Make Time for You | Crooked Media
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February 28, 2023
Pod Save The People
Make Time for You

In This Episode

DeRay, De’Ara, Kaya, and Myles cover the underreported news of the week — including  ‘Dilbert’ comic dropped from newspapers after creator’s racist rant, the hidden history of Aunt Jemima, contrasting views on luxury tiny homes and Charlie Mitchell, the first Black Michelin starred chef of New York. Pod Save the People closes out Blackest Book Club programming with Sovereignty of Quiet by Kevin Quashie.

News

Kaya https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/26/us/dilbert-newspapers-racism.html

DeRay https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/aunt-jemima-uncle-ben-deserve-retirement-they-re-racist-myths-ncna1231623

De’Ara https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/25/26-year-lives-for-free-in-luxury-tiny-home-she-built-for-35000-in-her-backyard-look-inside.html

Myles https://www.today.com/food/restaurants/charlie-mitchell-first-black-michelin-starred-chef-new-york-city-rcna7119

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

[AD BREAK]

 

DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Hey, this is DeRay and welcome to Pod Save the People. In this episode it’s me, Kaya, and Myles, and De’Ara talking about all the news that you don’t know from the last week about race and justice. All the news that should have been the most important news in the country. We talk about the NAACP awards, Black people in tiny homes, the uncovered history of Aunt Jemima. And then we close out Black History Year with our final book club segment discussing the Sovereignty of Quiet by Kevin Quashie. Make sure to download the full reading list now at BlackestBookClub.com. Also special shout out to Sirius XM, Pandora, and Stitcher for featuring Pod Save the People in New York City’s Times Square. Go check us out, take a selfie, do all the things we appreciate and love all of your support and love you for listening. The advice for this week is to watch a movie like go see something that you wanted to see but like didn’t think you had time to see either at home, or in the theater, make sure you’re COVID safe and all those things. But I watched a couple movies this weekend and they were great. Here we go. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Family. Welcome to another episode of Pod Save the People. I am De’Ara Balenger. You can find me on Instagram at @dearabalenger 

 

Myles E. Johnson: And Myles E. Johnson. You could find me doing the thing like Angela Bassett, at [laughter] @pharaohrapture on Instagram and Twitter. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I’m Kaya Henderson on Twitter at @HendersonKaya. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: This is DeRay at @deray on Twitter. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: This I’m I’m really just confused by. So, you know, we are in a group chat together where we discuss a host of different things. In fact, that chat could be its own podcast. But one of the things that came up that Kaya sent through is this this feedback response that’s been happening around Jonathan Majors cover of Ebony. Now first, I just want to shout out Ebony. Who the covers, the content, the writing has, it’s been great, y’all. It’s been great. It’s I feel like it’s updated. It’s modernized, it’s improved. So hopefully the good progress continues. And I think as part of that, this cover, which if y’all haven’t seen. I mean, y’all have seen it. Jonathan Majors is the finest man on the planet. He is in pink. He’s got one leg over the other. He’s pursing his lips. Is that how you say that? Um. And he’s stunning. Absolutely gorgeous. And so the Internet. The Black Internet was upset. Some some some members of the Black Internet community were upset and said that the photos and the shoot were another attempt to emasculate Black men. Sometimes it’s our own people. You know what I’m saying? So, yeah. Myles, I want you to break this down. [Myles loudly clearing throat] Then I can have a framework to have an opinion, which my opinion can come through. 

 

Kaya Henderson: A framework. Bring the framework. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Okay, I’m going to. I’m going to work the frame. Um a.) I just think that I was really impressed with Ebony. I don’t know if any of my well connected uncles and aunties on this podcast have a connect at Ebony, I would love to write there at this point because I thought that article was such a forward thinking, transgressive article um written and so countercultural to like where Ebony kind of positions itself as like the pillar of Black respectability and really a reinforcement in a lot of like class ideas and as in gender ideas. So I thought that was a really um bold article when I when I got to read it. [clears throat] The other thing about it too, is Jonathan Majors every any single time we have this kind of fixation on a Black masculine um person who has the abs, who has the deep voice, we also pin them up as the, as, as an idol of masculinity. And of course other races fetishize that. But also we fetishize that too. And a lot of times Black femmes, Black women, we fetishize the all the hypermasculinity just as much. And when that is broken, when that promise, that cultural unsaid promise of hyper masculinity is broken, people get upset because unfortunately I you know, you know, I do broad I do broad strokes cause I only got a only [?] to talk. But unfortunately, a lot of times when we’re the only one or we’re one of a very few people, you have to be everything to that person. So either you’re the Black dad or you’re the Black hunk, or you’re all these different things. And when that’s broken, people get really, really, really upset. And what you see to me is and, you know, uh I I’m a I identify as a non-binary femme person, I like I the whole gender revolution. I’m I’m I’m smack dab in the middle of that, you know. And what I also see is this bigger backlash to the transgender non-binary conversation. And when it comes to in the Black community, in greater pop culture, and I think because we’ve been seeing so many Black people, so many people in general embrace uh or actually uh defy gender stereotypes, I think that there is a little bit of a like patriarchy blues, like I miss when men were men. I miss when women are women, and there’s this patriarchy blues. And then Jonathan Majors with his with his built physique and his deep voice and he’s playing, I’m not going to front like I’ve seen a movie that he was in, but I’m going to assume that he’s [laughter] playing things that muscle men like he boxing–

 

Kaya Henderson: Yes baby. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: –or flying somewhere. 

 

Kaya Henderson: [?] Come on. [?]

