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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 #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...


Strange Fruit #220: Your Body Type Does Not Determine Your Gender Role

Our bodies are labelled from the moment we're born, when we're assigned a sex and gender. From that point on, a million stereotypes and expectations are projected on to them. Even in the gay community, where we might not expect heteronormative gender roles to be re-enforced, sometimes our body type determines what "type" of lover people expect us to be. Slender and femme? She probably dates butch women. Tall and muscular? He must be a top. Why is it that we expect people who look a certain...


Strange Fruit #219: Behind The Scenes With Actors Theatre's 'Skeleton Crew'

A trio of tight-knit auto workers in 2008 always have each other's backs. They're family, operating under the watchful eye of Faye, a butch factory worker-turned-mother figure to the skeleton crew. But this is 2008. The auto industry. And Detroit. So you can probably guess things won't be idyllic for long. Playwright Dominique Morisseau tells the story of what happens to their relationships when rumors circulate that the factory will close. The show is called "Skeleton Crew," and it's...


Strange Fruit #218: Sports! They're In The News

Sports! They're a big deal to a lot of people. But we just don't know that much about them. So our intern Brandon is taking over part of this week's show. Brandon and his homey KJ talk about Colin Kaepernick and other athletes kneeling during the National Anthem, and the NFL's response. They also dig into news stories involving Cam Newton and LaVar Ball (sports-related people, from what we understand). And a conversation about Kentucky's own Rupp Arena brings up bigger issues about places...


Strange Fruit #217: Bisexual Visibility In A Non-Binary World

What does it mean to be bisexual? That you're attracted to both men and women? What about gender non-conforming people? Intersex people? When it comes to human identity and desire, things can get complicated. Educator and activist Robyn Ochs crafted this definition of bisexuality: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge in myself the potential to be attracted — romantically and/or sexually — to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, in the same...


Strange Fruit #216: That Ghost Was Not A 'Mistress'

If you're intrigued by the supernatural, or just like scary stories, a ghost tour can be a fun way to see a city and learn about its history. But ghost stories tend to be about people who experienced violence while they were alive, or had unfinished business that caused them to come back as a spirit. And we all know what group of people were historically subjected to violence in the American south. And that's how black trauma ends up repackaged as entertainment on southern ghost tours....


Strange Fruit #215: A Conversation With 'Me Too' Originator Tarana Burke

Of you spent any time at all on social media this week, you saw it all over your timeline: #metoo Some found it empowering. Some found it traumatizing. But one thing it definitely wasn't? New. Activist and organizer Tarana Burke actually started the "me too" movement ten years ago. It gained traction this week when championed by Alyssa Milano, but Tarana's story got lost in the shuffle, and many assumed the movement was brand new. Tarana Burke joins us on this week's episode to talk about...


Strange Fruit #214: What It Means To Be Out In 2017

Coming out isn't what it used to be. These days, even the most sheltered people generally have at least some basic understanding of what it means to be gay. But for people living in certain communities, in certain countries, and with certain identities, coming out can still be dangerous - or even life-threatening. And, of course, no one just comes out once. In many ways, we're all coming out all the time. October 11 was National Coming Out Day, so in this week's episode, we talk about what...


Strange Fruit #213: Transphobia Is Such A Drag

A man who makes a living performing in drag is probably pretty woke about trans issues, right? Sadly, it ain't necessarily so. Former RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Willam Belli recently made some transphobic remarks on her YouTube show "Suck Less." "Just because someone says they’re a boy doesn’t make them a boy," Belii says on the show. "Just because you cut your t****** off and take testosterone, that doesn't change your chromosomes." Fans and critics were predictably upset by this...


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