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Strange Fruit Podcast


Join Jai and Doc as they examine black gay life through the voices and stories of those of us who live it....and live it well! A new episode is posted every Saturday.

Join Jai and Doc as they examine black gay life through the voices and stories of those of us who live it....and live it well! A new episode is posted every Saturday.
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Join Jai and Doc as they examine black gay life through the voices and stories of those of us who live it....and live it well! A new episode is posted every Saturday.




Strange Fruit #239: When Black Women Raised America

During WWII, while a large swath of the male population was fighting overseas, women at home went to work. The feminist narrative might say this was the beginning of women's escape from domestic drudgery -- a first glimpse of what it might be like to be financially independent and self-supporting. Who does this narrative leave out? Black women, for whom staying at home to focus on childcare and household management wasn't necessarily an option even before the war. Instead, many black women...


Strange Fruit #238: How Sex Trafficking Laws Affect Consensual Sex Workers

More, a classified ad service similar to Craigslist, was seized by the U.S. Department of Justice last week, and abruptly wiped off of the internet. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the site, "the dominant marketplace for illicit commercial sex, a place where sex traffickers frequently advertised children and adults alike." Backpage was targeted by SESTA, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which was recently passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives....


Strange Fruit #237: Poverty And Public Transit In Louisville

If you rely on public transportation in Louisville, it might limit not only how long it takes you to get where you're going, but also where you're able to work, and live. A story by WFPL's Amina Elahi looks into how bus routes affect the lives of those who commute on them. Amina joins us this week to play some excerpts from her radio piece, and tell us more about what she learned in reporting it. You can read her story here:...


Strange Fruit #236: Inside The Lives Of Gay Gang Members

"A house is a gay street gang,” Dorian Corey explains in our favorite movie, "Paris is Burning." "Now, where street gangs get their rewards from street fights, a gay house street-fights at a ball." The House of Corey founder was speaking in metaphor, but as it turns out, there really are gay street gangs. And criminology professor Vanessa Panfill interviewed over 50 of them for her book, "The Gang's All Queer." Her book focuses on how they formed their gay identity, how (and whether) they...


Strange Fruit #236: Seeing Suicide Through A Non-White Lens

Dr. Kimya Dennis is a sociologist and criminologist who does a lot of community outreach about mental health. And when she does presentations for African-American and non-white Hispanic communities, she says she gets some push back when it comes to talking about suicide prevention. Dennis says in those groups, which are often overlooked by the mental health community, suicide is often seen as a white people problem. "In the African-American community, there’s a tendency to label suicide...


Strange Fruit #235: Mistress Velvet, The Dominatrix With A Syllabus

Chicago dominatrix Mistress Velvet didn't intentionally build her practice around dominating white men. But she was living in a predominantly white part of North Carolina at the time, and most of the people who could afford to hire her, fit that demographic. "It just happened to be that a lot of my clients were white men," she says, "and they were just really awful." One client said he appreciated that she was so well educated. "I've had black mistresses in the past," he told her, "but...


Strange Fruit #234: Is The Black Barbershop A Safe Space For Queer Men?

It's not unusual to see homoeroticism in hypermasculine spaces - like the locker room, the wrestling ring, or the military barracks. But what about the barbershop? It's a social and community hub and where black masculinity is centered. But you''ll also encounter homophobia there, and for many queer black men, it doesn't feel like a safe space. So where does that leave LGBTQ black men who need that sense of community (or just a haircut)? We talk about the black barbershop - good and bad -...



Louisville photographer Sowande Malone joins us this week, because he doesn't just take pictures - he's also a huge comic book fan. Together we unpack all things "Black Panther," including how gender and sexuality play out in the movie. And since it's the movie that launched a thousand think pieces, we talk about those too - even the ones we don't agree with.


Strange Fruit #232: A Conversation With Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Mom

The 45th Dr. Joseph H. McMillan National Black Family Conference is happening in Louisville later this month, and this year's theme is "Elevating the Health and Safety of the Black Family and Community." Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, will deliver a keynote speech at the conference, and she joins us on this week's show to talk about her advocacy work, and her son's legacy. We also check in with Monique Judge from The Root, about an article she recently published about homophobia...


Strange Fruit #231: Art Show Imagines The Future As Female

What is after Earth for women? That's the question science fiction author Author Olivia A. Cole has in mind for her latest project, "Kindred: Making Space in Space." And unlike much of her previous work, this isn't a book. It's an art exhibition featuring poetry, short fiction, visual art, and even music and dance, all created by Kentucky women from ages 10-21. Cole joins us on this week's show to talk about the women writers who have inspired her, and how she hopes to encourage other...


