15 episodes

Untangled Roots celebrates the culture and history of diverse communities across Minnesota and unpacks the issues and events that have impact. This signature podcast of the MPR News North Star Journey project unearths novel angles on familiar topics, hidden stories and fresh voices.

Untangled Roots MPR News

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Untangled Roots celebrates the culture and history of diverse communities across Minnesota and unpacks the issues and events that have impact. This signature podcast of the MPR News North Star Journey project unearths novel angles on familiar topics, hidden stories and fresh voices.

    Ep. 15 Living your Black life in Minnesota

    Ep. 15 Living your Black life in Minnesota

    We spoke to dozens of Black residents who told us what they think about living in Minnesota.  Some lamented the lack of Black cultural spaces and the prevalence of a form of ‘niceness’ that isn’t actually nice. However, some told us Minnesota has lots to offer and has the potential for much more. Plus, St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter III gives his ‘elevator pitch’ for why Black people should want to live in the capital city.  With co-hosts Brandt Williams and Jonathan Rabb.

    Untangled Roots was made possible in part with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 15 min
    Ep. 14 Do we have a thing?

    Ep. 14 Do we have a thing?

    This episode of Untangled Roots was inspired by a conversation between co-hosts Brandt Williams and Jonathan Rabb. If you had a friend coming to town and they said “I want to do the Black ‘thing’ in town,” what would you tell them to do? Cities with larger Black communities often have at least one ‘thing’ - like a unique cultural festival or some other draw for Black people. Do we have a thing? Do we need a thing?

    Untangled Roots was made possible in part with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 11 min
    Ep. 13 Black on the job in Minnesota

    Ep. 13 Black on the job in Minnesota

    Minnesota is home to Fortune 500 companies that hire top Black talent.  However, those employers often struggle to retain African American workers. Too often, Black professionals, especially those recruited from out of state, face isolation on the job and a feeling of disconnection from the larger Black community. With co-hosts Brandt Williams and Jonathan Rabb.

    Untangled Roots was made possible in part with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 11 min
    Ep. 11 What it means to be Black in Minnesota

    Ep. 11 What it means to be Black in Minnesota

    Co-hosts Brandt Williams and Jonathan Rabb, who both grew up in Minneapolis, talk about how the city they call home became the center of worldwide attention in 2020.  The killing of George Floyd by a police officer touched off protests around the globe.   Rabb, who was living in California at the time, said the protests and unrest made him move back to the city. But he asks, “Why do I care so much about this place that often does not care about me?”

    Untangled Roots was made possible in part with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 14 min
    Ep. 10 The future of ethnic enclaves

    Ep. 10 The future of ethnic enclaves

    Economist Bruce Corrie discusses ways that cities can help secure the viability of these vital community assets. He says incubators and cross-cultural collaborations are possible options. Corrie also says St. Paul cannot afford to lose an enclave like Little Mekong, which contains a variety of southeast Asian-owned businesses. With co hosts Brandt Williams and Jonathan Rabb.

    Untangled Roots was made possible in part with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 13 min
    Ep. 9 The economics of ethnic enclaves

    Ep. 9 The economics of ethnic enclaves

    Va-Megn Thoj of the Asian Economic Development Association, says some immigrants and refugees who start their own businesses, do so out of necessity, not because they want to be their own boss. He says some would rather not have to work the long hours for small profits. But too many can’t get hired for other jobs.  With co hosts Brandt Williams and Jonathan Rabb.

    Untangled Roots was made possible in part with funds from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Subscribe on Spotify, Apple, NPR One or wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 18 min

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