A Word … with Jason Johnson-logo

A Word … with Jason Johnson

Slate

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having ... the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock, to empty promises, to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race … ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word With Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race, and ideas on the way forward.

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having ... the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock, to empty promises, to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race … ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word With Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race, and ideas on the way forward.

Location:

United States

Genres:

World Talk

Networks:

Slate

Description:

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having ... the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock, to empty promises, to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race … ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word With Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race, and ideas on the way forward.

Language:

English


Episodes

Bot Battling in the Age of Elon

12/2/2022
For many years, tech professionals dismissed the threat of disinformation. Christopher Bouzy was one of them, until the 2016 election changed his mind. Bouzy founded and leads the organization Bot Sentinel to fight online disinformation. On today’s episode of A Word, he talks with host Jason Johnson about how best to detect lies and false narratives in social media, and how Elon Musk’s ownership of Twitter complicates his mission. Guest: Christopher Bouzy, founder and C.E.O. of Bot Sentinel...

Duration:00:24:56

Black Soccer GOALS!

11/18/2022
The eagerly awaited World Cup starts on Sunday. While the sport features star athletes from across the African diaspora, many Black people in the U.S. still consider soccer a white sport. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with Jermaine Scott. He’s an African American Studies professor at Florida Atlantic University, a life-long soccer player and fan, and an expert on Black soccer history. They discuss why so few African Americans have historically embraced the sport, what’s...

Duration:00:22:39

Black Panther’s Pride

11/11/2022
Wakanda Forever carries on the story that thrilled fans of the 2018 blockbuster Black Panther. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Evan Narcisse. He’s one of the comic book writers whose work –including the Marvel Black Panther Wakanda Atlas– helped flesh out Wakandan mythology in the years since the original film debuted. Narcisse talks about how the Afro-futuristic utopia inspired him, and how he and other creators hope to build its legacy. Guest: Writer Evan Narcisse...

Duration:00:29:46

Gang Bangers with Badges

11/4/2022
Southern California’s gang violence has made national headlines for decades. Less well known are allegations of violent gangs within the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by journalist Cerise Castle, host and executive producer of A Tradition of Violence. This new podcast probes charges that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department tolerates violent gangs within its ranks, and has done so since the 1960s. Guest: Journalist Cerise Castle, host...

Duration:00:28:01

Jim Crow’s Killers

10/28/2022
For every civil rights martyr like Emmett Till, there were many other Black Americans who were brutalized or killed by racist violence in the early 20th century and remain largely unknown. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Professor Margaret Burnham, author of By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners. This new book unravels many of the lesser known stories of racist violence, the perpetrators, victims, and survivors. It’s also offering descendants of victims a...

Duration:00:25:57

We Won’t Black Down

10/21/2022
In 2020, the Black vote proved critical for Joe Biden in key states, and helped win the Senate for the Democrats. But in the years since, Republican leaders have pushed through laws aimed at discouraging and diluting the power of the Black vote. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with Cliff Albright, executive director of the Black Voters Matter Fund, about why fighting for ballot access remains essential, even in the face of violence. Podcast production by Kristie...

Duration:00:33:40

How Tech Can Help—or Harm—Racial Justice

10/14/2022
From Ferguson to Minneapolis, protests against racist policing have been catalyzed by videos of the brutality being spread on social media. On today’s A Word, Jason Johnson sits down with Dr. Ruha Benjamin to talk about her book, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want, and where social sciences and technology intersect. Guest: Ruha Benjamin You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $1 for your first month. Learn more about...

Duration:00:30:12

Bleeding Heart on the Bayou

10/7/2022
The new Interview With the Vampire television series is giving life to a whole new generation of fans who love the human monsters created by the late Anne Rice. On today’s episode of A Word, actor Jacob Anderson talks with Jason Johnson about his role as the reimagined blood sucker, and his career as a singer and sci-fi screen star. Guest: Jacob Anderson Podcast production by Yanii Evans You can skip all the ads in A Word by joining Slate Plus. Sign up now at slate.com/awordplus for just $1...

The Case for Critical Race Theory

9/30/2022
For decades, critical race theory was something discussed almost exclusively by scholars and academics. That was before conservatives turned it into a political football, even though most couldn’t define it properly. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by UCLA Law Professor LaToya Baldwin Clark, a leader of CRT Forward. That’s a project that tracks attacks on CRT, and works to reframe the public policy discussion around it. She and her colleagues say CRT could play a vital...

