PODCAST

Busy Being Black

W!ZARD Studios

Busy Being Black with Josh Rivers is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives.

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Travis Alabanza – None of the Above
11-06-2022
Travis Alabanza – None of the Above
My admiration of Travis Alabanza runs deep. They were one of the first people to say yes to me and Busy Being Black at a time of tremendous uncertainty for me, and our 2018 conversation remains a firm favourite with listeners. The wisdom and insights Travis shared on art, gender, race and self-awareness are as relevant and salient today as then. I find them refreshing, not least for the ways they engage with the spectacle of curiosity that confronts them and trans folks daily. Travis reproaches with sass, or critique or silence: a questioning back that asks, ultimately, whether the rest of us know the role we play in the ongoing hostilities facing trans people. But Travis’ work is not only, always or forever work about their experience as a trans person in a transphobic world, nor do they create to explain; which is perhaps most beautifully expressed in a statement made to Travis by writer and friend Kuchenga: "This is for us, baby, not for them." At the heart of Travis’ new book, None of the Above, is a call to keep questioning who we are when no one is watching.  None of the Above is available to pre-order from Gays the Word, the UK's oldest LGBTQ bookshop. This conversation was recorded live at Shoreditch House in East London in May 2022, in front of an audience of friends, family and Busy Being Black listeners. A special thank you to Khaleel Johnson at Soho House, and to Matt Noades and his team at Anvil Audio. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Travis Alabanza – None of the Above
11-06-2022
Travis Alabanza – None of the Above
My admiration of Travis Alabanza runs deep. They were one of the first people to say yes to me and Busy Being Black at a time of tremendous uncertainty for me, and our 2018 conversation remains a firm favourite with listeners. The wisdom and insights Travis shared on art, gender, race and self-awareness are as relevant and salient today as then. I find them refreshing, not least for the ways they engage with the spectacle of curiosity that confronts them and trans folks daily. Travis reproaches with sass, or critique or silence: a questioning back that asks, ultimately, whether the rest of us know the role we play in the ongoing hostilities facing trans people. But Travis’ work is not only, always or forever work about their experience as a trans person in a transphobic world, nor do they create to explain; which is perhaps most beautifully expressed in a statement made to Travis by writer and friend Kuchenga: "This is for us, baby, not for them." At the heart of Travis’ new book, None of the Above, is a call to keep questioning who we are when no one is watching.  None of the Above is available to pre-order from Gays the Word, the UK's oldest LGBTQ bookshop. This conversation was recorded live at Shoreditch House in East London in May 2022, in front of an audience of friends, family and Busy Being Black listeners. A special thank you to Khaleel Johnson at Soho House, and to Matt Noades and his team at Anvil Audio. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Jafari S. Allen – There's a Disco Ball Between Us
28-05-2022
Jafari S. Allen – There's a Disco Ball Between Us
2015 and 2016 were big years for me: in April 2015, I was shocked into my political awakening by the Baltimore riots, which erupted after the funeral of Freddie Gray. The rage and grief expressed through the riots inspired me to action: how might I be part of a solution? And a year later, in 2016, I stumbled on No Tea, No Shade, an anthology of nineteen essays from scholars, activists, and community leaders doing work on black gender and sexuality. No Tea, No Shade helped focus the fire stoked by the riots towards something generative, rigorous and tender. Busy Being Black is a product of these two events — and a life of searching and questioning before, during and since. So, you can imagine how honoured I am to be in conversation with Dr Jafari S. Allen, whose essay "Black/Queer Rhizomatics" opens No Tea, No Shade and was the first piece of Black queer theory I ever read. We discuss his latest book, There’s a Disco Ball Between Us, a sweeping and lively ethnographic and intellectual history of what he calls “Black gay habits of mind.” We explore the impact of the church and Black folk on his lyric use of language, tussling with the wisdom offered by our ancestors and forebears, his beautiful friendship with freedom fighter Sister Nehanda and how inhabiting or embodying a Black fullness can make space for all the ways we’ve decided to, or need to, show up in the world – for protection, survival and thriving. About Jafari S. Allen Jafari S. Allen is the Director of Africana Studies, Inaugural Co-Director of the Centre for Global Black Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of Miami. Dr. Allen’s scholarship and teaching has opened new lines of inquiry and offered re-invigorated methods of Black feminist narrative theorising in anthropology, Black studies and queer studies. His latest book, There’s a Disco Ball Between Us, was released on 1 March by Duke University Press. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Da'Shaun L. Harrison – Belly of the Beast
14-05-2022
Da'Shaun L. Harrison – Belly of the Beast
