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Strange Fruit Podcast

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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.

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: 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 Bitch...

Duration: 00:31:29

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 joins...

Duration: 00:49:47

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...

Duration: 00:36:18

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...

Duration: 00:37:20

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...

Duration: 00:34:13

Coming Soon on Strange Fruit: Sports! They are a thing in the news

Coming up on this week's episode... Intern Brandon takes over with a show about sports news. Will he shoot a home run or strike out in the fourth quarter?

Duration: 00:00:29

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...

Duration: 00:41:18

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....

Duration: 00:48:09

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...

Duration: 00:24:07

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...

Duration: 00:38:45

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...

Duration: 00:30:09

Strange Fruit #212: Parenting While Black and Queer

Have you ever joked with a little boy about whether he has a girlfriend? Did your birds-and-bees talk include the words, "a mommy and a daddy?" The way we talk to kids can reinforce gender binaries, stereotypes, and heteronormativity. And of course, "having the talk" means something else entirely for black parents. That's why journalist Jenn Jackson calls parenting as a black queer person an inherently political act. She joins us this week to talk about how she teaches her kids to think...

Duration: 00:31:01

Strange Fruit #211: What Does DACA Repeal Mean For Louisville's Young Immigrants?

It's been in the headlines and all over social media. But we wanted to find out how the repeal of DACA would affect our friends and neighbors here in Louisville. Two activists from Mijente Louisville, a grassroots Latinx organization, join us on this week's show. We talk about the sanctuary movement, and what it would look like if Louisville were declared a sanctuary city.

Duration: 00:30:03

Strange Fruit #210: Tea AND Shade To Those Who Co-Opt Black Gay Culture

Yasss, kween! Werq. Slay. What do these phrases have in common? They come from the gay black community — specifically drag and the house ball scene — and have since been co-opted by mainstream culture, with little credit to their originators. Jefferey Spivey writes the blog "Uptown Bourgeois," and recently wrote a piece about this phenomenon for the LGBTQ website SOULE, In it, he calls out Elle magazine for publishing a photo gallery from this year's Latex Ball without including any of the...

Duration: 00:27:40

Strange Fruit #209: How 'Open TV' Is Changing Who Gets To Make Television

If you grew up with network TV like we did (or basic cable, if you were lucky), you might find the current media landscape overwhelming — not just what shows to watch, but what platforms to access. The multiple ways it's now possible to consume and produce entertainment has made the industry more accessible to creators working outside the traditional network system, and a happy byproduct is more people of color, queer people, and trans people telling their own stories. That's what you'll...

Duration: 00:34:35

Strange Fruit #208: Museum Celebrates "The Ordinary Extraordinary Colored Girl"

This week we speak with Vashti DuBois, Executive Director and Founder of The Colored Girls Museum in Philadelphia. DuBois says she was inspired to create a physical space celebrating "the ordinary extraordinary colored girl" because black girls and women have been contributing to the world in a powerful way but getting no recognition. "I use colored because I really think of how the world takes its Crayola crayon to the black girl and colors her whatever they want her to be," DuBois says....

Duration: 00:26:25

Strange Fruit #207: Some Places Are Not For Straight People

If you're straight, you're probably not used to being denied access to things based solely on your sexual orientation — unlike LGBTQ people, who have been historically excluded from housing, jobs, and clubs because of their identities. But a new opinion piece in The Advocate says there are spaces that straight people just don't belong. Specifically, in the back rooms or "play spaces" of gay bars — which are often places where typical social rules about sex are relaxed, if not absent....

Duration: 00:25:22

Strange Fruit #206: "Queen Sugar" Actor Brian Michael Smith On Being Trans In Show Business

You may have seen Brian Michael Smith on "Girls," "Law and Order," "Blue Bloods," or other television shows and commercials, playing cisgender men. Now he appears on the OWN Network's "Queen Sugar," playing a transgender cop — and earlier this summer, Brian came out as trans himself. He joins us this week to talk about visibility and representation, and his first day on the set. "Honestly, it was like going to black heaven," he says. "It was a dream come true in so many ways." Later in the...

Duration: 00:37:54

Strange Fruit #205: New Leadership At A Legendary Regional Institution

The Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee is a living piece of civil rights history. It functioned as a folk school from the 1930s through '60s, hosting Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and other activists and icons. Now in its 85th year, the Highlander continues to be a space where movement leaders come together to teach and to learn. Executive Directors Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson and Rev. Allyn Maxfield-Steele join us this week to talk about the...

Duration: 00:36:47

Strange Fruit #204: Documentary Series Lets Trans People Tell Their Own Stories

President Trump's tweets about the armed forces this week brought the stories of transgender service members into the spotlight. This week on Strange Fruit, we learn about documentary film series that tells stories specifically from the lives of trans people of color. André Perez, the filmmaker at the helm of "America in Transition," joins us to tell us more about the project and why it's important to bring these stories into the light. Learn more about the project at

Duration: 00:33:08

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