Strange Fruit MUSINGS ON POLITICS, POP CULTURE, AND BLACK GAY LIFE
Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit

From 89.3 WFPL News Louisville

MUSINGS ON POLITICS, POP CULTURE, AND BLACK GAY LIFEMore from Strange Fruit »

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Strange Fruit #260: Sam Sanders Gives Us A Minute

A recent article called him "the most vocal queer, black voice on the radio." Sam Sanders has been a journalist with NPR since 2009, and he hosts the podcast It's Been a Minute. It's safe to say he has a lot in common with #TeamStrangeFruit. He joins us this week to talk about his work on the show, and authentically representing black and queer voice to an audience who is, largely, neither. We also chat with author Tiffany Tso about her recent essay, "Nail Salon Brawls & Boycotts: Unpacking The Black-Asian Conflict In America."

Strange Fruit #259: With Allies Like These...

Nobody's perfect--even people who are committed to social justice. But activist Leslie Mac has been noticing a pattern when mistakes are inevitably made by people who consider themselves allies. She recently described it in a piece on Medium: White person/organization/group ****s up royally. Usually by stepping out of their lane and commenting on someone or something they shouldn't or screwing over someone they claim to be in solidarity with . Public outrage is expressed, coupled with many Black Women giving detailed reasons why & how they ****ed up. The offending party claims they didn't "intend to offend" and appears unable to hear what anyone is saying to them. After receiving push back on their initial response, an "apology statement" centered on themselves is issued ("we never meant to harm anyone" "I would never do what I'm being accused of" "we are so sad about how this was received") while failing to take actual responsibility for their actions. When their meek, ineffective apology isn't accepted with open arms, they become the victim of "unfair treatment" & "bullying". They eventually — after a lot more free labor from Black Women — "learn" what they did wrong, declare themselves an expert on f******g up and recenter themselves as a way to "teach others" Do this same s*** all over again the next time they mess up. Leslie says it's not the fact that people make mistakes--it's the way they react when being called out on those mistakes that's problematic. She says when someone does something racist, sexist, etc., they shouldn't make their response and apology all about their own feelings. They should center the feelings of the people they harmed. Leslie joined us to tell us more, and give us her tips for how allies can get it right. We also talk to Amber Duke and Soha Saiyeed with the ACLU of Kentucky. Earlier this year, they traveled to Montgomery, Alabama for the opening of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice (more commonly known as the Lynching Memorial). They share what it was like to visit the memorial, which features Kentucky prominently, because of the number of lynchings that happened here.

Strange Fruit #258: What's It Like To Answer Racist 911 Calls?

We've heard way too many Barbecue Becky and Permit Patty stories in the news lately. White people see black people selling lemonade, cooking on a grill, sitting in Starbucks, etc. They decide they shouldn't be doing whatever they're doing, and call 911. Usually someone starts taking a video, which eventually makes its way around the internet. What we don't get to see is what happens in the 911 dispatch center. What do the people who take those calls think about these frivolous calls? What do they tell the police about the situation? Rachel Herron was a 911 operator in Oakland, California, and she's written about how she had to respond to racist calls every day. Rachel joins us this week to tell us what happens on the other end of those calls. A lot of those frivolous calls are based on minor ordinances — so-called "quality of life laws" that dictate who can use public spaces and how. History professor Andrew Kahrl studies the history of segregation. He thinks of these laws as the North's version of Jim Crow. On this week's show, we chat with Andrew about how small laws and ordinances are weaponized against certain types of people (the laws often call them "non-residents" but you can probably guess what they most often look like).

Strange Fruit #256: Toxic Black Fatherhood On TV

"Theo, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life!" It's the big laugh line from a famous scene in "The Cosby Show" pilot, delivered by the show's patriarch just after his teenage son makes a heartfelt plea for acceptance, even if he doesn't follow the life path his dad wants for him. For writer Kieran Scarlett, it's just another example of the worst kind of black TV dad: Rigid. Impatient. Always policing their sons' performance of masculinity. Kieran finds more recent examples in "Black-Ish," and recently wrote about the phenomenon for Rewire News, in a piece called 'Black-ish,' Cliff Huxtable, and Me: The Problem of TV's Cruel-to-Be-Kind Black Father. Kieran joins us this week to talk about how pop culture portrayals affect — and reflect — real-world fatherhood. But it's not just dads who struggle (and sometimes fail) to get parenting right all the time, as illustrated by an Instagram post by Olivyah Bowens. The photo shows 23-year-old Olivyah with her 2-year-old daughter, who's having a meltdown. The caption begins, "No one teaches you how to love a child you didn't plan to have." The post clearly resonated with other parents; it quickly went viral and has over 14,000 likes. On today's show, we chat with Olivyah about being a young mom, and what caring for babies can teach us about how to be more grown up ourselves.