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah, yeah, he’s doing he’s doing masculine things. And now that he’s in a color or now he’s in a position where that is being that that fantasy is basically being disembodied. People get upset about that. People get upset in their, in their guts about that because they’re like, we can’t have that. Y’all got everything else. Y’all done did this to to to this person. This person’s talking about this. And now we finally got Jonathan Majors and here you are taking them and I and I think that that’s what it is. I would name that yeah, patriarchy blues is what I would call it. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I love it. That’s a framework. Um. I thought this was interesting because like, we talk so much or I think so much about what Black Freedom really is, right? Like, we are out here working every day trying to get free. And freedom means like you can be or do whoever you want to be and do. And so to see this actor who is right now on the top of his game, right, he’s in like three or four different movies, a TV show, he’s like doing all of the things and we all rooting for everybody Black. And he’s on the cover of Ebony and a super artistic thing. The other thing that was like striking to me is the stylist Alexander Julien drew his inspiration from an anime character um and like in a tribute to all of the Black anime fans and felt like he was elevating a part of the community that we don’t usually see and like, you know, backlash? Like, can we can’t we all get free? Can we just let people be who they want to be, however they want to be it? Why does this matter that this man is doing whatever, I Ebony’s statement was beautiful. Um. They said there’s no agenda out there to emasculate Black men. If anything, there’s a mission to allow them to feel liberated enough from the shackles of hegemonic masculinity. The dictation that governs how a man should act in society based on outdated rules to embrace whatever self-expression feels best for them. I’m here for, that’s my kind of Black freedom. I’m here for that. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: And I just want to shout out Savannah Taylor because I adore her. And she I’ve been honored. My company’s been honored for us to, she covered us and some of the work that we do in Tulsa. And so keep on doing your thing [?] girl because we love it. And I think the other thing Kaya, to build off what you were saying is that she’s also you know, she talked about Prince and the Isley Brothers and Andre 3000. And Kid– it’s like people let people be who they want to be. 

 

Kaya Henderson: LaKeith Stanfield had a thing recently like– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Oh LaKeith Stanfield. Mm mm mm mm mm.

 

Myles E. Johnson: And I think just like what y’all y’all were saying, too. I think that a lot of the styles that happened in the sixties and seventies, we live in such age it’s like a weird history moment where people a lot of the styles that would be seen as feminine in the seventies, were affiliated with pimps and were affiliated with things were either affiliated with whiteness and you were trying to be a white glam rock star or it was pimp culture. And I think that now we live in a really interesting moment where Black people, specifically Black men, or Black identifying masculine people, get to dabble in things that are not as coded with either being a total race traitor or being somebody who is morally ambiguous at best, evil at worst, [?], you know? Um. Yeah. Just wanted to add. I just wanted to throw that in there too. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: The only thing I’ll add is that what I appreciated was that when asked, Jonathan uh didn’t feed the hysteria. He’s like, okay. [pause] Loved my outfit. You know, like [laughter] it was a because so much so much of this is, is to prod and poke him so that he will a disavow the the appearance right like that is how this works is the like something happens and then the person in his position is like, you know, I’m not why everything got to be gay da da da like, they do this sort of like homophobic adjacent, right. Or they like or just full blown and he just didn’t feed it. And I I really loved that. In addition to Ebony statement, I loved um people sort of letting the fire be the fire, but not feeding the fire. I thought that was actually really beautiful. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Jonathan Majors know that you can come on Pod Save the People at any time and wear whatever you like. [laughter] Thank you.

 

Myles E. Johnson: Also you can come to, I’ll send you my address and wear whatever you like too. [laughter] While we giving out invites. [laughter]. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Okay. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: So Image Awards. So– 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Angela Bassett did the thing!

 

De’Ara Balenger: Thank Harriet Tubman for the Image Awards because the nominations, the recognition that we that just does not happen in American mainstream happened. Happened at the NAACP Image Awards. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: No, I loved I okay, let me not lie. I have to I have to lead in honesty in 2023, I did not watch it. But I did watch a– 

 

Kaya Henderson: It’s not been, it hasn’t been on TV yet. It has not been on TV yet. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Oh, got it. How did I see that, how who was Gabrielle Union? What was that? 

 

Kaya Henderson: They had they had four or five days of events that were taped that will show on TV sometime soon. But it has not been broadcast yet. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Oh got– 

 

Kaya Henderson: So we’ve just seeing the coverage of it. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Got it. I’m so used to missing stuff that I just assumed. I saw I saw them on stage talking about. Well, either way, I was really excited about Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade. Wait am I saying that? Dwayne Wade. I just feel like as soon as you enter sports, I’m not going to say your name right. But I was re– but I was really excited about um them advocating for LGBT rights. And I think it needs to happen. I think, you know, the next step outside of, you know, who’s their personal Black celebrity dynasty. Um. I think that in order for it to be feel like substantive to me, they should be reaching out to people who don’t necessarily fulfill the you know what I’m trying to say child. The cap the capitalist game so not your daughter not somebody who you’re doing you know, writing with like just regular people. I think that that sometimes I think sometimes I get attention because sometimes it feels contrived if I’m being honest. And I think the next step for them is to do things that are outside of just people who are like, Oh um, I just don’t happen to be able to make money or be able to gain popularity or be able to expand my own stardom with that. But I love the notion of embracing other um the LGBT people, specifically in front of a Black audience. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Also just going through the winners, like for a supporting actor in a motion picture. Tenoch Huerta won who um was the he’s Mexican-American and he was in Black Panther. It’s also just love like– 

 

Kaya Henderson: But that’s what we do. That’s what black people do. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: That’s what we do. 

 

Kaya Henderson: We’re inclusive. We– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: C’mon. 

 

Kaya Henderson: –we call the whole family together, even though people will not call us together. Don’t get me started. Super– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: That’s right. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Super shout out to the best man, the final chapters. You know, my boy is a writer director and they got lots of love at the thing. Shout out Malcolm Lee. Woo woo. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Woo woo Malcom! 

 

Kaya Henderson: And Nia Long and Morris Chestnut and and Terrence Howard did the whole thing. But don’t get me started. Um. The fashions were also gorgeous. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: And the A-list people came, you know? That’s what I– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yeah yeah. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: That’s what I’ll, because there was a moment, you know, when it was like, who’s going to the NAACP a it was not a you know, it was not a thing that A-list celebrities went to anymore. 