I’ve long admired the work of Da’Shaun L. Harrison. Like many of those I’ve come to encounter and adore over the past few years, Da’Shaun’s work came across my timeline on social media and their incisive and invigorating intellectual offerings have had me hooked since. Da’Shaun is a Black, fat, queer and trans theorist and abolitionist, and in their debut book, Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-fatness as Anti-Blackness, they argue that to live in a body that is both fat and Black is to exist at the margins of a society that limits us in ways we may have never considered. In our conversation today, Da’Shaun expands on the connection between anti-fatness and anti-Blackness, explains how diet culture persists as a tool of social control and offers up ways of thinking about how the policing each of us might do of our own bodies invariably impacts how we interact with – and even judge – those around us. Like all of the best intellectual work, Da’Shaun’s intervention is grounded in a political awakening that took place at the community-level, where they say they felt safe and brave enough to explore who they wanted to be in the world; and so we also discuss how community-building has shown them what the future – or, a beyond as they call it – could look like, and they make a compelling case for the power of our imaginations to help us think beyond what we know. About Da'Shaun L. Harrison Da’Shaun L. Harrison is a Black, fat, queer and trans theorist and abolitionist in Atlanta. Harrison is the author of Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness, and a public speaker who often gives talks and leads workshops on Blackness, queerness, gender, fatness, disabilities and their intersections. Da'Shaun currently serves as the Editor-at-Large for Scalawag Magazine and is the co-host of the podcast Unsolicited: Fatties Talk Back. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zinzi Minott – Ancestral Interference
30-04-2022
Zinzi Minott – Ancestral Interference
In the face of the ongoing and various violences experienced by Black women in the UK and across the world, Zinzi Minott wonders why more people don’t ask, “What do Black women’s bodies need?” It’s a question I’ve been sitting with since we recorded our conversation, which includes us exploring what our duty of care is to each other. Zinzi is a dancer, artist and filmmaker and she’s interested in ideas of broken narrative, disturbed lineage and how the use of the "glitch" can help us to consider notions of racism one experiences through their life. She is specifically interested in telling Caribbean stories, highlighting the histories of those enslaved and the resulting migration of the Windrush Generation. In this sweeping conversation, we explore her work commemorating the Windrush Generation, how we might show up better and more meaningfully for Black women and how her queerness kicked the doors open to her acceptance of what she calls her weirdness. Zinzi also explores her rearing in both the Pan Africanist and Black Radical traditions, and credits her belief in abolition with helping her hold space for those she encounters among her archival work and artistic practice. As she makes clear, the generations who came before us may not have had the attitudes or the language to hold who we have become in the world, but no one is to be discarded. About Zinzi Minott Zinzi Minott’s work focuses on the relationship between dance, bodies and politics. Zinzi explores how dance is perceived through the prisms of race, queer culture, gender and class. As a dancer and filmmaker, she seeks to complicate the boundaries of dance, and sees her live performance, filmic explorations and made-objects as different but connected manifestations of dance and body-based outcomes and inquiry. ​​BLOODSOUND is Zinzi’s latest work and features newly commissioned prints, moving image, sound and sculpture and expands on her durational film work(s) FI DEM, released annually on 22 June to commemorate the Windrush Generation. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Shrouk El-Attar – The Dancing Queer
03-04-2022
Shrouk El-Attar – The Dancing Queer
For many of us who’ve grown up in the so-called West, our understanding of what belly dancing is has been shaped by colonialism’s legacy. What we’ve learned about or encountered as belly-dancing is actually a white-washed mishmash of several cultures, designed to play into the West’s fascination with and manufactured fear of those designated Muslim. My guest today, Shrouk El-Attar, is an LGBTQ rights campaigner, electronics engineer and belly dancer from Egypt. She is currently working on a piece of interactive art – a belly-dancing robot – which troubles the line between technology and human, and between the east and west. Her desire is to return belly-dancing, or more accurately Egyptian dancing, to its roots – which, she reminds us, has little to do with the movement of the belly and was never a practice restricted to women.  Today we explore her experience as an asylum seeker, her fascination with technology and the moment she learned the people in her television set were there through the magic of engineering. She shares what she’s learned about nations and borders and citizenship, the joy, refusal and revolution enabled through dance, and how she’s turned her life experience and passion into both art and activism. About Shrouk El-Attar Shrouk El-Attar is an LGBTQ rights campaigner, electronics engineer and belly dancer from Egypt. She was named one of BBC’s 100 Most Influential Women in the World 2018, UNHCR Young Woman of the Year 2018, and one of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Top 6 Young Women Engineers in the UK in both 2019 and 2020. She is one of two artists taking part in Watershed’s Winter Residences programme, which offers artists the opportunity to develop their ideas with the financial, critical, and technical support of Watershed. Watershed is the leading film culture and creative technology centre in the South West of England and champions engagement, imagination and ingenuity, working locally, nationally and globally from Bristol. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley – Knowing Where to Dig