Strange Fruit #255: It's Funny Because It's True (A Conversation With Dylan Marron)

Dylan Marron describes his childhood self as "a brown and queer kid trying to break into the entertainment industry." People told him he was very talented but was unlikely to get work, because of how he looked and who he was. Dylan started paying attention to the movies and TV shows he consumed. "I noticed there was a representation problem," he said. "Universal stories were being told, but not using bodies that reflected universal stories. Universal stories are told, by default, with white bodies." He wanted to bring attention to it in a way that wasn't preachy but factual. That's how he came up with his YouTube series, "Every Single Word." It shows popular movies edited down to only include words spoken by characters of color. In the "Every Single Word" universe, the movie "E.T." is nine seconds long. It consists entirely of a character credited only as "Van Man," saying, "Hey, who are you?" and "Open the door, son." The Harry Potter series clocks in at just over six minutes. The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy is 47 seconds. It's absurdly funny. And it gets its point across. Dylan joins us this week to talk about using humor to shine a light on social justice issues — and how he does the same thing in his latest project, "Conversations with People Who Hate Me."

Strange Fruit #255: It's Funny Because It's True (A Conversation With Dylan Marron)

Strange Fruit #254: Expanding The Definition Of 'American Boys'

Soraya Zaman's "American Boys Project" is a photography collection (and upcoming book) featuring portraits of transmasculine people throughout the country. Through it, Soraya hopes to expand our ideas of who trans men and transmasculine people are, and can be. Soraya joins us this week to tell us more, along with Lazarus Letcher, whose portrait is included in the work. And poet and choreographer Uwazi Zamani joins us with the story behind his phenomenal spoken-word piece, "Parades." (Content Note: There is strong language in the poem, which is recited at the link, and also played in its entirety about 29 minutes into our show this week.)

Strange Fruit #253: Honestly We'd Be Eating Chocolate Anyway

People with HIV and AIDS are living longer thanks to advances in the way we manage the disease with medicine. That also means the need for services to assist this population is actually bigger than before. The Kentuckiana AIDS Alliance provides help with housing, medical/dental care, co-pay assistance, educational workshops, counseling, and public transportation to and from medical appointments. They also support monthly HIV testing, social retreats and a summer camp for children who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. But all this was a very serious way to get into the fun part of this week's episode: Chocolate Fest! It's an annual fundraiser for the KAA, featuring chocolate desserts from Louisville restaurants. Andrew Shayde from the KAA joins us to talk about what we can expect at Chocolate Fest this year. We also take a trip through this week's headlines in our Juicy Fruit segment, and kick off Leo season by wishing happy birthdays to Jai and Missy.

Strange Fruit: A Conversation With 'Pose' Co-Creator Steven Canals

The FX series "Pose" features the largest LGBTQ cast on television. Five series regulars are transgender. The setting is 1987 New York City — specifically the ballroom scene and the trans community. So it's basically like if they made a TV show out of "Paris Is Burning." Needless to say, we love it. This week we talk to Steven Canals, who co-created the show along with Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

Strange Fruit #251: Greeting Cards That Look Like Us

It's your partner's birthday and you're looking for the perfect card. But the drug store selection is looking pretty heteronormative. The specialty store might have an LGBTQ section... full of smiling white faces. What's a queer person of color to do? That's what Otis Richardson wanted to know. So he started his own line of greeting cards, Lavenderpop, featuring text and artwork on cards specifically for people who look like us. Otis joins us this week to tell us about his work.

Strange Fruit #250: Ricky Jones on James Baldwin (and Tucker Carlson)

"I'm terrified at the moral apathy – the death of the heart which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long that they really don't think I'm human. I base this on their conduct, not on what they say. And this means that they have become, in themselves, moral monsters." James Baldwin said it in 1963. Dr. Ricky Jones, from the University of Louisville, reflected on it in a recent column for the Courier-Journal. That got the attention of Fox News, and Jones appeared on Tucker Carlson's show last week. As you might imagine, it didn't go too well. Jones says it's all part of his job: teaching. He joins us this week to talk about what Baldwin meant, how it relates to our country today, and what happened after that interview.

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