Strange Fruit #230: Is There A "One-Drop Rule" Of Sexual Fluidity?

This week we talk to author and poet Kyla Jenee Lacey, whose essay, "Why I'm Open to Dating Bisexual Men," was published last month on The Root. At first glance, it might seen biphobic that we even need a headline like that, but it's apparently still A Thing. Or as Lacey says, "It’s 2018, in the year of our lord and savior Robyn Rihanna Fenty, and people are still 7-year-olds when it comes to sexual fluidity." Lacey calls it the "one=drop rule" approach to sexual fluidity, and here's how...


Strange Fruit #229: Racial Trauma And Mental Health

It happens, to some extent, every single day. People of color are exposed to racism in many ways -- from watching footage of police shootings, to experiencing racism in our own communities. Psychologists call it "racial trauma," and it can change the way our brains and bodies relate to, and process, the world around us. Psychologist Dr. Carlton Green joins us on this week's show to tell us more about racial trauma, how to cope with it. and how mental health professionals are learning to...


Strange Fruit #228: 'White Racism' College Course Prompts... White Racism

A class called "White Racism" started this semester at Florida Gulf Coast University. Its professor, Dr. Ted Thornhill, started getting angry messages and phone calls quickly after the class was announced. Campus police sat in on the class the first week, to watch out for disruptions. Thornhill had gotten message calling him the n-word, and saying things like, "You're what's wrong with this country." But he says the students in the 50-person class seem eager and engaged with the material....


Strange Fruit #227: With Your Family Around You, You're Never Alone

This week on Strange Fruit, Louisville activist Talesha Wilson joins us for a news roundup, including Oprah's Golden Globes speech and whether we want her to run for president. We also talk about H&M's racist hoodie and why you need black people on your marketing and design team. And finally, some facts: This is our 227th episode. '227' has one of the best TV theme songs of all time. Ergo, we devote a large portion of this week's show to which black shows have the best theme songs - old...


Strange Fruit #226: New Year, Fresh Fruit!

Happy 2018, y'all! This week we're joined by one of Doc's former students, Chelsie Griffin. Chelsie is now a teacher herself - of 5th graders in Louisiana's Ascension Parish. In her district, corporal punishment is still allowed in school. Chelsie and Doc talk about discipline techniques that work - and don't work - in their respective classrooms. And we all tackle the issue of physical punishment in black households. We also share some hair-raising stories from this past New Year's Eve,...


Strange Fruit #225: 'Black Elitism' And Anti-Blackness On TV

We love the show 'This Is Us.' We also love writer and podcast host Jenn Jackson. So when she wrote a piece calling out 'This Is Us' for what she calls "Black elitism" and anti-blackness, we had to sit up and take notice. Jenn Jackson joins us on this week's show to tell us what she means... and remind us that all our faves are problematic.


Strange Fruit #224: Empathy For White Kids, Suspicion For Kids Of Color

It started with a viral video of Keaton Jones, an 11-year-old boy in knoxville, tennessee. In the video, he's crying and talking about how he was bullied at school. After his mom posted the footage online, celebrities supported him and people started fundraising for his family. It only took a day or two for more of the story to come out: Keaton's mom's motives were called into question, and her old facebook posts showed her posing with confederate flags. This week on Strange Fruit we talk...


Strange Fruit #223: Black Queer Bodies Are Not For White Consumption

This week we talk with Tabais Olajuawon about his recent essay, "We Are Not Yours: I’m tired of white women’s racial-sexual terrorism of my BlaQueer body" ( And we meet Phillipe Cunningham, a special education teacher and black trans man who was just elected to the city council in Minneapolis. (


Strange Fruit: Suffragettes Were The First #WhiteFeminists

During the 2016 election, when it seemed inevitable the U.S. was on the verge of electing our first woman president, white women covered Susan B. Anthony's grave with "I Voted" stickers. A nice thought, but it was also white women who helped elect Trump. He got 53% of the white woman vote. Also, Susan B. Anthony once said she'd rather cut off her right arm than demand votes for "the Negro and not the woman." (Hey SBA - there are black women too.) Evette Dionne, senior culture editor of...


Strange Fruit #221: Addressing America's Racial 'Sleep Gap'

We know being black in America affects lots of aspects of life. You're likely to make less money than a white person doing the same job. Your kids are more likely to get a harsher punishment at school than a white kid who misbehaved the same way. But a new op-ed by Emory University Professor Benjamin Reiss says there's a disparity at play that you might not even have thought about: sleep. Turns out, race shapes our sleep - and the reasons stretch deep into our country's history. Reiss...


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