56 episodes

Some of My Best Friends Are… is a podcast hosted by Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Ben Austen, two best friends who grew up together on the South Side of Chicago in the 1980s. Today a Harvard professor and an award-winning journalist, Khalil and Ben still go to each other to talk about their experiences with the absurdities and intricacies of race in America. In Some of My Best Friends Are..., they invite listeners into their unfiltered conversations about growing up together in a deeply-divided country, and navigating that divide as it exists today.

Some of My Best Friends Are Pushkin

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 405 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Some of My Best Friends Are… is a podcast hosted by Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Ben Austen, two best friends who grew up together on the South Side of Chicago in the 1980s. Today a Harvard professor and an award-winning journalist, Khalil and Ben still go to each other to talk about their experiences with the absurdities and intricacies of race in America. In Some of My Best Friends Are..., they invite listeners into their unfiltered conversations about growing up together in a deeply-divided country, and navigating that divide as it exists today.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Thank You For Being Some of Our Best Friends

    Thank You For Being Some of Our Best Friends

    In the final episode of the show, Khalil and Ben talk with Chicago poet laureate avery r. young. He’s the multitalented interdisciplinary artist behind the podcast’s theme song, ‘Lil Lillie.’ They discuss the story behind the song and how racial justice influences his work. Ben and Khalil also reflect on their time working on this show.
    To check out avery r. young’s work, go to his website: https://www.averyryoung.com/ 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 54 min
    Samantha Irby is Quietly Hostile & Raucously Funny

    Samantha Irby is Quietly Hostile & Raucously Funny

    Ben and Khalil get personal with author and TV writer Samantha Irby on this week's show. Her bestselling essay collections Wow, No Thank You and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life are super intimate, full of gory details, and laugh-out-loud funny. She joins Ben and Khalil to talk about her latest book, Quietly Hostile; how she uses comedy as therapy; and her work on the latest season of the Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That... 
    Quietly Hostile by Samantha Irby 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 43 min
    The End of Affirmative Action

    The End of Affirmative Action

    The Supreme Court recently issued a decision banning race-conscious admission in higher education. In this episode, Ben and Khalil talk with Anurima Bhargava, who served in the Civil Rights Division of Obama’s Department of Justice focusing on education. Anurima also went to high school with Ben and Khalil at Kenwood Academy in Chicago. They talk about what’s great about going to a diverse school, as well as how the conservative movement plotted to get rid of affirmative action and what is lost as a result. 
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    Fantastic Future: Reimagining the American City

    Fantastic Future: Reimagining the American City

    This week, Ben and Khalil are talking about the future of cities. Their guest, Toni Griffin, is an architect, urban planner, and artist. She teaches at the Harvard School of Design, where she leads the Just City Lab, a team focused on community revitalization in city planning. Toni joins Ben and Khalil to talk about centering people in urban design, and her new show at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale that imagines "fantastic futures.”
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    From The Last Archive: Acting Out

    From The Last Archive: Acting Out

    Here’s a special episode from another Pushkin show we love -- The Last Archive. In the 1930s, at a women's reformatory in upstate New York, an upstart social scientist made a study that launched the field of social network analysis. It was revolutionary, but missed something happening at the same time at the same school, something we know now in part from the story of the school's most famous inmate: Ella Fitzgerald.
    To hear the rest of the season, visit The Last Archive show page on Apple Podcasts, at pushkin.fm, or wherever you get your podcasts.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 50 min
    America’s Poverty is by Design

    America’s Poverty is by Design

    America is the richest country on earth, and yet we have the highest levels of poverty of any advanced democracy. Why is that? And what should we do about it? Matthew Desmond joins Ben and Khalil to discuss the rousing arguments of his new book Poverty, By America: we are all culpable for this problem, and it’s on us to fix it.
    Additional links:
    Poverty, By America by Matthew Desmond
    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
    Correction: Parole, Prison and the Possibility of Change by Ben Austen
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
405 Ratings

405 Ratings

LaurynJ ,

Nothing Better!

I happened upon Samantha Irby’s book Quietly Hostile on vacation last year. And am overjoyed to have this podcast interview to treasure forever. Y’all make magic. xxo

makeda42 ,

Miss you already.

I put off listening to the last show for a long time. I read the description and was angry immediately at whoever cancelled the show. But of course these guys have full lives as a professor and a journalism. I can only say that I loved this podcast and hope they find time for another venture.

Dr. K from Seattle ,

Educate yourself and your children

Listen to this whole series with your teenagers and give them the gift of knowledge, honest history and preparation for the world they are inheriting. Khalil and Ben are buddies, history nerds and tour guides with some of their best friends. They relationship makes the journey more than pleasurable and their conversations light up their roadmap through these invaluable topics. As a psychologist, I would like this to be a required course for every high school graduate. Those graduates would be smarter, more empathetic, and more prepared to defend democracy, human rights and truth-bearing. I am a fan.
Thank you, Kahlil and Ben.

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