Duration:00:26:26

The Kids are Alright

9/23/2022
The growing racial diversity in American public schools is often framed as a challenge. In the new documentary Defining US: Children at the Crossroads of Change, veteran educator Paul Forbes focuses on the hard work of understanding how structural racism affects schools. The film spotlights success stories among “at risk” students of color, and the dedicated teachers who are making the system work for them. On today’s episode of A Word, Paul Forbes joins Jason Johnson to talk about Defining...

Duration:00:33:04

Teaching While Black

9/16/2022
The student body of America’s public schools is more diverse than ever, with a solid majority of children of color. But the teacher corp doesn’t reflect that diversity. Fewer than a quarter of American teachers are non-white, and fewer than 10 percent of teachers are Black. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by former U.S. Secretary of Education John King about what’s driving Black teachers from the classroom, and the efforts to bring more young teachers in. Guest: John...

Duration:00:29:54

Save the Children

9/9/2022
Over the last two decades, suicide among Black youth has surged to crisis levels. And many schools, doctors and parents are unprepared to recognize the signs early enough to stop a tragedy. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Simon to discuss the issue. Dr. Simon is also the Chief Behavioral Health Officer for the city of Boston, and a leading voice in preventing suicides among African American children. Guest: Dr. Kevin Simon,...

Duration:00:31:22

A Dream Defaulted: Black College Debt

9/2/2022
While political conservatives slammed it as wasteful, President Biden’s student debt plan was greeted with relief by many borrowers. But questions remain about whether it goes far enough to help most of the Black students burdened by student loans. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson discusses the issue with Professor Fenaba Addo, co-author of A Dream Defaulted: The Student Loan Crisis Among Black Borrowers. Guest: UNC Professor Fenaba Addo, co-author of A Dream Defaulted: The...

Duration:00:17:49

Ballers and Shot Callers

8/26/2022
Are you ready for some football! After decades of being kept out of the quarterback position, more Black quarterbacks are creating success and finding stardom in the NFL. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by ESPN’s Jason Reid, author of “Rise of the Black Quarterback: What It Means for America.” They discuss how the business and politics of race have changed for football’s most sought after players, and what challenges remain for Black quarterbacks. Guest: Sports writer...

Duration:00:31:50

Black Wombs Matter

8/19/2022
The U.S. has some of the worst maternal mortality rates in the industrialized world. And African Americans are three times more likely to die in childbirth than whites. The documentary Aftershock focuses on how the healthcare system is failing Black mothers at the most vulnerable time of their lives, and how their families are fighting to change that. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with the film’s co-director and co-producer Tonya Lewis Lee about the history of the crisis...

Duration:00:24:23

Designing Wakanda

8/12/2022
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters this November. The franchise has provided a showcase for African Americans across the entertainment industry, including those behind the scenes. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with one of those rising creatives, conceptual artist Phillip Boutte Jr. Boutte left an acting career for film design, working on several sci-fi blockbusters. They discuss how Black Panther has helped change the dynamic for African American film...

Duration:00:24:42

Full-Court Fighter

8/5/2022
NBA star Bill Russell, the first Black American to coach a major-league sports team, died this week. His playing earned him 11 championships. His activism won him respect in the Black community, but the hatred of many white fans, and surveillance from the FBI during the civil rights era. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by sports journalist Howard Bryant to discuss Russell’s legacy, on and off the court. Guest: Veteran sports journalist Howard Bryant Podcast production...

The Third COVID Summer

7/29/2022
People are back in the office; schools are planning full classes in the fall; masks are seen less and less frequently. It’s the third COVID summer, but the latest variant of the virus is causing another surge in infection rates and hospitalizations. What do we need to do to protect ourselves now? And how can we be prepared for monkeypox, and the next pandemic? Guest: Dr. Ebony Hilton, practicing physician, and a frequent medical analyst for MSNBC. Podcast production by Kristie...

Duration:00:20:10

Hip Hop McCarthyism?

7/22/2022
In Georgia, award-winning hip hop artist Young Thug and rapper Gunna are awaiting trial on multiple charges, and prosecutors used some of their lyrics in their indictment. Is that fair game, or an attack on free speech? On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by ACLU attorney Stephanie Willis to talk about the broader implications of the case, and ways that artists are learning to protect themselves. Guest: Attorney Stephanie Willis Podcast production by Kristie...

Duration:00:17:09

They Want to Kill Americans

7/15/2022
This week’s January 6th congressional hearings offered an in-depth look at the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and other violent extremist groups that organized the insurrection. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson discusses the issues with counter terrorism expert Malcolm Nance, who has spent years chronicling the rise of white supremacist and other American political extremist movements. His new book is “They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of...

Duration:00:20:41