12-03-2022
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley – Knowing Where to Dig
The late Ursula K. Le Guin wrote, “Our roots are in the dark; the earth is our country. Why did we look up for blessing – instead of around, and down? What hope we have lies there.” And it is down there, among roots and earth, that Black trans gaming designer, archivist and artist Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is looking for our Black trans ancestors—those whose lives and stories have been lost to history and thus our collective memory.  Danielle believes we are each responsible for someone in the earth, and through her work, calls us to interrogate the roles we play in the ongoing violence directed towards our trans siblings. Her approach to this interrogation brings together AI and game design, and places us in situations where we have to make choices—choices that can feel impossible. And that is the point.  In our conversation today, we explore how she provides space and means for the expression of multiple Black trans essences; disrupting ideas about what an archive is, what we think it should do and who it should serve, by centring those whose lives and stories have been erased; how her residency at Serpentine, one of the UK’s most important contemporary art galleries, is helping shape her understanding of the potential of humanity; and her ongoing research into and fascination with creating a Black trans AI that speaks back to us and makes decisions for itself. About Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist living and working in London. She creates work that seeks to archive Black trans experience, and uses technology to imagine Black trans lives in environments that centre their bodies – those living, those that have passed and those that have been forgotten. About Serpentine Danielle has long been part of Serpentine's network and last year contributed to their Future Art Ecosystems: Arts x Metaverse report, which analysed what the metaverse means for the future of art, artists and cultural institutions. In particular, how real change and collaboration is vital to support the ever-growing number of artists, like Danielle, who work with advanced technologies and use the virtual space as a site of social liberation and resistance. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Raven Gill – The Bajan Butterfly
26-02-2022
Raven Gill – The Bajan Butterfly
I met Raven Gill in March 2020 at the Equality and Justice Alliance convening in Saint Lucia, just before our countries went into their respective lockdowns. We became fast friends. She is an outspoken and forthright activist, who does essential and life-sustaining work with trans and non binary Bajans through the civil society organisation she founded, Butterfly Barbados. In our conversation, we explore how she and the communities she fights for have navigated the challenges of Covid-19, the toll the weight of responsibility has taken on her over the past two years and how the positive image Barbados has earned on the global stage recently obscures some harsher realities for trans and non-binary Bajans. And she shares some of her more personal reckonings, including learning what she needs from her friendships, the chosen family she has gathered around her, and what — or rather who — is bringing her joy. About Raven Gill Raven Gill is a community organiser and activist and the founder of Butterfly Barbados, which advocates for transgender and non-binary Bajans. She works with the Barbados Family Planning Association, the Ministry of Health and with organisations regionally and internationally in order to redress and address the erasure of issues impacting trans people. Barbados is one of 54 countries in the Commonwealth, many of which still have colonial-era laws on their books that enable the discrimination against and persecution of LGBTQ people. And Butterfly Barbados is a member of The Commonwealth Equality Network is a network of 60-plus organisations working to uphold the human rights of LGBTQ people across the Commonwealth. UK-based charity Kaleidoscope Trust is host to the Network’s Secretariat. Kaleidoscope Trust believes the UK has an important role to play in redressing colonial era wrongs and works with partner organisations across the Commonwealth to provide funding for programmes to both sustain and liberate LGBTQ communities. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert Jones, Jr. reads "New Covenant" from The Prophets
12-02-2022
Robert Jones, Jr. reads "New Covenant" from The Prophets
