78 episodes

Busy Being Black with Josh Rivers is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives.

Busy Being Black W!ZARD Studios

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0 • 103 Ratings

Busy Being Black with Josh Rivers is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives.

    Written on the Waves – A Conversation Across Space and Time

    Written on the Waves – A Conversation Across Space and Time

    How do we honour the forgotten, whose work was once celebrated, and who gets to decide which work stands the test of time? These are questions we’re asked to consider in a new audio play called recognition, which explores the story and legacy of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – an Afro-English composer and conductor born in London in 1875. The play brings Coleridge-Taylor to life in conversation with Song, voiced by composer, musician, actress and writer Shiloh Coke. 
    recognition is one of eight plays forming Written on the Waves, an audio project presented by 45North. 45North champions, develops, and produces outstanding work by female-identifying and non-binary artists.
    Listen to the full audio play here: http://www.forty-fivenorth.com/writtenonthewaves
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    • 10 min
    Shiloh Coke – Recognition

    Shiloh Coke – Recognition

    I’m in conversation today with Shiloh Coke, a composer, musician, actor and writer who stars in a new audio play called recognition. In it, she voices Song, a Black woman composer who stumbles upon the work of Afro-English composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The play, and their conversation across space and time, asks important questions like: How do we honour the forgotten whose work was once celebrated, and who gets to decide which work stands the test of time?  In our conversation, Shiloh and I explore how she’s carving her own space in industries dominated by white people, her close relationship with her grandmother, coming into herself as a queer Black woman and how music offers her space for safety, joy and love. We discuss the importance of orienting ourselves and our work in our purpose, pursuing impact over recognition, and the conversation she hopes a queer Black woman will have with her work in the future, long after she’s gone.
    About Shiloh Coke
    Shiloh Coke is a composer, musician, actress and writer. She stars as Song in a new audio play called recognition.
    This episode features a clip from ‘Myoho’, which Shiloh composed to accompany a short film written by Pamela Nomvete, called Sisterhood for the Sake of Happiness. The film symbolises five generations of buddhists and artists from the African diaspora.
    About Busy Being Black
    Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming. 
    Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community.
    Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black.
    Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack
    Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 47 min
    Abdul-Aliy Muhammad – My Body Leads Me

    Abdul-Aliy Muhammad – My Body Leads Me

    One of my favourite quotes is from Civil Rights icon Bayard Rustin, who said the proof that one truly believes is in action — and there are few who embody Bayard’s words as wholly and unapologetically as Abdul-Aliy Muhammad (they/them). 
    An organiser and activist born and raised in West Philadelphia, Abdul-Aliy has grown into a firebrand. Whether standing up for queer Black and brown communities in the face of systemic violence, or holding leaders in politics and at not-for-profits to account, Abdul-Aliy’s work is loud, considered and high-impact. 
    Today we discuss the on-going impact of the 1985 bombing of the MOVE headquarters in West Philadelphia, the moments they were radicalised, what they learned about how people view those living with HIV, after they went on a medication strike as part of their organising action — and learning to trust when their body tells them what to do in defence of what’s right.
    About Abdul-Aliy Muhammad
    Abdul-Aliy Muhammad is a "Magical Black Queer", organiser, activist, writer and poet based in Philadelphia. They are one of the co-founders of the Black and Brown Workers Co-operative, a labor organising cooperative fighting contemporary forms of subjugation and dehumanisation in workplaces, classrooms and communities by expanding democracy and agency.
    About Busy Being Black
    Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming. 
    Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community.
    Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black.
    Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack
    Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Taitu Heron – The Year of Our Lorde

    Taitu Heron – The Year of Our Lorde

    Content warning: Today’s conversation includes references to sexual violence. Please listen with care. 
    I caught up with Taitu Heron in December 2020, as a way of bringing to a close a difficult year with one of my favourite people. Taitu is a development specialist, human rights advocate, scholar and performance poet and we first met in St Lucia in February 2020, on the eve of the onset of the global pandemic. In St Lucia, we spent long nights righting the worlds wrongs and she offered wisdom and insight that would prove so helpful as 2020 unraveled around us. She shares her thoughts on leaving behind those people and habits who no longer serve us, creating more space for ourselves and those we care about to thrive and to breathe, and how we balance our professional, personal and creative obligations. 
    We dive into the complexities of silence, including her thoughts on what Audre Lorde meant when she wrote Your Silence Will Not Protect You. We discuss what it means have personal power, how we get it and keep it and whether or not it can be taken; and how we bring ourselves back from the brink after traumatic experiences. We touch on the uses of the erotic, the different and important forms of intimacy and how we find and even lose ourselves in the pursuit of our desires.
    About Taitu Heron
    Taitu Heron is Head of the Women and Development Unit at the University of the West Indies Open Campus and her publications and poetry focus on the girl child, gender based violence, the Divine Feminine and women’s sexual and reproductive health rights in the Caribbean.
    About Busy Being Black
    Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming. 
    Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community.
    Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black.
    Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack
    Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min
    George M. Johnson – All Boys Aren't Blue

    George M. Johnson – All Boys Aren't Blue

    “Let yourself unlearn everything you thought you knew about yourself” is one of the many important life lessons George M. Johnson shares with young readers in their new book, All Boys Aren’t Blue. George calls the book a memoir-manifesto and in it, they grapple with sexuality, gender identity, assault, consent and Black joy – and I found it to be an utterly invigorating read. 
    We discuss the lessons we are being called to learn and to metabolise from our journey through an immensely challenging year, the important work of making ourselves whole and love as the starting point for friendship. George shares their thoughts on vulnerability as a necessity for storytelling (and how in doing so we let other people know they’re not alone), and why they felt it so important to open the book with a rather bold affirmation: I want to be immortalised.
    About George M. Johnson
    George M. Johnson is a writer and activist based in New York. They have written on race, gender, sex, and culture for Essence, the Advocate, BuzzFeed News and Teen Vogue. Their memoir-manifesto, All Boys Aren't Blue, is available wherever books are sold.
    About Busy Being Black
    Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming. 
    Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community.
    Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black.
    Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack
    Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 58 min
    Jubi Arriola-Headley reads "Every God Is a Slowly Dying Sun"

    Jubi Arriola-Headley reads "Every God Is a Slowly Dying Sun"

    My conversation this week is with queer Black poet and storyteller Jubi Arriola-Headley. Among his altogether brilliant debut collection of poetry is the tremendous "Every God Is a Slowly Dying Sun" — a heartbreaking reflection on Jubi’s relationship with the late poet Craig G Harris. 
    original kink is available now from Sibling Rivalry Press.
    About Busy Being Black
    Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming. 
    Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community.
    Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black.
    Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack
    Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
103 Ratings

103 Ratings

@black_history_buff_777 ,

Wonderful stories, listen and enjoy

It’s so great to hear black voices sharing their stories. Listen, learn and love black stories. Great job keep it up

Wilesy Stylesy ,

He looks more white than black

Being mostly white

hedgehogs0987321 ,

Love it!

Thank you for sharing these beautiful and honest conversations.

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