The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
169-Gert McMullin—Sewing on the Frontline—From the AIDS Quilt to COVID-19 PPE
In 1985, Gert McMullin was one of the first San Franciscans to put a stitch on the AIDS Quilt, the quilt that began with one memorial square in honor of a man who had died of AIDS, and that now holds some 95,000 names. Gert never planned it this way, but over the decades she has become the Keeper of the Quilt and has stewarded it, repaired it, tended it, traveled with it and conserved it for some 33 years. Gert knows the power of sewing.
In 2020, when COVID-19 hit, Gert was one of the first Bay Area citizens to begin sewing masks—PPE for nurses and health care workers who were lacking proper protection—masks she made from fabric left over from the making of the AIDS Quilt. The comfort, outrage and honoring of an earlier pandemic being used to protect people from a new one.
In January of 2020 The AIDS Memorial Quilt, now part of The National AIDS Memorial, returned home to the Bay Area after 16 years in Atlanta. It took six 52-foot semis to get it there. The over sixty tons of quilt, is made up of about 48,000 panels, each 3 x 6 feet, the size of a grave. The extensive AIDS Archive, which Gert gathered, collected and protected since its earliest days, is now part of The American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
This piece features stories of Gert McMullin and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Gay Rights Movement in San Francisco, Harvey Milk and The White Night Riots and more. With interviews with LGBT Rights activist Cleve Jones who worked with Harvey Milk and conceived of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial.
Soul to Soul at 50 — Ghana's Homecoming Festival for African American Artists, 1971
Fifty years ago, a group of some of the top musicians from the United States — Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, Santana and more -– boarded a plane bound for Ghana to perform in a musical celebration that was dubbed the “Soul to Soul Festival.” Thousands of audience members filled Accra’s Black Star Square for a continuous 15 hours of music. The festival was planned in part for the annual celebration of Ghana’s independence, but also as an invitation to a “homecoming” for these noted African-American artists to return to Africa. This episode revisits the famed music festival on its 50th anniversary and explores the longstanding legacy of cultural exchange with African diasporans originally set forth in the 1950s by Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. Noted musicologist John Collins, poet and scholar Tsitsi Ella Jaji, concert goers and more.
Produced by Brandi Howell for Afro Pop USA.
Danni Washington and The Genius Generation
We’re excited about The Genius Generation, a new podcast hosted by Danni Washington, and we want you to get in on it. The Genius Generation — innovative kids, tweens and teens who are making discoveries, taking on the issues and problems they see around them and inventing new solutions using science.
Host Danni Washington is a young science communicator dedicated to inspiring and educating youth about all things science. Danni, the first African American woman to host a Science Television Show in the US, interviews these young problem solvers and inventors and shares their stories of innovation and inspiration.
Young people are sounding the alarm, not accepting things as they are, and using their smarts and ingenuity to invent the change they want to see.
Featuring an interview with host Danni Washington and an episode from The Genius Generation Season 1 - the story of Luna Abadia the 16 year old founder of the Effective Climate Action Project.
The Genius Generation. A new podcast from TRAX and PRX.
Dave Brubeck & The Ambassadors of Jazz
“A blue note in a minor key—America has its secret sonic weapon—Jazz.”
That was the headline in 1955 when the United States sent its top musicians overseas to promote democracy. They called them the Jazz Ambassadors—Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dave Brubeck.
Today, in honor of Dave Brubeck month (May 4 is Dave Brubeck day — that’s 5/4 named for the 5/4 time signature of take 5) the story of Dave Brubeck and the Jazz Ambassadors. In 1958, the Dave Brubeck Quartet embarked on a tour of Europe and Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Department.
And a special interview with Dave Brubeck’s sons, Dan and Chris Brubeck and what it was like growing up with their very unusual and genius father. Excellent musicians in their own right, the two share intimate memories of their father and his legendary contributions to modern jazz.
Featuring interviews with Keith Hatschek, Program Director for Music Management and Music Industry Studies at the University of Pacific; and Mike Wurtz, Assistant Professor and Head of Special Collections and Archives at the Holt-Atherton Special Collections at the University of Pacific Library. The archival recording of Dave Brubeck is from his interview with Monk Rowe from the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College.
Produced by Brandi Howell for The Echo Chamber Podcast.
Spotlight on Black-Owned Pet Businesses
Lured in by a blackboard sign on the street in Davia’s neighborhood announcing “Spotlight on Black Entrepreneurs,” we enter the creative and growing world of Black-Owned Pet Businesses.
Lick You Silly dog treats, Trill Paws enamel ID Tags, The Dog Father of Harlem's Doggie Day Spa, gorgeous rainbow beaded Dog Collars from The Kenya Collection, Sir Dogwood luxurious modern dog-wear.
“The dog training world—it’s a white dominated space. It’s kind of male dominated, too,” says Taylor Barconey of Smart Bitch Dog Training in New Orleans. “On our profile on Instagram we have Black Lives Matter, it’s been there for a year now. Before 2020, we would have not felt comfortable putting that up at risk of losing our business because people would have blacklisted us. But now, we feel like we can finally breathe and be open about things that really matter to us—speaking out against racism and not feeling shy about it.”
Chaz Olajide of Sir Dogwood wasn’t finding communities of pet owners or pet businesses owned by people of color. “I did a deep dive into the statistics —I just wanted to see if maybe I was an outlier, like maybe the reason why I’m not seeing more diversity in these companies is because maybe the demand isn’t out there. Actually, you know, that’s not really the case.”
Brian Taylor, owner of Harlem’s Doggy Day Care lost both his uncle and long time mentor to Covid. During the pandemic his business slumped by 80%. So with some help from his pet parents and supporters he decided to hit the road with “The Pup Relief Tour offering grooming services to anyone going through rough times and in need. “All together we had about 63 African American dog groomers that went on tour with us across the country and we groomed over 829 dogs.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Black-owned pet business entrepreneurs. There are tons more across America and you can support their businesses and services. House Dogge in LA — artisanal dog tees, hoodies, toys — committed to helping unwanted, neglected and abused dogs. Dr. Kwane Stewart, an African American veterinarian who walks skid row in downtown LA tending the unhoused dogs of unhoused people. Fresh Paws Grooming in Brooklyn. The animal advocates at Iconic Paws, a customized pet portrait gallery with flare. Pardo Paws in Georgia, an all natural company with a lotion bar in the shape of a dog paw for dogs with dry noses and paws made of cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, calendula. Precious Paws Dog Grooming in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
Little L’s Pet Bakery and Boutique in Brooklyn. Scotch and Tea — stylish and durable dog accessories. Bark and Tumble, a luxury and contemporary brand of hand made dog garments in Britain. Pets in Mind a Holistic Pet Supply Store in Coconut Creek, Florida. Beaux & Paws in Newark, Pet Plate — an online black owned pet food delivery service. Duke the Groomer in Chicago, Ava’s Pet Palace started by Ava Dorsey, age 13.
Most all of these businesses are giving back in some way to their communities working with at-risk youth, taking them in with mentorships and internships that hopefully lead to jobs, and donating generously to shelters and rescues and neighborhood food banks.
Francis Coppola and North Beach Citizens—A Neighborhood Vision
Francis Ford Coppola talks about homelessness, life, friendship, neighborhood history, and his ideas about the future as he tells the remarkable story of North Beach Citizens, the volunteer organization he spearheaded twenty years ago to help grapple with the lives and needs of homeless and unhoused people living in his neighborhood in San Francisco.
This month marks the 20th Anniversary of North Beach Citizens. Normally at this time of year some 400 people gather in the church basement of Saints Peter & Paul near Washington Square Park for an epic community dinner that raises the funds to keep NBC’s vital series of services available. Like everywhere, the pandemic has been hard on the unhoused and raised their numbers by some 64% in North Beach alone. The need is great.
As a frontline service provider, NBC is distributing nearly 3 times more food to the community than this time last year through daily meals "to-go,” and Wednesday Community Food Pantry. As a beacon of support for the neighborhood, they ensure that people who are living close to the margins know that they are part of a caring community and connected to support that meets their individual needs.
Our story takes us deep into the North Beach community with interviews with North Beach Citizens, volunteers, staff, clients—food writer and long time North Beach resident Peggy Knickerbocker, poetry and stories of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the supporter and Guardian Angel of North Beach Citizens, and more.
“Every neighborhood would benefit from a community group addressing homelessness”
— Francis Ford Coppola, Founder of North Beach Citizens