406 episodes

Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.

It's Been a Minute with Sam Sander‪s‬ NPR

    • Society & Culture

Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.

    What's The Strategy? Corporate Activism And Anti-Trans Bills

    What's The Strategy? Corporate Activism And Anti-Trans Bills

    Corporations have spoken out against the new restrictive voting law in Georgia, but to what end? Sam talks to Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick about whether that tactic actually effects change—and whether it's just a performance. Plus, Sam talks to author and historian Jules Gill-Peterson about the historic flood of anti-trans bills in state legislatures and how these bills echo anti-gay rhetoric of the past. Then, friends of the show Saeed Jones and Zach Stafford join Sam to play Who Said That.

    — Read Dahlia Lithwick's Slate article, "The Problem with Boycotting Georgia"

    You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

    • 36 min
    The Human Cost of Family Separation

    The Human Cost of Family Separation

    It's been a few years now since President Trump adopted (and then later reversed) his administration's zero-tolerance policy that separated parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border. But what's happened to those families since? And what is President Biden doing now to help? Sam talks to Aura Bogado, senior investigative reporter and producer at Reveal, about how family separation, which has reaches back to the Obama administration, has affected a system that Aura says is not quite broken... but is unjust.

    You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

    • 22 min
    Is 'Diversity And Inclusion' Far From Its Roots? And What's An NFT?

    Is 'Diversity And Inclusion' Far From Its Roots? And What's An NFT?

    Sam talks to Kim Tran, an anti-racist author and consultant, about her article in Harper's Bazaar on how the diversity, equity and inclusion industry has strayed from its movement roots. Plus, what's an NFT? And why are people buying them? And what are they again? Sam breaks it all down with tech reporters Bobby Allyn and Erin Griffith to explain the phenomenon of the non-fungible token — and whether it can last.

    You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

    • 42 min
    Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes into Great Black Performance

    Hanif Abdurraqib's Rabbit Holes into Great Black Performance

    Hanif Abdurraqib's latest book is A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. In it, Abdurraqib researches the impact of Black performers on American culture throughout the past several hundred years, touching on everything from minstrel shows to Soul Train, the concept of the "Magical Negro," and playing spades. Sam talks to Abdurraqib about lesser-known performers like Ellen Armstrong, the first Black woman magician, and they revisit the mythology of household names like Whitney Houston. Plus, they share aspects of Black performance they've missed most in this pandemic year.

    You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

    • 25 min
    Gun Violence Never Went Away, Plus The Overlooked Talent Of Asian Actors

    Gun Violence Never Went Away, Plus The Overlooked Talent Of Asian Actors

    It might have seemed like mass shootings were down last year, but 2020 was actually one of the deadliest years for gun violence in decades. Sam talks to Abené Clayton, reporter for The Guardian, about why some shootings get more coverage than others. Plus, Sam talks to Shirley Li, staff writer at The Atlantic, about Minari and the way stereotypes inform how white audiences view the performances of Asian actors. Then, Hannah Giorgis, also of The Atlantic, joins Sam and Shirley to play Who Said That.

    You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

    • 38 min
    The Fight To Transform Criminal Justice

    The Fight To Transform Criminal Justice

    There are few paths to freedom for people serving life sentences in prison on federal drug charges. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe talks with Brittany K. Barnett, lawyer, entrepreneur and author of A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom, about her role in the fight to free incarcerated people from these sentences. They talk about high profile clemencies, how life sentences are handed down even without physical evidence of drugs, and the wealth of Black love.

    You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.

    • 25 min

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