 

Kaya Henderson: But part of that is because the establishment don’t do us right. Right? And so this is why it’s important for us to always have our own spaces, because, you know, people like um Viola Davis, who was totally snubbed in the Oscars and the Golden Globes and all of those things shows up here as the you know, as you know, one of the winners for something or another, I don’t know, she got her due whatever it was. Uh. Let me see. What is it? What’d she get? Oh, outstanding actress in a motion picture. Right. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: But y’all, it’s even like um I was watching Malcolm X, it was just on TV because TNT did like a Black History Month, back to back to back. And Malcolm X was on for like 5 hours because it’s so long with commercials. But you know what it got me to thinking is obviously Denzel should have won for Malcolm X, but also people like Giancarlo Esposito. So Giancarlo has been in like every Spike Lee film y’all can imagine, like, and is brilliant, right? So I think this also highlights your point Kaya. All of these incredible people. And oftentimes these actors have gone are have gone to Juilliard and Yale and all these things and got to be in comedies or things that really don’t test their their entire skill set, I would presume. So. I think, again, it’s just wonderful to have this space to be be recognized. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: That’s such a that’s such a good point, De’Ara. Because when when you look at like somebody like um Quentin Tarantino or Woody Allen, how they have like these reoccurring actors that are kind of like either seen as their muses or just like these people who are just landmarks and or I don’t uh just I’ll say landmarks in like in their films and and you associate with them. If you’re a Black director and you do the same thing, if you’re John Singleton, if you’re Spike Lee, then you might never be recognized for that work, even though you have like that kind of um kind of sacred relationship with director and an actor and we’re and world making. But if you if you’re worldmaking in a Black world, then that may never be recognized. So I think that’s why the NAACP Image Awards are, you know, important too. Did y’all see that the P-Valley I do not know this man’s name. This person’s name. The P the person the person on P-valley. He won. I was very excited about that. And I think that’s a reason I think that yes, I do think that sometimes Black people undervalue Black spaces, but I also think that a lot of the things that are the most esteemed Black spaces were deeply conservative and deeply queer phobic and and and I think that as the world and culture was changing, a lot of people were feeling that these spaces were outdated. So I think that what Gabrielle Union did and Dwayne Wade and this also the um the the actor from P-valley like winning and showing– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Nicco. Nicco Annan.

 

Myles E. Johnson: And Nicco. Nicco Annan. I think that those things show, hey, we’re accepting of everybody and this is not a space where you’re going to be essentially retraumatized in a lot of um situations. 

 

Kaya Henderson: And P-Valley won Outstanding Drama series, period. Mmm.

 