This week, I’m in conversation with Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets – his New York Times best-selling debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men. In this bonus episode, Robert reads an excerpt The Prophets, entitled “New Covenant”. Robert Jones, Jr. is a writer and thinker, and the creator and curator of the social-justice social media community Son of Baldwin. He has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Essence and the Paris Review. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Robert Jones, Jr. – The Prophets
12-02-2022
Robert Jones, Jr. – The Prophets
“Tiny resistances were a kind of healing in a weeping place” is just one of the many powerful and lyric aphorisms that ennoble The Prophets, the New York Times best-selling debut novel from Robert Jones, Jr. – a story about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Robert Jones, Jr. is a writer and thinker, and the creator and curator of the social-justice social media community Son of Baldwin. He has written for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Essence and the Paris Review. Today, in a far reaching conversation, we explore how The Prophets came to life and why he felt it so important to ensure queer Black love was neither denigrated nor ignored within it, his desire to correct the historical record, learning rebellion from his mother and making sure that queer Black people know they are loved, valued and have a purposeful place in the world. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary extraordinaire based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Edafe Okporo – My Brother's Keeper
29-01-2022
Edafe Okporo – My Brother's Keeper
Edafe Okporo is an author and activist, who successfully sought asylum in the United States after years of violent persecution in Nigeria because of his sexuality. Since then, he’s made it his mission to not only speak out against the ongoing violence faced by LGBTQ people in Nigeria, but to help those displaced by violence build new lives as close to the American Dream as possible. We explore his relationship to the idea and the reality of America, the importance of pleasure in our understanding of freedom, his refusal to participate in the spectacle of Black death and trauma, making space for his hopes, dreams and desires, and his complicated and evolving understanding of what it means to be a Black African man in America.  About Edafe Okporo Edafe Okporo is an author and activist. He currently serves as the Mobilisation Director at Talent Beyond Boundaries, and in 2022, Simon and Schuster will publish Edafe’s first book, ASYLUM, a Memoir & Manifesto. He is also among the inaugural winners of the David Prize, which is modeled on the Macarthur Genius Grant and celebrates individuals and ideas that create a better, brighter New York City. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Frank Mugisha and Lady Phyll – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021
01-12-2021
Frank Mugisha and Lady Phyll – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and Frank Mugisha are two powerhouse LGBTQ human rights activists. Phyll, who has been a guest on the show before, is the co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest pride celebration for LGBTQ people of colour, and the executive director of Kaleidoscope Trust, the UK-based charity working to uphold the human rights of LGBTQ people across the Commonwealth. She became widely known as Lady Phyll, after she turned down an MBE from the Queen, to protest the UK’s colonial impact and legacies.  Frank Mugisha is a Ugandan LGBTQ activist. He’s the founder of Icebreakers Uganda, a support network for LGBTQ Ugandans, and is the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG, an alliance of eighteen organisations supporting and advocating for the Ugandan LGBTQ community. Frank is a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the Rafto Prize, the International Human Rights Film Award at Cinema for Peace, and has been recognised by the United Nations as a human rights defender. In 2014, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We came together for Black Tech Fest 2021 to discuss the many and varied ways social media platforms are used to connect those fighting for their human rights, the impact of Covid-19 on their respective organisations and work in community and what they have to say to tech leaders at platforms like Facebook, who continue to overlook important insights from marginalised communities about how tech can be utilised for more good.  About Black Tech Fest Black Tech Fest takes place annually during Black History Month here in the UK and exists to inspire and create space for powerful conversations around technology, inclusion and innovation. #BTF21 About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tobi Ajala and Yasmina Kone – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021
10-11-2021
Tobi Ajala and Yasmina Kone – Live at Black Tech Fest 2021
Tobi Ajala is the founder of TechTee, a complete lifecycle digital agency that specialises in software development and design within fashion and luxury industries. And Yasmina Kone is Senior Partnerships Manager at Beam – the world’s first crowdfunding platform for homeless people. We came together at Black Tech Fest 2021 to explore navigating and excelling within industries that can be inhospitable to Black women, addressing and redressing some of the barriers that prevent those experiencing homelessness from re-entering the job market, challenging assumptions that we all have equal access to technology and therefore equal opportunities, and their advice to young Black people who see a world they want to help change. You can support Beam's current campaigns here and sign-up for TechTee's Device Scheme here. About Black Tech Fest Black Tech Fest takes place annually during Black History Month here in the UK and exists to inspire and create space for powerful conversations around technology, inclusion and innovation. #BTF21 About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Langston Kahn – The World Needs You
