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Episode 23: “Prison B.A.E. (Boom And Effects)” - A Conversation About Mass Incarceration w/ Dr. Sara Wakefield

Seldom do conversations about mass incarceration highlight the impact of the criminal justice system on the children and families of individuals who are imprisoned. Today, we shed light on the relationship between parental incarceration, child well-being, and the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage by interviewing Dr. Sara Wakefield —an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University. We begin by clearly defining and shedding light on the issue of mass incarceration...


Episode 22: “Gotta Have My Pops” - A Conversation About Fatherhood w/ Our Dads

In celebration of Father’s Day, Ty and Daphne discuss parenthood with two very special guests—their fathers. Mr. Irving Penn (Daphne’s dad) and Mr. Cornelius Connor (Ty’s dad) discuss their feelings on becoming fathers (22:08) and the joys of fatherhood (24:00). We then have a conversation about what they find/found most difficult about being a dad (26:14), the mistakes they made as first time fathers (35:15), and their biggest fears related to their children (43:05). Mr. Connor and Mr....


Episode 21: “The No Freedom League (NFL)” - A Conversation About Black Athletes and Protest w/ Dr. Arthur Banton

The recent NFL national anthem policy has sparked a number of conversations about the status and treatment of black athletes in professional sports. Today, we are joined by Dr. Arthur Banton, an assistant professor of History at Tennessee Tech University and scholar of media and culture, to discuss the state and role of the black athlete in current and historical protests. We begin by discussing the history of black protest in athletics (20:40) and how the current atmosphere of...


Episode 20: “Game of Loans” - A Conversation About Student Loans and For-Profit Colleges

The United States is currently facing a student loan crisis. At almost $1.5 trillion, student loan debt is impacting the health, wealth, and happiness of millennials, especially black millennials who are more likely than their white counterparts to default on their student loans. Today’s episode addresses the various reasons black Americans are disproportionately impacted by the student loan crisis, including the lack of generational wealth (21:35), limited information about college...


Episode 19: “This is America” - A Conversation About Gun Control & Policy

In the past 5 months, more U.S. students have been killed in school shootings than U.S. military personnel serving in combat operations. Following each devastating mass shooting, victims and survivors are offered thoughts and prayers. BhD wants to go beyond thoughts and prayers and discuss how we reached this point in regard to gun violence and the barriers to making change to our system. We begin by discussing our own experiences with guns (16:00), the right to bear arms (20:45), and how...


Episode 18: “Get Ya Baby, Black Mom, Get Ya Baby”- A Conversation About Pregnancy for Black Women w/ Dr. Nicole Sparks

Statistics indicate that black mothers and infants in the United States are more likely than their white counterparts to die from pregnancy-related causes. Given that this trend remains consistent across all education and socioeconomic levels, some commentators and scholars have attributed the black-white disparity in maternal health outcomes to the lived experience of being both black and a woman in America. Today, we unpack this issue by interviewing Dr. Nicole Sparks, a third-year...


Episode 17: “Mama, You Know I Love You” - A Conversation About Motherhood w/ Our Mamas

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Ty and Daphne discuss the joys and struggles of motherhood with two very special guests—their mothers. Mrs. Francine Connor (Ty’s mom) and Mrs. Myra Armstrong (Daphne’s mom) discuss their feelings about becoming mothers and how they dealt with nervousness (28:54), provide advice to first time mothers (38:58), and discuss mistakes they made as first time mothers (46:08). Mrs. Connor and Mrs. Armstrong also share stories about Ty and Daphne’s funny and naughty...


Episode 16: “Vote or Die” - A Conversation About Voting w/ Dr. Ariel White

With the upcoming midterm elections, voting and voting rights have once again become hot topics of discussion. Today we interview Dr. Ariel White an assistant professor of Political Science at MIT who studies voting and voting rights, race, and the criminal justice system. We begin by discussing common misconceptions about voting (18:03), the importance of studying race and criminal justice within the context of voting and voting rights (20:55), and restoring the voting rights of parolees...


Episode 15: “Hillman or Harvard?” - A Conversation About HBCUs and PWIs w/ Drs. O’rear and Elegbede

With her powerful and entertaining Coachella performance celebrating HBCU culture, Beyonce recently reinvigorated the HBCU versus PWI debate that resurfaces every few months on black twitter. In this episode, we’ll add to that conversation by interviewing Dr. Eric O’Rear, a HBCU graduate and research economists and Dr. Jennifer Elegbede a black PWI graduate and product development scientist. We each begin by discussing our decision to attend our respective schools (21:36) as well as the...


Episode 14: “Do Ya Love Me Mary Jane” - A Conversation About Marijuana And Society

In recent years, marijuana has been the subject of much debate as states across the country consider decriminalizing and/or legalizing the drug for recreational use. In today’s episode, we discuss the history of marijuana in the United States (20:25) and the roles of race and money in the rise of marijuana drug laws (21:45). We also address the question of whether marijuana is a gateway drug (27:00) and how it compares to other drugs, such as alcohol, tobacco, and opioids (32:46). We then...


Episode 13: “Got 99 Problems, But A Book Ain’t One” - A Conversation About Hip Hop w/ Dr. Mark Anthony Neal

The focus of today’s conversation is hip hop, popular culture, and the representation of blackness in the media. We interviewed Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, a Professor of Black Popular Culture in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Duke University. We begin the interview by discussing the current state of hip-hop and its cultural influences (22:04) and differences between historical and contemporary hip-hop (24:00). We also focus on how black male identity is constructed...


Episode 12: “There Goes the Hood” - A Conversation About Gentrification w/ Dr. Lance Freeman

Generally described as a process that results in the displacement of economically disadvantaged people of color, gentrification has taken on a negative connotation and remains an emotionally and racially charged issue. But is the negative perception of gentrification warranted? Is it always a bad thing? Are there ways to responsibly reinvest in economically depressed neighborhoods? Today, we tackle these questions with Dr. Lance Freeman, a Professor in the Urban Planning program at...


Episode 11: “A War on Blacks…I Mean Drugs” - A Conversation About Drug Policy

The governmental and media response to the recent opioid crisis, which rejects the flawed ideology that we can arrest our way out of the problem, stands in stark contrast to our nation’s historical approach to fighting drug abuse. In this episode, we discuss the roles of race, politics, and class in shaping the conversation around drug abuse in America and the public health versus punitive approaches to solving the problem. Specifically, we discuss historical versus contemporary framing of...


Episode 10: “I Ain’t Crazy?!” - A Conversation About Mental Health w/ Dr. Shavonne Moore

Often perceived as a “white” issue or a problem best handled by the church, mental health is a subject that has historically been absent from the public discourse in the black community. In this interview with Dr. Shavonne Moore, licensed psychologist and Director of Clinical Training at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology - DC Campus, we attempt to de-stigmatize mental health problems and shed light on the importance of improving mental wellbeing in the black community....


Episode 09: “Justice For All?” - A Conversation About The State of Public Defense w/ Ashley Adams

The Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights of individuals to a public trial, the right to a lawyer, and the right to an impartial jury. However, with a broken criminal justice system and underfunded and overburdened public defense system, many of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens lack proper representation and few receive their day in court. Today we look take a look at the public defense system and how it impacts people of color by interviewing Ashley Adams, a staff attorney at...


Episode 08: “What Does It Mean To Sound Black?” - A Conversation About Sociolinguistics w/ Dr. Nicole Holliday

What does it mean to sound black? What roles do language and dialect play in racial stereotyping and prejudice? How do we de-stigmatize African American English (AAE)? Today, we examine these and other questions in our interview with Dr. Nicole Holliday—assistant professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Pomona College. In this interview, we discuss the difference between Standard English and AAE (23:26), the origin and politics of “Ebonics” and its use in the classroom (26:47),...


Episode 07: “Financial Freedom, Our Only Hope” - A Conversation About Personal Finances w/ Ash Cash

Within the United States, the wealth gap between black and white households continues to grow, and by 2053, the median wealth of Black Americans is expected to fall to zero. The goal for today’s episode is to discuss how we can harness Black economic buying power to close the racial wealth gap and create change within our communities. We interviewed Ash Cash, a banking executive and author of “The Wake Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44,” about how to build wealth and attain...


Episode 06: “Wakanda Forever” - A Conversation About Black Panther

Since its premiere, Black Panther has been the hot topic of conversations in living rooms and on social media. The highly anticipated film shattered records by bringing in more than $400M world-wide during its opening weekend, exceeded many people’s superhero movie expectations, and sparked debates about the social and political messages embedded in the movie. Today, we discuss our reactions to Black Panther and whether it lived up to our expectations (4:10). We also respond to...


Episode 05: “Complexion Don’t Mean A Thing” - A Conversation About Colorism

Last week we tackled the topic of natural hair, discrimination, and the law. This week discuss an important and related issue—colorism. Professor Trina Jones, a Professor at Duke Law School and leading expert on colorism, joined us to discuss this often debated and misunderstood topic. In the episode, Professor Jones defines colorism (12:00) and provides insight into its history in the United States and abroad (13:35). We also discuss colorism in marketing, entertainment and politics...


Episode 04: “Please, Don’t Touch My Hair” - A Conversation About Natural Hair and the Law

Black women across the world are embracing their naturally kinky and coily hair. However, in recent years, some schools and businesses have enforced grooming standards that deem natural hair unprofessional—leaving many black women and men to wonder what recourse they have when faced with natural hair discrimination in professional and academic settings. In this episode, we answer that question by interviewing two law professors, Drs. Wendy Greene and Angela Onwuachi-Willig, whose recent...