Myles E. Johnson: I need to watch that. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: We are so excited to continue our Blackest Book Club programming. We partnered up with Reconstruction and Campaign Zero to launch an amazing book list for our listeners curated by me, Kaya, DeRay and Myles. Download the Pod Save the People Blackest Book Club Reading list at BlackestBookClub.com now. This week we’re going to talk about my book selection, one of my book selections, it’s called The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture by Kevin Quashie. Okay, so I’m so excited to share to have shared this book. And it actually was kind of divine timing because I just read this book. Um, so the story about how this all came about um is I was in London this past December. I was there for literally 24 hours, but I had to make my way to the Hauser and Wirth gallery to see Amy Sherald’s exposition because she literally it was like the last day that it was going to be up. Um. This exhibition was called The World We Make, which is so interesting, Myles and you talking about Black world making. So for those of you who don’t know, Amy Sherald is everything. She’s a portrait artist. She was the first African-American woman to complete a presidential portrait at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery of Michelle Obama, of course. Um. But even before that, she has this extraordinary body of work and she describes her work as the work reflects a desire to record life as I see it and as I feel it, my eyes search for people who are and who have the kind of light that provides the present and future with hope. So. After I walked through the exhibition and saw all well, you know, just experienced her work, I saw that she had a recommended book list little table set up. Um. And so by chance, I picked up Kevin’s book. I devoured it over the holidays, and I actually keep going back to it. And then I started reading another book of his. Black aliveness or a Poetics of Being. And y’all, this book is hitting too. Okay, first of all, let me just read you the first little something in this book. What would it mean to consider Black aliveness, especially given how readily and literally Black Blackness is indexed to death? To behold such a liveness. We have to imagine a Black world. We have to imagine a Black world so as to surpass that everywhere in every way of Black death. A Blackness that is understood only through such a vocabulary. This equation of Blackness and death is indisputable and enduring, surely. But if we want to try to conceptualize aliveness, we have to begin somewhere else. So he you know, I just have been so obsessed with his poetry, but also kind of like how he’s defining another space for race theory, which is through quietness, which is through poetry. Um. And so this Sovereignty of Quietness is really about the the quality of being inward. Um. You know, his his his theory is that Blackness is so shaped by publicness. And so what he wants to do is for us to go into that inner reservoir of our thoughts, fears, and desires. Um. So quiet as he sees it, is a metaphor for the inner life um and for a nuanced understanding of Black culture, uh where we understand and define our desires, our ambitions, our hungers, our vulnerabilities and our fears. So I just wanted to bring this one, because I think. In the last, I guess in my lifetime, there’s been a lot of loudness, a lot. Um. And I think the way that identity for Black folks comes along is is often to be in opposition to whiteness. It is to be in protest. It is to be in defiance. It is to be in resistance. And I think that does us does us a disservice oftentimes because we’re not able to understand how we really feel. We’re not able to really express ourselves in a way that are that are true to our humanity. And so I just see this book as such a framework and a guiding light in terms of understanding who you are truly without the backdrop of this system. And not that we don’t know that and not that we don’t acknowledge that system is there, but it really is an understanding of what more we can be if we go inward. And so how he does this so brilliantly is he basically compares different works. So he compares W.E.B. Dubois with Gwendolyn Brooks. Um. He talks about The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. And it really is, the ability for Black artists in particular or or culture creators to be able to give examples or or or and I think this is why Amy’s work is so important and so aligned in why she chose this book. It’s because she just creates what she feels she needs to create. And if that isn’t a canon of resistance art, if that isn’t a canon of protest art, so be it. But really, the true vulnerability for her is creating something that’s inward to her. And so I just thought this book is actually just it is really not just changed my perspective, but I think also given me some instruction of how I see myself and how I see my work and how I and how I need to remember, to be mindful, to be thoughtful, to go inward, um to practice quietness, and not kind of a passive quietness, but an active quietness. In where I’m digging deeper and deeper into who I am and what that means. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: This is a this is a new one for me. This is a total um like, I I’ve never read this and I love it. Um. The first thing that as I was listening to you speak and then kind of like researching it, is that, you know, and I think I said this last week too, how everything’s kind of linked together. So when I think about the work that the nap ministry is doing, um I can not remember who the um artist is in the moment right now. But basically it’s a Black artist who did a whole a rest festival. So it’s like a literally a place in the MOMA where you can go lay down and take a nap and rest. Um. The I think that these um more performance art, um uh social media linked ideas around rest and solitude can’t be divorced from the from from, from that as well. And then um also the other thing that it made me reminded me of is I don’t know why I’m quoting Maya Angelou so much this episode, but it reminded me of the Maya Angelou quote where she says, It is in the interludes between being and company that we talk to ourselves. In the silence, we listen to ourselves, then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God. I think that there is a way that people and Black, as specifically Black people, how we’ve always known that although we are always um resisting and we’re always talking and we’re always creating the the, the, the, the divine noise that instructs people where to go, that that is informed by our silence. We we quiet ourselves enough to be able to take all the voices out and hear which is the divine voice, which is the voice that is, that is speaking righteously. And I think that uh just knowing that there’s more text that gives to that, that that idea of Black people in silence, in quietude is so exciting. And I’m I’m so excited that you brought this to the podcast. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yeah, this was super interesting to me. De’Ara, thanks for bringing it. I think the first thing that I thought was this creates um what it creates, it gives us permission to retreat into ourselves and to have that introspective time that Myles just talked about, to be in conversation with ourselves. And that is not a signal that we usually get. I also felt like, you know, I have a lot of friends who are introverts and or who are shy or who don’t participate in the, you know, culture of charisma, if you will. And this creates space for them. I think we so over identify Blackness with expressiveness and and sound and, you know, whatever that um if you if you don’t if you don’t show up that way um I think it’s often challenging to to figure out where you fit. Um. And I I think it also challenges us to think publicly about what Blackness and resistance looks like. Um. He talks a lot about, you know, the moment in 1968 at the Mexico City Olympics um uh where the two athletes just raised their hand um in a fist, which was a humongous protest signal. But it wasn’t loud. It was, there was no music, there was no marching, there was no whatever it was, it was quiet. And and I think um it challenges us to think about. I think it’s easy for us to think about what quiet means for us as individuals, but to think about what quiet means for us as a collective and how we express outrage or joy or whatever it challenges us to think about um expression, collective expression in a very different way. And I think I’m going to sit with that for a little while. I’m intrigued by that idea that collectively as a group, we might be able to to um express ourselves in this broader society in a very different way than we’re accustomed to. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: So that wraps up our Blackest Book Club programming. We’ll have something next coming for you, but it’s still available for everybody to download. So go check out the reading list at BlackestBookClub.com. At the link you can download the list and make a purchase in support of the cause. Um. We’ve also designed a limited edition Blackest Book Club apparel collection featuring a range of designs and colors just for you. So thank you for those of you who have already downloaded and followed along, we are so appreciative and we hope that you got a little something out of it or a lot. And that’s it. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: So my news today, I’m very excited as your um resident person in everything art, culture, fashion and theater and now culinary, I want to let you know what’s going on in the world because I want everybody to not only live but to thrive. And you cannot thrive without good food. So I was so excited because essentially it took me into my late twenties, early thirties until I went to restaurants that I really like. Like, just really enjoyed and really were like, Oh, this is an experience. This is this is a artwork. And part of it was um money. The other part of it is me being from Georgia and it was like interest. So I like there the way there’s a down home way that I think cooking is supposed to be done that like New York City kind of broke me into another stratosphere, seeing food as like literally culinary arts. So um and I, I believe um established in France. Yes, established in France. There’s this, it’s the it’s the Michelin rating system. The Michelin rating system. If you get a Michelin star one, two or three, it is it basically tells tells you that this chef there and this restaurant is excellent. So I believe it happens in London. There’s some in Dubai now, there’s some in um uh France and in New York City, where essentially like every pocket around the world there should be like a Michelin star restaurant that’s just scored for excellence. So the news is Charlie Mitchell, hailing from Detroit, is the first Black Michelin starred chef in New York City, the first Black Michelin star chef in New York City which sounds a little a little crazy– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Bananas.

 

Myles E. Johnson: –as well–

 

Kaya Henderson: Bananas. [laughter]

 

Myles E. Johnson: –as well but it is what it is what happened. And you know what? One of the so that that’s the news. That’s what I wanted to bring bring in. It’s pretty simple. But the other thing, as I was watching him being interviewed and I was studying more. I loved his reason for why when because of course people are going to say why has this not happened before? Why did you think this not has happened? And his reasoning kind of expanded how I thought about it too, which was just was that, you know, often Black people don’t have the capacity or interest, and it’s not our American dream to go through the things that you have to go through in order to be a Michelin starred chef. Which means the low the low pay, the intense work environments. That is not our idea of a dream. And he um kind of, I guess, admits that it’s part it was part fascination for him in part, probably in part privilege, that he even had the mental capacity to even put up with what he has to put up with in order to get to this position. And I thought that that was so interesting because I think that every industry has these elite pockets that you have to kind of get underpaid and sweat through in order to get it. I think the fashion industry definitely has that When it comes to who gets to be fashion editors at some of the more elite fashion magazines, I think um and who gets to be um DeRay mentioned it last week about creative directors and stuff like that. Sometimes you have to be able to already be in an economic space to put up with the [pause] underpayment and the and the toxic environment. And a lot of times Black people are like, I’m not doing that because I just came from that or that’s what I’m trying to avoid. That doesn’t sound uh interesting to me and specifically if I’m being underpaid while that’s happening. But um yeah, I wanted to bring this in. It’s in Brooklyn Heights. The um name of the um restaurant is called Clover Hill. It is delicious. I want to go there for my birthday with everybody. Um.