27-10-2021
Langston Kahn – The World Needs You
“A part of each of us, our essence, is timeless, has never been harmed, and carries a dream it is waiting for us to bring into the world.” These are words from my guest today, Langston Kahn, whose new book, Deep Liberation, brings together the shamanic wisdom of ancient spirituality with the needs and demands of modern-day life— he wants to help us transform the emotional patterns that hold us back from healing.  Langston is a queer Black teacher and shamanic practitioner who specialises in radical human transformation. We began our conversation in the usual way, with me asking how his heart is, but for all the wonder of technology in the 21st century, we experienced some digital interference. So, we jump right into the meat of our conversation which explores grief, his journey towards Shamanic healing, connecting with our felt sense, our individual purpose as contribution to the fabric of the universe and using our voice in service of our vision. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Koritha Mitchell – Living Out Loud
20-10-2021
Koritha Mitchell – Living Out Loud
Koritha Mitchell is a firebrand and one of my favourite people to follow on Twitter. She’s Professor of English at Ohio State University and the author of two books: Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship; and From Slave Cabins to the White House: Homemade Citizenship in African American Culture. Among much else in our far reaching conversation, we discuss why she pursued and expanded upon a connection between the lynching of Black people post emancipation and anti-LGBTQ violence now, the ways white people reaffirm their dominance with what she calls “know your place aggression”, how Black women have continually redefined success and citizenship in America and why it can feel so utterly satisfying to point out white mediocrity. As she says, we’ve been surrounded by whiteness our entire lives and we have not been surrounded by excellence. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dr Francesca Sobande – The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain
13-10-2021
Dr Francesca Sobande – The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain
Dr Francesca Sobande is an author and academic whose book, The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain, explores the myriad ways Black women in Britain thrive, influence and are erased as they navigate social media platforms. We discuss disentangling a distinct digital experience for Black women in Britain, her ongoing interest in borders, citizenship and diaspora, and whether expressions of Black women’s interior lives are possible on platforms designed for public performance. She cautions against a limited understanding of Black women’s digital lives as always and only subversive and she reflects on the role poetry played in helping navigate, inform and shape her work—both as personal journal and vehicle for collaborative dialogue. About Dr Sobande Dr Francesca Sobande is a Lecturer in Digital Media Studies at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, where she is Director of the BA Media, Journalism and Culture programme. She is the author of The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain, and To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu – The Muscle of Our Imagination
06-10-2021
Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu – The Muscle of Our Imagination
Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu wants us to unleash our imaginations. A playwright, actor and director of Ghanaian heritage and raised in South London, he’s committed to telling stories that are wild, seasoned and passionate. He’s the director of a new play, For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy, in which six young Black men meet for group therapy, and let their hearts – and imaginations – run wild.  Our conversation explores the limitations put on expressions of our anger, building support for mental and emotional health in the process of theatre-making, exercising the muscle our imagination, a limitless Black Britishness and what he hopes we take away from the work he puts out into the world. About Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu is a playwright, actor and director. He’s written for The Royal Court, directed at The Young Vic and performed at The National Theatre. He’s received awards from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Roehampton University.  For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy is a new show from Nouveau Riche, written by Ryan Calais Cameron and directed by Tristan. The play runs from 12 October – 6 November, and tickets can be bought here. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lazarus Lynch – The Return
25-08-2021
Lazarus Lynch – The Return
