87 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
    • 4.4 • 43 Ratings

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

    Frank Mugisha and Lady Phyll – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021

    Frank Mugisha and Lady Phyll – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021

    Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and Frank Mugisha are two powerhouse LGBTQ human rights activists. Phyll, who has been a guest on the show before, is the co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest pride celebration for LGBTQ people of colour, and the executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, the UK-based charity working to uphold the human rights of LGBTQ people across the Commonwealth. She became widely known as Lady Phyll, after she turned down an MBE from the Queen, to protest the UK’s colonial impact and legacies. 
    Frank Mugisha is a Ugandan LGBTQ activist. He’s the founder of Icebreakers Uganda, a support network for LGBTQ Ugandans, and is the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG, an alliance of eighteen organisations supporting and advocating for the Ugandan LGBTQ community. Frank is a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the Rafto Prize, the International Human Rights Film Award at Cinema for Peace, and has been recognised by the United Nations as a human rights defender. In 2014, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
    We came together for Black Tech Fest 2021 to discuss the many and varied ways social media platforms are used to connect those fighting for their human rights, the impact of Covid-19 on their respective organisations and work in community and what they have to say to tech leaders at platforms like Facebook, who continue to overlook important insights from marginalised communities about how tech can be utilised for more good. 
    About Black Tech Fest
    Black Tech Fest takes place annually during Black History Month here in the UK and exists to inspire and create space for powerful conversations around technology, inclusion and innovation. #BTF21
    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

    • 28 min
    Tobi Ajala and Yasmina Kone – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021

    Tobi Ajala and Yasmina Kone – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021

    Tobi Ajala is the founder of TechTee, a complete lifecycle digital agency that specialises in software development and design within fashion and luxury industries. And Yasmina Kone is Senior Partnerships Manager at Beam – the world’s first crowdfunding platform for homeless people. We came together at Black Tech Fest 2021 to explore navigating and excelling within industries that can be inhospitable to Black women, addressing and redressing some of the barriers that prevent those experiencing homelessness from re-entering the job market, challenging assumptions that we all have equal access to technology and therefore equal opportunities, and their advice to young Black people who see a world they want to help change.
    You can support Beam's current campaigns here and sign-up for TechTee's Device Scheme here.
    About Black Tech Fest
    Black Tech Fest takes place annually during Black History Month here in the UK and exists to inspire and create space for powerful conversations around technology, inclusion and innovation. #BTF21
    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
    Langston Kahn – The World Needs You

    Langston Kahn – The World Needs You

    “A part of each of us, our essence, is timeless, has never been harmed, and carries a dream it is waiting for us to bring into the world.” These are words from my guest today, Langston Kahn, whose new book, Deep Liberation, brings together the shamanic wisdom of ancient spirituality with the needs and demands of modern-day life— he wants to help us transform the emotional patterns that hold us back from healing. 
    Langston is a queer Black teacher and shamanic practitioner who specialises in radical human transformation. We began our conversation in the usual way, with me asking how his heart is, but for all the wonder of technology in the 21st century, we experienced some digital interference. So, we jump right into the meat of our conversation which explores grief, his journey towards Shamanic healing, connecting with our felt sense, our individual purpose as contribution to the fabric of the universe and using our voice in service of our vision.
    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

    • 52 min
    Koritha Mitchell – Living Out Loud

    Koritha Mitchell – Living Out Loud

    Koritha Mitchell is a firebrand and one of my favourite people to follow on Twitter. She’s Professor of English at Ohio State University and the author of two books: Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship; and From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture.
    Among much else in our far reaching conversation, we discuss why she pursued and expanded upon a connection between the lynching of Black people post emancipation and anti-LGBTQ violence now, the ways white people reaffirm their dominance with what she calls “know your place aggression”, how Black women have continually redefined success and citizenship in America and why it can feel so utterly satisfying to point out white mediocrity. As she says, we’ve been surrounded by whiteness our entire lives and we have not been surrounded by excellence.
    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

    • 56 min
    Dr Francesca Sobande – The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain

    Dr Francesca Sobande – The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain

    Dr Francesca Sobande is an author and academic whose book, The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain, explores the myriad ways Black women in Britain thrive, influence and are erased as they navigate social media platforms. We discuss disentangling a distinct digital experience for Black women in Britain, her ongoing interest in borders, citizenship and diaspora, and whether expressions of Black women’s interior lives are possible on platforms designed for public performance. She cautions against a limited understanding of Black women’s digital lives as always and only subversive and she reflects on the role poetry played in helping navigate, inform and shape her work—both as personal journal and vehicle for collaborative dialogue.
    About Dr Sobande
    Dr Francesca Sobande is a Lecturer in Digital Media Studies at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, where she is Director of the BA Media, Journalism and Culture programme. She is the author of The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain, and To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe.
    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
    Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu – The Muscle of Our Imagination

    Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu – The Muscle of Our Imagination

    Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu wants us to unleash our imaginations. A playwright, actor and director of Ghanaian heritage and raised in South London, he’s committed to telling stories that are wild, seasoned and passionate. He’s the director of a new play, For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy, in which six young Black men meet for group therapy, and let their hearts – and imaginations – run wild. 
    Our conversation explores the limitations put on expressions of our anger, building support for mental and emotional health in the process of theatre-making, exercising the muscle our imagination, a limitless Black Britishness and what he hopes we take away from the work he puts out into the world.
    About Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu
    Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu is a playwright, actor and director. He’s written for The Royal Court, directed at The Young Vic and performed at The National Theatre. He’s received awards from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Roehampton University. 
    For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy is a new show from Nouveau Riche, written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Tristan. The play runs from 12 October – 6 November, and tickets can be bought here.
    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

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

LazEli ,

The best black queer podcast ever

I stumbled upon “Busy Being Black” while researching black and queer content, and my ears and heart could not be more satisfied. Josh Rivers, the smart, curious, and dynamic host, curates a wide range of black/POC queer experts discussing a diversity of issues from race and sexuality, empowerment and liberation, to self-care and spirituality. Rivers takes listeners on a journey, unpacking so many layers to the black queer experience. Rivers also shares his personal stories with listeners, offering a richer texture to the interviews and dialogue at large. Nowadays, when people ask me how I’m doing, I often find myself saying “living my best black queer life,” or simply “busy being black!” Thanks to Josh Rivers for doing such culture-shifting work and for sharing light, one conversation at a time.

Shannon Rivers ,

The quintessentially down-to-Earth and thought provoking

Josh does a great job of getting into things that matter to the LGBTQ+ community. He teases out deep thoughts and feelings of those who he is interviewing. Listen and you won’t be disappointed! This down-to-earth, emotive, and passionate podcast breaks through many of the walls black people even beyond the Queer community have guarding us.

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