 

Kaya Henderson: Ooh, can we go there? Let’s go there. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Okay. But you you know um that he got that Michelin star now. So– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Right. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: –we might have to go– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Hard to get in. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: We might we might have to go on my 39th birthday. [laughter] So. [laughing] How how it’s looking. But yeah, I wanted to bring this in and see what you all thought and yeah, let’s book reservations. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: You know, we’ve talked about the Michelin uh rating system before because there was a Black woman in one of the one of the cities and I can’t remember. I am I’m happy you brought this. It is it is wild in a city like New York right with a gazillion restaurants and da da da you’re like the first? I was I would have not been surprised if this was a different part of the country, but I was legitimately surprised in New York City like it really did, that floored me. And I’m still like, wild that we’re living in a world where there are still firsts around this stuff is truly blows my mind, so I don’t have more to add. I wish I was more of a foodie uh than I am. I’m not a big foodie, uh but I did appreciate celebrating him. [long pause] [laughter]

 

Kaya Henderson: Um. I I’m super proud of this young man. Not only did he get a Michelin star, he also got best young chef and he’s up for a James Beard, best emerging Chef um or something like that award, which is lovely when all of the official things come a knockin. But the thing that I found most interesting about this was the fact that he didn’t do it the traditional way. Um. He went to culinary school, it says, but then he was like, yeah, I need a job. I’m a go out here in these kitchens and do the thing. And that’s where he developed his, that’s where he learned on the job and did his things. And I think, you know, we have to we have always challenged the status quo. Um. We’ve always done things our own way. And when we do things our own way, brilliance happens. And then later on, the establishment is like, oh, yeah, that is brilliant. Here’s a star, here’s an award. So I’m saying, you know, some of us are rules followers, but some of us have to break the rules in order to forge new paths. And shout out to Chef Charlie Mitchell for doing his thing. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: I was so excited to see this, too. And I mean, this actually came across my radar, Myles, because I was looking I wanted to host an event for a client, but I wanted to do it at a Black owned restaurant. Um. And so this popped up to me for me, and I was excited to see it. Um. And it just takes me to, you know, growing up, growing up in D.C.. You know, there there used to be a significant number of Black owned restaurants, Black chefs. Um. What’s the sis’s name what’s her name um. Kaya well you remember that had the restaurant? One was in Union uh Union Station. 

 

Kaya Henderson: B. Smith Mm hmm. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: B. Smith I just remember growing– 

 

Kaya Henderson: The original Martha Stewart before Martha was a Martha. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Come on. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I used to love B. Smith on TV one. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Mm hmm.

 

Myles E. Johnson: Ooh. 

 

Kaya Henderson: And she had a she had um a thing in in the Broadway area. She had a restaurant. Her first– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: [?]. 

 

Kaya Henderson: –restaurant was on, like, eighth avenue, maybe. Um. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Right. 

 

Kaya Henderson: And 40 something street. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yeah, I just. I guess also maybe because I was at SoulCycle on 14th Street today in D.C., I just was thinking, what is happening here? Um. So it just I think I’m also just in a headspace of like, where are our institutions? Um. And even thinking about New York, like Shark Bar and like, they’re just used I just feel like there were more than there are now. And so I will spend some time digging into why that is. But I’m sure some of it’s obvious. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, I was actually just texting with a friend um who is a fellow foodie. And we were we’ve been exchanging Black owned restaurants um in New York and D.C. or restaurants with Black chefs. Um. And if you have suggestions, we’ll put together a list and share it amongst our folks. But um I think it’s really, really important. A lot of these restaurants are high end and we don’t always support them in the ways that um they need to be supported. But let us know what your favorite Black owned or Black cheffed restaurants are so that we can circulate that information and support the people in our community. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Okay. Not. We we starting our own Michelin star system the the– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Why not? 

 

Myles E. Johnson: –Black taste bud. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Why not? 

 

Myles E. Johnson: The Black taste bud. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Why not? 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Okay. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Yes. [laughter] [banter] 

 

DeRay Mckesson: And it’s like if you had a week of opening, if you have, like, a weeklong opening where people need to come. Oh, my God. We’d all go, like, if it was like– 

 

Kaya Henderson: We would all go.

 

DeRay Mckesson: If it was like, the Black place, you got to go to. Baby it’d be the line be wrapped around the building. I just didn’t know. I do learn so much. I mean, obviously I love the pod, but people are like, wow you’re so well read. I’m like, I just have smart friends. I mean, I do read but [laughter] [laughing] but every Monday I get an up to date dose of what’s going on in the world. 

 

Kaya Henderson: Mm hmm. 

 

DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Don’t go anywhere. More Pod Save the People’s coming. 

 

[AD BREAK] 

 

De’Ara Balenger: All right. My news. It kept popping up for me. And I don’t know if it’s because my phone is constantly listening to me and how I need a sanctuary home, like a place that, you know, where there are trees and grass and there aren’t creatures running around. Well, not nasty creatures. Um. And so what was coming up was this article about this young woman, young Black woman, 26 years old. She pays zero to live in a luxury tiny home she built for $35,000 in her backyard. First of all, the backdrop for me is I also love anything having to do with home improvement, home restoration. So I watch it all. So I think I was also just curious about like what this luxury tiny house looked like as it is a tiny house. So Precious Price, who lives in Atlanta purchased a home, a seemingly affordable home, and wanted to rent it out. But during COVID was having a hard time renting it out, of course. And so she had another idea about this tiny home that she would build um so that inevitably, eventually she’d be able to rent out the bigger home and then live in the smaller home. But I think her journey around this is just fascinating because I think for so many of us who, you know, wanna be home owners want to figure out what this process is, I think she is just such a great resource in laying out what those different options look like. And the tiny home is also interesting because she basically reno– built it like out of her pocket, right? She didn’t get a loan for that. She used her credit cards. She used some savings um so that she wouldn’t have to owe a bank anything necessarily for when it was was finished and then rented it out and then made her money back that way. She also has a TEDX talk that I think is interesting because it really is just really trying to figure out like when you are ready to build wealth, when you really when you want to build a home, like what are those steps that you need to take? And like what, how can you resource yourself as, as, as, as much as possible to kind of start that journey? So I just found this interesting. As something that we we should keep top of mind. Right. And I think land ownership, when it comes to Black folks, homeownership is so important and going to grow more important to us. And she also has this idea around the tiny homes when it comes to kind of land owned communities for Black folks, which I thought was interesting as well. So just wanted to bring this because I thought it was something that just kept popping up for me. I don’t know what that means psychically for me. Maybe I need to start looking into a tiny home. Um. Kaya can I put a tiny home in your backyard? [laughter] 

 

Kaya Henderson: Which backyard is the question?

 

De’Ara Balenger: See see see see see–

 

Myles E. Johnson: Ooh flex.

 

DeRay Mckesson: Let em know, let em know. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: See see. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Michelin star flex. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yes. [laughter]

 

Myles E. Johnson: Oh, goodness. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: So, listen. There you go.

 

Kaya Henderson: I thought I thought this was, I thought this was interesting. Um. First of all, I am too big to live in a tiny house. But God bless the people who want to live in a tiny 200 and som– under 300 square feet child that ain’t enough time uh space to change my mind. But why I thought this was interesting is because um she’s she’s making a really interesting decision about lifestyle, about money, about wealth. Um. And and I think it is important, especially for younger people, to really think about what it is you need, what you want to spend your money on. Um. You know, we’ve done enough pieces on the podcast about the importance of owning land and property and whatnot. And so um. So I thought this was interesting too. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I thought this was really interesting as well. Um. I think the thing that really um the thing that really uh like kind of like caught my attention was what she was doing with the property, like what she was or excuse me, not just what she was doing with the property, but the reasons why. Like I’m originally, I grew up in Atlanta and knowing that most of Atlanta, most of the rentals are being used for Airbnbs now she’s really making a point to offer it to long term residences for people who um want um student housing, people who want um apartments that are, you know, six months a year, um year long, and not just doing these kind of air how Airbnbs kind of taking over certain cities that are seen as like vacation um spots. I thought that was really honorable. But I will not lie that there’s a something a little bit apocalyptic about it, about like the necessity for it, you know, so the fact that like, oh, in order for me to have a place for my parents to live or in order for me to sustain myself, or in order for me to kind of live equitably in in in in this world, this is the solution that I came up with, is to kind of be in this like micro living space. And listen, I love trends, I love hearing about them, I love hearing about housing trends, but I just any time I just, like, close my eyes and listen to what I call my great grandmother in the sky, which that’s what I call God. Anytime I listen to that great grandmother in the sky, I know that that great grandmother in the sky does not want me to live in no tiny house. [laughter] Because we because we because we because we because we came up, you know, on the plantation and cleaning big houses. So I feel like the the the trajectory should be bigger, bigger and bigger. And I don’t like the idea of coming back down to I don’t it doesn’t fit me as a bigger person. But then also just I don’t know, there’s something about land and compromising and going small as a Black person that feels ant– antithetical to my to my to my internal moral ecosystem. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: This was one of those, read the article don’t just look at the headline because when I looked at the headline, I was like, okay, tiny house. Saving money. Then I was like, okay, well, you own the actual house, you own the property, the house is on. You Airbnb out the original house, and now you live in the backyard. It like didn’t seem as progressive as the like the title made it. [pause] I was. I was expecting something different. It’s like you still have so much. You still have a ton of capital to even be able to buy a house that you rent out every day and then build another house in the back yard. And then so and she’s like, I don’t have enough um closet space. I keep half the clothes at my friend’s house and we swap. I’m just like, okay, this is this isn’t what this is not giving what I thought it gave. Is what it is. So I was ready for. I was interested because it was your news, but I was also like, come on girl. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Y’all better leave Precious alone. I love this, first of all. [laughter] And the thing this sis, got to a place where she can do all that, that’s hard to do–

 

Myles E. Johnson: But also but also– 

 

De’Ara Balenger: That’s hard to do. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: It is hard to do. That’s how come I think that God don’t want us to do it. If it’s too hard. [laughter] And, you know what, [laughing] I think that I think that is the hint that it’s not to be done. But also I was thinking the same thing about I love clothes like we’re literally um where I’m recording right now is literally the closet that we had to build. Or not build, but we had to like, make in to a closet because I have too much stuff. Um. But I was also thinking like, why can’t you just build a closet? Like if you have all this, you can’t just get a shed? [laughter] And just put your clothes in there and stuff. I was thinking about that. I was like, what? 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Like a compound.

 

Myles E. Johnson: All of the all of the choices didn’t feel logical. Like they didn’t, they felt a little weird. Didn’t yeah but shout out to Precious Price. You get in getting that down getting that price down preciously. [laughter]

 

DeRay Mckesson: It’s one of those like if you like it, I love it. If you like it I love it. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I will send you, how do you Uber eats, we can’t even send her nothing from Clover Hill. [laughter] We can’t give her no [laughing]–

 

De’Ara Balenger: Yeah I wonder how like what her what the address would be for that tiny house. Like, is it a a letter after [?]–

 

Myles E. Johnson: Too damn small. Too damn small at the corner of go, [laughing] go get you an apartment Avenue and rent it out that way. [laughing]

 

De’Ara Balenger: Oh, my God.

 

Kaya Henderson: Well, my news is sort of funny not funny. It’s about the comic strips in these United States of America and the recent news that hundreds of newspapers across the United States have dropped the long running comic strip, Dilbert, which uh I think has been around for like more than 30 years or something. And Dilbert pokes fun at office culture. Well, what had happened was Scott Adams, who’s the creator of Dilbert. Live streamed his response on YouTube to this Rasmussen poll that asked whether people agree with the phrase, it’s okay to be white. Now, this the it’s okay to be white thing is a whole thing. Um. It was a slogan that was popularized in 2017 as a trolling campaign in extreme right circles on 4chan. And in this recent poll, 53% of Black Americans said they agreed with the statement. It’s okay to be white, that sounds cool, right? Uh. Apparently not to Mr. Adams. He was taken aback by the, I guess, 47% of Black Americans who did not agree with the statement. Um. And he went on what has only been described as a racist rant. He said Black Americans are a hate group. He said it makes no sense to help Black Americans if you’re white. He also said white people should just get the hell away from them because this is a problem that can’t be fixed. He blamed Black people for not focusing on education. He um you know, he said all of the things he he, in fact, um has been increasingly extremist in his views. Seems like it started [clears throat] when y’alls former President Trump was uh elected in 2016. And slowly but surely he has done things like attacked um diversity and transgender issues in his in his comic strip over time. In fact, uh he used he introduced a character called Dave the Black Engineer. And slowly but surely, he’s just been getting more and more radical. And this was, I guess, the straw that broke the camel’s back for a lot of newspapers who have now withdrawn the comic um strip from production. Many of them saying this was this like this wasn’t even a hard decision. This is racist, this against our values, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Where y’all been for the last couple of years that this dude has been getting increasingly and increasingly um extreme in his views? [clears throat] Um. He’s made a bunch of other um uh terrible statements and whatnot. And guess who came to his defense? The only person everybody like universally agrees that this is terrible, this is racist, blah, blah, blah. Guess who came to his defense? Of course y’alls friend Elon Musk, the only person um tweeting over the weekend that the media is racist against white people and Asians. Mmm. Um. But I’ll also use this opportunity to shout out Darrin Bell. Darrin Bell is the first Black artist to win a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. Um. If you have not seen his cartoon, Candorville, check it out. He also has lots of political cartoons um [clears throat] and they asked Darrin Bell what he thought. And he said Scott Adams is not unique in his disgrace. His racism is not even unique among cartoonists. Um. And he talked a lot about the growing tolerance in the United States for racist behavior. So for those of you who like the comic strips, say goodbye to your friend Dilbert and your friend Scott Adams, because as he noted on his one of his rebuttal things, he will probably have lost all of his money and his entire reputation after this. But he don’t care. So neither do I. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: The thing about it is let’s talk about Charlie Brown and Peanuts. Back when comic books used to be about something. But you know what, in all seriousness, what’s really interesting about this to me or the thing that kind of like, I guess, massaged my brain about about this, was how embedded Dilbert and comic strips are to the the American culture. It’s like this kind of, like, um ubiquitous everywhere thing that exists and how the people who are creating the very things that are weaved into this culture are extremely racist. [laughing] So I I oh if I had a little bit more patience, if I was maybe getting paid to to investigate more, I would want to go back to the beginning of Dilbert to now and see all of the maybe even subtle racist or or subtle things that were being said that just that–

 

Kaya Henderson: Or not so subtle, that we ignored. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Exactly. That are just that that were that we just ate and cons–and that people were just eating and consuming. And then it’s your c– and then you turn the page and then you go do it. And to me, those little things, those little crumbs of racism are just as toxic and just as um powerful as the the big, bold moments of of white supremacy and the fact that he even had captured even if it’s for whatever, to the two minutes it takes to read a comic or the minute that it takes to read a comic. Even the fact that he had so many people’s imagination for that set those little those few that few amount of time, even that shifts a mind. Even that reinforces certain types of ideas around um domination. It’s just it’s just sad. It’s just sad, it was a it was a show too, right? Dilbert? It was a is was a television show too. 

 

Kaya Henderson: It was. It was a television show. And when the television show was cancelled, he said he lost his job because he was a white man. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: I don’t have much to add. Besides, I love it. Shout out to the newspapers for letting him go. [go sung] And if anything, the scariest part of me for this was like, Twitter is legitimately owned by white supremacists right now, and that is frightening. And. Yeah, I don’t that’s that’s my take away from this actually. I don’t. The Dilbert guy. Goodbye. Let it go. I hope that it just I hope that he stays gone and he doesn’t get a pseudonym and come up with a new cartoon like, I want this man out of here. Uh. And then Elon’s again, the sole person, as you said, that scares me. So maybe you all saw it. Maybe you didn’t. Um. Is Ben Stein. Okay, Sorry. Okay, maybe you saw it, maybe you didn’t. But Ben Stein uh last week said that he misses the good old days when a, quote, “large African-American woman was on a syrup bottle and that woke corporate culture has ruined everything.” And he literally. Um. I’m going to show my wonderful Pod folks right now, is he literally has the bottle of Aunt Jemima. 

