Black Diplomats

News & Politics Podcasts

Founded in 2020 and led by Terrell Jermaine Starr, Black Diplomats is the go-to podcast for those who want relatable content on global affairs that doesn’t center the perspectives of white male experts. Few foreign policy shows are led by Black people or center the opinions, experiences and expertise of people of color. Black Diplomats is one exception. Guests are mostly people of color and people who are indigenous to the regions the episodes focus on.

Location:

United States

Description:

Founded in 2020 and led by Terrell Jermaine Starr, Black Diplomats is the go-to podcast for those who want relatable content on global affairs that doesn’t center the perspectives of white male experts. Few foreign policy shows are led by Black people or center the opinions, experiences and expertise of people of color. Black Diplomats is one exception. Guests are mostly people of color and people who are indigenous to the regions the episodes focus on.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ukraine Take Kherson

11/13/2022
This week Russia was pushed out of the regional capital of Kherson, bringing Ukraine another dramatic step closer to ending the war on their terms. Much of the oblast is still under Russian control, but capturing the city and surrounding territories is a major victory for Ukraine. This is only the latest in a string of victories and there is no indication Russia will be able to go back on the offensive. To help us understand what’s happening on the ground we have Maria Zolkina, Head of...

Duration:00:28:16

Ukraine Offensive and NATO Membership with Solomiia Bobrovska

10/10/2022
The effective borders of Ukraine are in constant motion, with Russian forces in retreat. The massive Kerch Bridge connecting Russian and Crimea was severely damaged by a truck bomb this week, and there have been several missile strikes in civilian neighborhoods in Ukraine. While war is raging on the ground, Ukrainian officials are trying to get more support from Europe and the US. They have officially applied for NATO membership, and while no one is expecting it to happen anytime soon, the...

Duration:00:27:41

Russians Flee to Georgia on "Vacation"

10/2/2022
Russia is losing their war in Ukraine. They’ve been pushed back on the ground, and Ukraine is re-arming with Western help. Even Russia’s global allies are voicing concern. With losses piling up, the Kremlin decided to start calling on their national reserve - trained soldiers who are not on active duty. But the conscription effort has been poorly managed and many Russians are worried it’s cover for a general draft. All of this has led to an exodus of fighting-age men from Russia, and long...

Duration:00:23:02

War With Friends part 2

9/25/2022
In this episode of Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr talks to Andriy Kononenko, a close personal friend and fighter in Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Force. Andriy is a language professional and co-founder of NovaMova, a language school with outposts in Kyiv and all over Eastern Europe. He is an example of how the Russian invasion has forced average Ukrainians to call on their resources and reserves in ways they never expected. Terrell and Andriy discuss the hectic first days of the...

Duration:00:47:33

War with Friends

9/17/2022
On today’s episode of Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr talks to three people who are dealing with the war in Ukraine on very personal terms. Most of the news about the war is concentrated on borders, troop losses, and the nuclear threat. Our guests in this episode are focused on protecting loved ones and rebuilding their communities. After spending many years in Ukraine, Starr has deep relationships in the country. These stories are not academic. These are the personal stories of war that...

Duration:00:35:10

War in Ukraine with Inna Sovsun

4/3/2022
Inna Sovsun is a member of Parliament in Ukraine and a university professor. Sovsun is in an opposition party so she’s usually working against the established leadership in her country. But one thing she’s very clear on: politics can wait until they’ve kicked Putin’s troops off their land. From a NATO no-fly zone, to the history of anarchism and mutual aid in Ukraine, and what she thinks when she hears about Russian culture, this conversation covers the hottest buttons in the war. Terrell...

Duration:00:49:51

War in Ukraine with Mayor Oleg Volsky

3/21/2022
Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr is in Ukraine covering the Russian invasion. This week he spoke with Oleg Volsky, the mayor of Zhovkva, a town about 40 minutes north of Lviv. Volsky was in the town square talking to constituents when he sat with Terrell for a short interview. As mayor of the town Volsky has several concerns, including helping the vulnerable members of his community, and preparing to defend it with those who are able. They've also got refugees from other parts of Ukraine...

Duration:00:11:13

The Human Toll of War in Ukraine

3/16/2022
War has come to Ukraine. Black Diplomats has been on the ground in Ukraine from the beginning of the show two years ago. We've talked to journalists, diplomats, policy experts, military strategists, and others about exactly this scenario. We heard for months that the Ukrainian military was prepared for a Russian invasion and that the citizens of Ukraine would stand and fight. All of it turned out to be true. Today we’re taking a break from the politics to focus on the real cost of war....

Duration:00:55:56

English Language Media in Ukraine

2/20/2022
With so much hysteria and propaganda going around the world about Ukraine it’s important to find journalists on the ground that we can trust. Whether it’s Kremlin backed mouthpieces like Russia Today or anything coming out of the US State Department it’s clear the concerns of the innocent majority are not being addressed. It is especially hard to find independent Ukrainian voices working in English, and their ability to translate between three languages is invaluable to interested folks in...

Duration:00:59:43

Russian Colonialism

2/13/2022
Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr is in Ukraine, despite President Biden’s warning that Americans should leave. He’s reporting on the ground, but also spending time with loved ones and friends. Like everyone else in the country he’s keeping an eye on the Russian troops at the border but trying not to let the situation get to him. With so much focus on what Russia is doing in Eastern Ukraine, it’s easy to forget why they’re doing it. Today on Black Diplomats we have two keen observers of...

Duration:01:04:52

Ambassador Michael McFaul on Ukraine/Russia Relations

2/4/2022
Michael McFaul is a seasoned Diplomat who was Ambassador to Russia under President Obama. This is a man who has been in the room for negotiations with Putin and he has a lot to say about the current situation in Ukraine. Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr has been following McFaul’s career and reading his work for years. As the conversation develops it becomes clear that the respect and admiration goes both ways. McFaul opens the conversation about Russian-style colonialism and how that...

Duration:00:50:52

German-Russian Relations and the impact on Ukraine

1/28/2022
As Russian troops continue the build up on Ukraine’s border some people are suggesting Germany toughen their rhetoric and policies. But even Ukrainian President Zelensky has asked the Biden administration to tone it down, so what’s the move? The history of these nations is as hard as it gets, with a brutal invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany during WWII leaving millions of dead soldiers and civilians between them, followed by a long occupation of East Germany by the Kremlin. These...

Duration:00:55:33

Ukrainian Security

1/23/2022
As Ukraine celebrates its long holiday season, all eyes are on the East. Putin has built up a massive force on the border between Russia and Ukraine but so far no one knows what he plans to do with it. The US media are talking about a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia, apparently forgetting there was already an invasion during the takeover of Crimea in 2014. What they’re not doing is interviewing Ukrainians, of course. On today’s episode of Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr talks to...

Duration:00:54:19

Crisis in Kazakhstan

1/15/2022
There have been nationwide protests in Kazakhstan recently and the Western media did what they always do: show a few pictures of destruction and ignore the cause of the people in the streets. With Russian troops coming in to ‘maintain order’ and a ban on the widely used mobile internet it’s very hard to tell what is going to happen next. This week on Black Diplomats Terrell talks to two experts who are from the Kazakh region and know firsthand the frustrations that are driving the largely...

Duration:01:04:06

American Insurrection

1/6/2022
It has been one year since the attempted coup on January 6, 2021, when supporters of former president Trump broke into Congress and tried to take control of the seat of government. The folks responsible for the chaos have worked hard to change the narrative any way they can - blaming Black Lives Matter, or in some cases claiming it was nothing more than a bunch of tourists out for a holiday. To commemorate this awful anniversary Terrell is talking to photojournalist Ira Lupu, who was in the...

Duration:00:18:19

2021 Wrap Up with Pam Keith

1/1/2022
2021 was a beast. There was an insurrection, a global pandemic, vaccine inequality, rich people went to space (sort of). Bad people lived while good people died. It was a lot. Pam Keith joins Terrell in this episode of Black Diplomats for a debrief. Of course they talk about their mental health and how they’re surviving it all. Other big topics include Putin increasing tensions in Ukraine, all the myriad ways Democrats have failed us again, and what kind of madness we can look forward to...

Duration:01:11:52

Fall of the USSR

12/25/2021
The USSR dissolved 30 years ago this week, so Terrell sat down with two people in a former Soviet colony who are living through the aftermath. Olga Tokariuk and Illia Ponomarenko are journalists in Ukraine where Russian troops are currently occupying Crimea. With the threat of a larger invasion always literally on the eastern horizon, people in Ukraine have learned to prepare for the worst while continuing to build the country they want to live in. Subjects include the current build up of...

Duration:01:11:33

Black & Queer in Central Asia (aka Twerking in Kyrgyzstan) Part 2

12/18/2021
Black Diplomats is back with Alexa Kellogg-Kurmanova, a PhD student in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Terrell met Alexa at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies conference in New Orleans and they hit it off immediately. Kellogg-Kurmanova is a queer Black woman from Chicago, and her husband is a trans man from Kyrgyzstan. She speaks Russian and has spent a lot of time in East European communities, both in Central Asia and the US. They go...

Duration:00:31:01

Black & Queer in Central Asia (aka Twerking in Kyrgyzstan)

12/11/2021
Welcome back! Black Diplomats is back from our hiatus with an update from Terrell about plans for the show and an all new interview. Our guest today is Alexa Kellogg-Kurmanova, a PhD student in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Terrell met Alexa at the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies conference in New Orleans and they hit it off immediately. Kellogg-Kurmanova is a queer Black woman from Chicago, and her husband is a trans man from...

Duration:00:16:39

How American Exceptionalism Robs Haiti

8/14/2021
Haiti has been hit with another earthquake just weeks after the assassination of their President. As the world struggles to find ways to help one thing has become clear: the condescending Euro-centric model of aid has very little to offer. On this week’s episode of Black Diplomats host Terrell Starr welcomes Emma Ashford to talk about how the world community has failed Haiti, and what we’re supposed to do now. This conversation isn’t just about the dollars and cents, they get into deep...

Duration:00:43:14