Lazarus Lynch is the multi-hyphenate artist behind Busy Being Black’s theme music. He’s a dear friend and someone I share a spiritual connection with, and I admire so much his ability to harness his creativity to create spaces, moments and music in the world that nourish, heal, provoke and soothe. Our conversation is a meditative exploration of our shared histories in the Black Church, the pursuit and expression of our individual songs, unlocking our hearts, building community, faith in ourselves and in others and the bravery and vulnerability it takes to kneel before someone else and wash their feet. About Lazarus Lynch Lazarus Lynch is an entrepreneur, author, musician and multimedia host. He is a two-time Chopped champion and the host of Snapchat's first-ever cooking show, Chopped U, and the Food Network digital series Comfort Nation. This year, he’s one of the chefs selected to cater Vogue’s 2021 Met Gala. He’s the creator of Busy Being Black’s theme music and his new album, Sanctuary, is released later this year. The song, Busy Being Black, was released by Lazarus in February 2021 and is accompanied by a music video, created by and starring a global cohort of Black creatives coming together to express, celebrate and centre our love for each other and our cultures. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Territorial – The Calling of the Spirits
10-08-2021
Territorial – The Calling of the Spirits
Content warning: This episode explores imprisonment, police brutality, homicide, sexual violence and mental illness. Please listen with care.  I believe in the abolition of prisons, and while I’m still learning about imagining and building societies that prioritise care, restorative justice, and people over profit-making, I know that we should not be locking people up in cages.  Michael Tenneson, Kevin Woodley, Dane “Zealot” Newton, Phillip “Archi” Archuleta, Gilbert “Lefty” Pacheco, Jose “8Bizz” Talamantes and Frankie Domenico are seven men imprisoned at Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colorado. They are the musicians, from completely different walks of life and serving differing sentences, who make up the band Territorial.  Their new album, TLAXIHUIQUI (Tla-She-Wiki), is the first recorded music to make it outside the forbidding walls of Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility into the free world since it was founded 150 years ago. TLAXIHUIQUI (which translates to “the calling of the spirits” in the Uto-Aztecan language of Nahuatl) takes listeners on a visceral journey through violence and heartache to catharsis and hope. With these deeply personal songs, Territorial shines a light on the enduring human spirit in a divided country – and asks us all to consider whether or not we are prepared to heal the societies in which we so regularly put behind bars and walls those we are unprepared to properly care for. For those who are at the start of their journey in understanding prison abolition, like myself, there are a number of places to start. There’s a wonderful TedTalk by Deanna Van Buren called “What a world without prisons could look like”. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, who has long served as a prison abolitionist, is the feature of a profile in the New York Times, “Is Prison Necessary? Ruth Wilson Gilmore Might Change Your Mind”; and Angela Davis’ book Are Prisons Obsolete? is serving as a reference point and learning for my own understanding of abolition. About Die Jim Crow Records Die Jim Crow Records is the first record label in the United States for formerly and currently incarcerated musicians. Their mission is to provide artists with a high-quality platform for their voices to be heard. A special thank you to Royal Young for his help in making this special episode a reality. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ted Brown – Live at UK Black Pride 2021
17-07-2021
Ted Brown – Live at UK Black Pride 2021
Ted Brown is one of our most important and formidable elders. He's an activist and change maker, who’s been fighting for the rights of black and LGBTQ people for over 50 years. An original member of the Gay Liberation Front, Ted was instrumental in organising the UK’s first pride March through London. He’s been at the forefront of campaigns to demand better treatment of LGBTQ people in the media and he’s been a vocal advocate for addressing homophobia within Black communities and racism in the LGBTQ community. Ted and I sat down for a live conversation at UK Black Pride’s 2021 virtual pride celebration, Love and Rage, to explore the sparks that ignited his activism, our shared connection to Bayard Rustin, what he’s learned about love and rage, and his advice to a new generation of activists and change makers. About Busy Being Black Busy Being Black is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Thank you to our partners: UK Black Pride, BlackOut UK, The Tenth, Schools Out and to you the listeners. Remember this, your support doesn’t cost any money: retweets, ratings, reviews and shares all help so please keep the support coming.  Thank you to our newest funding partner, myGwork – the LGBT+ business community. Thank you to Lazarus Lynch – a queer Black musician and culinary mastermind based in New York City – for the triumphant and ancestral Busy Being Black theme music. The Busy Being Black theme music was mixed and mastered by Joshua Pleeter. Busy Being Black’s artwork was photographed by queer Black photographer and filmmaker Dwayne Black. Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram #busybeingblack Busy Being Black listeners have an exclusive discount at my favourite publisher, Pluto Press. Enter BUSY50 at checkout. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices