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Into America

News & Politics Podcasts

Into America is a show about being Black in America. These stories explore what it means to hold truth to power and this country to its promises. Told by people who have the most at stake.

Into America is a show about being Black in America. These stories explore what it means to hold truth to power and this country to its promises. Told by people who have the most at stake.


United States


Into America is a show about being Black in America. These stories explore what it means to hold truth to power and this country to its promises. Told by people who have the most at stake.




Fighting White Supremacy on Day One

The violent insurrection against our nation’s Capitol building this month pulled an ugly truth to the surface, one that’s been hiding in plain sight for decades. White supremacist extremism is widespread, deep-rooted and a major threat to our security. In his inaugural address on Wednesday, President Joe Biden named white supremacy as a danger to our unity and vowed to defeat it. But law enforcement and government agencies have refused to acknowledge the full scope of the problem,...


American Coup

The storming of the Capitol building by white extremists loyal to Donald Trump on January 6th, was violent, deadly and shameful. But it wasn’t unprecedented. The attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election follows a long tradition in America of white violence, aimed at undoing Democracy. At nearly every turn, where this country bent toward freedom, there was a violent backlash. And there is perhaps no clearer example than the story of the only successful coup...


A Fresh New Look

This moment calls for us to be honest and truthful about who we are as Americans, who we’ve been and who we hope to become. And there’s no way to do that without examining the role, range and power of Blackness in America. Trymaine Lee introduces a new look that speaks to the hopes, anxieties and aspirations of Black America.


An Election and an Insurrection

On the afternoon of January 6th, the nation was gripped by the images of Trump supporters charging the Capitol building as Congress gathered to ratify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. These scenes brought to bear what so many democracy-loving people across this country have long feared, that Trump’s final days as President would end violently. But hours earlier, attention was on the Georgia Senate races, where Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock won his runoff election...


Enough is Enough

As an outspoken sports journalist, Jemele Hill has been told to “stick to sports” in her coverage. The same has been said to professional athletes for decades. But things changed in 2020, when the pandemic and racial justice movements collided. Black athletes decided the fight was worth risking it all for. And many team owners and the leagues realized it was good for business to support their players. Trymaine Lee looks back on the year of sports and activism with Jemele Hill, contributing...


Black Toys R Us

From children’s books, to cartoons, to the worlds of fantasy and make believe, it can sometimes seem as if Black characters are on the side-lines, or don’t exist at all. Especially around the holidays, Black parents get creative to find toys for their kids that reflect just how beautiful and special they are. More than three decades ago, Yla Eason took matters into her own hands when her Black son said that he couldn’t be a superhero because he’s not white. Trymaine Lee talks to Yla, about...


At the Sherman Phoenix, Black Businesses Rise

The holidays should be the busiest time of the year, but small businesses everywhere have been crushed by the pandemic and its restrictions. The picture is especially grim for Black-owned small businesses, which closed at twice the rate of white-owned small businesses this spring. But in the city of Milwaukee, there’s a bright spot. A collective of mostly Black-owned businesses is not only surviving, it's thriving. For entrepreneurs JoAnne and Maanaan Sabir, envisioning a place where that...


Critical Condition

In Chicago, one of the most segregated American cities, race and proximity to quality healthcare are inextricably linked, and the divide has been exacerbated COVID19 continues to infect and kill Black people disproportionately. At the same time, Black Chicagoans are seeing hospitals in their communities closing at an alarming rate. Since 2018, three hospitals have closed on the South and West sides. And now a fourth, Mercy Hospital, the oldest in the city, is slated to close next...


"The Dead Are Arising"

Malcolm X is a towering cultural figure. Movies have been made about him, books have been written, and he’s been mythologized since his assassination in 1965. But an encounter at a cocktail party in Detroit led journalist Les Payne to realize how much more there was to understand about the man. Les Payne spent the last three decades of his life learning everything he could about Malcolm X. The result is The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, a new book that sheds light on the people,...


Season 4 of The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg

As a bonus for Into America listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of “The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg.” “The Oath” returns for Season 4 with more revealing conversations with fascinating men and women who took an oath to serve America. In the first episode, Chuck talks with former FBI Director, Robert Mueller, about his service in Vietnam and his ascent through the Justice Department to become the FBI Director. Listen to the first episode and subscribe to the series:...


Food for the Soul

Like the Blues and Jazz, the Black American culinary tradition is rooted in a specific kind of American experience. From one generation to the next, Black families have turned to traditional dishes to celebrate the holidays, to commiserate and even to mourn. This holiday season, with COVID19 and hunger rising in tandem, too many Black families will be mourning rather than celebrating. Some will be relying on the kindness of strangers to fill their stomachs and their spirits, while others...


Kamala Harris and the Rainbow Sign

Kamala Harris has made history as the first woman, first Black and first South Asian vice president-elect. On the latest episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee explores the little-known history of a place that shaped her identity - the Rainbow Sign. The Rainbow Sign was a Black cultural center in Berkeley, California that opened its doors in 1971 and welcomed the likes of James Baldwin, Nina Simone, Shirley Chisholm, and a young Black and Indian girl from Oakland named Kamala. In her memoir,...


BONUS: Not the Last

In a bonus for Into America listeners, Trymaine Lee joins Joy Reid, host of the podcast Kamala: Next In Line in a roundtable discussion. Kamala Harris has been elected the 49th Vice President of the United States. So what comes next? Joy speaks with Pulitzer Prize winner, opinion writer for The Washington Post and an MSNBC contributor, Jonathan Capehart, editor at large at the 19th, and MSNBC contributor Errin Haynes and Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award winner, MSNBC correspondent and host of...


I Have Your Back

When Joe Biden addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect, he singled out the Black community for helping him throughout his campaign, and he made a promise. "You’ve always had my back,” he said, pounding on the lectern. “And I’ll have yours.” Host Trymaine Lee takes a closer look at this line from Joe Biden’s speech, first by digging into how Black voters helped push Biden to victory. Brittany Smalls, statewide coordinator in Pennsylvania for Black Voters Matter talks about...


Introducing: Do No Harm

As a bonus for Into America listeners, we’re sharing a special preview of “Do No Harm”, a new, six-part original podcast series from NBC News and Wondery. “Do No Harm” is the terrifying true story of one family’s fight against a system so committed to protecting children, it sometimes fails to protect innocent parents. Hosted by NBC News Investigative Reporter Mike Hixenbaugh. Listen to the first two episodes and subscribe to the series:


The Undecided Election

Americans were told for months that results from the 2020 presidential election could take days, even weeks, to be confirmed. But there was little clarity on how it would all play out. For the first time in seven months, host Trymaine Lee hit the road for North Carolina, to track the Black vote in this crucial swing state. He found enthusiasm on a college campus, wary determination outside of polling places, and democracy in action as election workers gathered results in the bowels of an...


Could Black Men Help Flip Florida?

In order to win the election in less than a week, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party need to do what Barack Obama did 12 years ago: expand the electorate. In 2008, 12 percent voters were people who hadn’t previously been participating, and 19 percent of all Black voters were new to the polls. But in 2016, many of them, including Black men, stayed home. Now, a grassroots effort is building to re-engage these men. Into America heads to the swing state of Florida, where local Black elected...


Into Getting Black Men to the Polls

In the last days of the 2020 election, both campaigns are targeting a crucial demographic: Black men. While Black men do vote overwhelmingly Democratic, some polling shows President Trump has made inroads with young Black men and Republicans are hoping to capitalize on that momentum. The Biden team is making a push to get the Black men who may have sat out in 2016, and bringing out former President Barack Obama to campaign in Pennsylvania. To understand why this is a key group in 2020, and...


Into Amy Coney Barrett's Record on Race

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett faced tough questions from Democrats last week over her positions on abortion, religion, and how she interprets the Constitution. But Judge Barrett’s stances on race deserve attention too. Beyond acknowledging that racism exists, Judge Barrett refused to elaborate on the state of race in the country today, saying giving broader diagnoses about racism is “kind of beyond what I'm capable of doing as a judge.” Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of...


Into Intimidation at the Polls

For months, the Republican party and the Trump campaign have been warning, without evidence, that voter fraud could be a deciding factor in the election. They say they are amassing an army of poll watchers to make sure that doesn’t happen. But election officials and advocates worry these tactics could intimidate Democratic voters, especially in Black and brown communities. Poll watching is legal. Voter intimidation is not. In this episode, host Trymaine Lee explores a time in the...