51 min

Blackness (Un)interrupted The United States of Anxiety

    • Documentary

Our Future of Black History series concludes with conversations about self-expression. Because when you carry a collective history in your identity, it can be hard to find yourself. 

We reflect on the life, language and legacy of renowned writer Zora Neale Hurston with Bernice McFadden, a novelist and contributor to the new anthology, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History Of African America, 1619-2019.

Producer Veralyn Williams then brings us a story about a deep division that continues to plague the Black community today, despite being a remnant of chattel slavery: colorism. Through a candid conversation with her sister who lives with vitiligo, she learns how one’s outlook on life and love of self changes when you’ve lived as both a lighter and darker-skinned woman.

Companion listening for this episode:

“The Origin Story of Black History Month” (02/01/2021)

We’ve got complicated relationships with this annual celebration -- from joy to frustration. So to launch our Future of Black History series, we ask how it began and what it can be.

“The ‘Beautiful Experiments’ Left Out of Black History” (02/08/2021)

Cultural historian Saidiya Hartman introduces Kai to the young women whose radical lives were obscured by respectability politics, in the second installment of our Future of Black History series. 

“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.

Our Future of Black History series concludes with conversations about self-expression. Because when you carry a collective history in your identity, it can be hard to find yourself. 

We reflect on the life, language and legacy of renowned writer Zora Neale Hurston with Bernice McFadden, a novelist and contributor to the new anthology, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History Of African America, 1619-2019.

Producer Veralyn Williams then brings us a story about a deep division that continues to plague the Black community today, despite being a remnant of chattel slavery: colorism. Through a candid conversation with her sister who lives with vitiligo, she learns how one’s outlook on life and love of self changes when you’ve lived as both a lighter and darker-skinned woman.

Companion listening for this episode:

“The Origin Story of Black History Month” (02/01/2021)

We’ve got complicated relationships with this annual celebration -- from joy to frustration. So to launch our Future of Black History series, we ask how it began and what it can be.

“The ‘Beautiful Experiments’ Left Out of Black History” (02/08/2021)

Cultural historian Saidiya Hartman introduces Kai to the young women whose radical lives were obscured by respectability politics, in the second installment of our Future of Black History series. 

“The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on WNYC.org/anxiety or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.

51 min

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