. Strange Fruit is devoting the next several episode to coverage of Taylor’s case. This week we are joined by writer, activist, and renowned debate coach Shauntrice Martin, who helps us outline what we know about the case so far, as we work understand everything...