AAS Podcast

Our podcast, formerly known as the AAS21 Podcast, acts as a conversation around the field of African American Studies and the Black experience in the 21st century. We focus on the political, economic, and cultural forces that shape our understanding of race within America. We invite you to listen as we explore outcomes, question and contextualize the dominant discourse, and consider evidence instead of myths.


Podcast Episodes

[AAS Podcast] Season 2, Episode 4: "University Reckonings"
Sept. 13, 2021

Over the past decade, historians have probed the relationship between higher education and slavery through innovative public-facing projects that raise important questions. What role have academic institutions played in perpetuating racial inequality? How are scholars and students today working to hold universities accountable for past and present injustices? What role should public engagement play in shaping the future of scholarship and the mission of the university? As campuses buzz back to life, our hosts Ebun Ajayi and Mélena Laudig discuss the legacy of universities and slavery with up-and-coming scholars in Black Studies: R. Isabela Morales, Charlesa Redmond, and Ezelle Sanford, III.

[AAS Podcast] Season 2, Episode 3: "Juneteenth: Past, Present, and Future"
June 23, 2021

When we talk about Juneteenth, sometimes called America's second Independence Day, what exactly are we talking about? How has the end of slavery been celebrated across time in Black communities? What political obligations does its commemoration bring to the fore? Join our hosts, Ebun Ajayi and Mélena Laudig, as they talk with Professor Joshua B. Guild about the past, present, and future of Juneteenth.

[AAS Podcast] Season 2, Episode 2: "Black Foodways and Food Justice"
June 7, 2021

Our second episode looks at the culture and politics of Black foodways, from the ways in which Black women have used food to create traditions and claim power to the contemporary politics of nutrition, stereotypes, and food shaming. Beyond the platitude that food unites us all, Ebun Ajayi and Mélena Laudig explore the diversity of ways in which food is a site where identities are constructed and contested.

[AAS Podcast] Season 2, Episode 1: "COVID-19 in Black America"
Feb. 19, 2021

In our inaugural new episode, Ebun and Mae take a deep dive into questions about the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color. From cultural responses to lockdown and the need for a government response to creating a more just and inclusive public health system, our host break down multiple dimensions of the pandemic and point toward some resources to learn more.

[AAS Podcast] Episode #18: The Journey From Solitary To Activism
Oct. 1, 2019

That Albert Woodfox survived was, in itself, a feat of extraordinary endurance against the violence and deprivation he faced daily. That he was able to emerge whole from his odyssey within America’s prison and judicial systems is a triumph of the human spirit, and makes his book a clarion call to reform the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world.

[AAS Podcast] Episode #17: Legacy and Racialized Politics
Sept. 6, 2019

We sit down with Eddie Glaude Jr. and Julian E. Zelizer, Author, and Professor at Princeton University, to discuss the challenges of balancing and teaching within the academic and public media arena. They then explore the historical cycle of racialized politics displayed by President Donald Trump and its impact within America as we approach the 2020 Elections

[AAS21 Podcast] Episode #16: Black Bodies, White Gold
April 30, 2019

In this episode, Prof. Eddie Glaude discusses with Professor Anna Arabindan-Kesson her application of research on textiles, music, and photography for her upcoming work Black Bodies White Gold. Professor Kesson, an Art Historian at heart, reveals the history and connections of blacks and cotton and their turbulent history across America and Europe. Not only does she examine the economic equivalence, in which enslaved people and cotton were commodities in the eyes of the law, but she also explores how it physically framed the way a slave looked, and in turn felt. Ultimately with this research, her goal is to examine how this history complicates what it means to be free and black in today’s world.

[AAS21 Podcast] Episode #15: The Influence of Ancient Ethiopia
March 12, 2019

In this episode, Eddie Glaude sits down with Professor Wendy Belcher to discuss her recent book. Prof. Belcher reveals her connection to Ethiopia, and how her life experiences of growing up white in Africa seep through her perspective and understanding. Professor Belcher explains how her curiosity pushed her to research, archive, and translation ancient Ethiopian writing; becoming the foundation of her recent book, The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman.

Our Team

Ebun Ajayi
Co-host, AAS Podcast
Anthony K Gibbons Jr.
Communications & Media Specialist
Co-producer, AAS Podcast
Mélena Laudig
Co-host, AAS Podcast
Elio Lleo
Technical Support Specialist
Producer, AAS Podcast
Michael F. McGovern
Associate Producer, AAS Podcast
Doctoral Candidate