 

[clip of Ben Stein] Aunt Jemima, yummy pancake syrup. The this used to show a large African-American woman chef. But because of the inherent racism of America’s corporate culture, they decided to make it a white person or maybe no person at all. But I prefer one as a Black person showing their incredible skill at making pancakes. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: Okay, So Ben Stein literally is like, I miss the days when it showed a Black person making showing their incredible skills, making pancakes. I miss Aunt Jemima and corporate culture has ruined it for him. So I saw that and was like, Ben Stein, you really came. I haven’t thought about you in a million years. Only had good memories of you. Didn’t realize you were racist. And I looked up some stuff on Aunt Jemima. I had no clue Aunt Jemima was not a real person. I did not know that Aunt Jemima was two women. There was one actress uh who, when she passed away, um they replaced her with another actress. And you might have seen the controversy about the second actress’s uh family sort of upset about replacing Aunt Jemima because they were worried about her legacy. But Nancy Green, uh was born in enslavement in 1834, and she became the model for the Aunt Jemima box. Um. And it becomes this image of the mammy. It becomes an image of the, like, loyal house servant who makes food. And that is what it’s meant to be. It’s meant to be a comforting symbol of Black people serving white people. Uh. There’s a piece in NBCNews.com in the Think section, and I’ll just read it because she says it better than I could, or the author says it better than I could. The character of Aunt Jemima is an invitation to white people to indulge in a fantasy of enslaved people and by extension, all of Black America as submissive, self-effacing, loyal, pacified, and pacifying. It positions Black people as boxed in, prepackaged and ready to satisfy. It’s the problem of all consumption only laced with racial overtones. Uh. So, you know, fascinating is that when Nancy Green dies in 1923, a congressman proposed building a national mammy monument to honor the days of the faithful Negro. She gets replaced by Anna Harrington. That is one of the Aunt Jemima’s that a lot of people know. Her face uh and Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, as you remember in 2020, were both removed from the packaging, but both of them were, I just hadn’t critically thought about these images. And I really did think that they were people. And I don’t know, it was something about being like these were actors that really blew my mind. It really did. So I wanted to bring it here. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah. It makes sense to me because I guess I A.) Just I didn’t know that because just what I what I was writing, what I continue and have always wrote about as far as like culture. So it makes sense because the faithful Negro is a fantasy. There’s just no such, there was just no such thing. And even um I think I mentioned it here on the podcast um before with the Maya Angelou poem about the laugh and how um she she talks about how, you know, Black women who are in domestic work, they they don’t laugh, they part their lips and a sound comes out. So that performance of um faithfulness has always been a white fantasy. And anybody who can just think about the contextualization of how this Black person got into your home or you interacting with them, uh they will have to know that this was this was a performance if they thought critically. The other thing that I thought about when it comes to when it comes to this is that and it’s just a bigger idea because I’ve been hearing so much about woke corporate and woke stuff and the the washing of woke stuff and how everything’s getting woke and woke and woke is the fact that, I do see culture attempting to start from zero, and I think that some people are misinterpreting that as culture making, if that makes sense. Like we’re, us taking out the racist and the sexist and the homophobic stuff and then trying to create something that is maybe, maybe heartwarming and comforting, that’s not on a fat Black woman’s back. Like, maybe us creating things that make us feel safe that is not about. Um. That’s not about uh gun propaganda, we’re we’re we’re we’re only tearing things down in order to start from zero so we can actually create an American culture that doesn’t harm anybody. But us being more critical in itself is not culture making. And I feel like a lot of times I hear people say, oh, they took off the Black woman on the syrup bottle and yeah so so what. And we can think of other ways to make people get that warm, fuzzy Southern feeling without it being misogynoiristic. [SIC] You know. Maybe. 

 

Kaya Henderson: I’ll add, I thought it was interesting that you brought this up, particularly now DeRay um I on one of my conservative, very conservative friends Facebook pages. He just posted this thing about Nancy Green. And it literally the thing says a great woman is erased from history by idiots. The branding of the syrup was a tribute to this woman’s gifts and talents. Now, future generations will not even know this beautiful woman existed. What a shame. The world knew her as Aunt Jemima, but her given name was Nancy Green. Uh uh, she was an actress. What are you talking about? But this is how, but this is how this is how people do this thing. They they are not celebrating her for her mammyness. They are celebrating her for her. She became a wealthy superstar in the advertising world as its first living trademark. Um it goes on to say she was selected as a spokesperson for a new Ready Mix self-rising pancake flour. She became an immediate star. She was a good storyteller. Her personality was warm and appealing, and her showmanship was excellent, right? She was signed to a lifetime contract, traveled on promotional tourism, was extremely well paid, her financial freedom and stature as a national spokesperson enabled her to become a leading advocate against poverty and in favor of equal rights for all Americans. Like, come on, the whitewashing of even Nancy Green? Right? So, first of all, like, we glorified the mammy and now, like, you want to glorify the quote unquote “business woman”. Like, what are you talking about? Like, this furthers the like she pulled herself up by her bootstraps and she playing Mammy like, are you kidding me? And so I just want you to know that this stuff is insidious in like, multiple ways, right? Like that even when we call a thing a thing and say not okay to glorify, you know, Black Southern women and use them in this particular way, you want to say, oh, but she was financially independent. Because you exploited the crap out of her. Are you kidding me? Like, sorry, this is so bizarre. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: And Kaya, to that point. So they didn’t know where Nancy Green, Nancy Green’s grave was unmarked and unknown until 2015. Uh. They reached out to Quaker Oats about whether they would support a monument. And Quaker Oats response was that Nancy Green and Aunt Jemima were not the same. So no. And that Aunt Jemima was a fictitious character. Like c’mon. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: But I just I also don’t see, like, why it’s so hard to see. Like, you can’t see Hattie McDaniel in why she won an Oscar for playing a mammy and why it’s on the bottle of something that is a product to sell to white people. I think for me, it’s just like, I don’t like how can you not see the connection in that? And in fact, a lot of how casting is still done today is a reflection of of of that legacy. Right. So during I so so my grandmother collect collected Black memorabilia. I still collect, I collect Black memorabilia. And so one of my prized possessions is the Black Book, which is a collage of all kinds of things. Advertisements, photos, archive things that Toni Morrison put together. Right.

 

Kaya Henderson: I have that. I have that.

 

Myles E. Johnson: Me too.

 

De’Ara Balenger: It is if you have one. Treasure. Treasure it. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: While I’ll also say that um Random House exclusively sent me mine. [laughter] That’s my that’s my that’s my Auntie Kaya flex because– 

 

Kaya Henderson: Look, flex it babe. [laughter] Look my girlfriend sent me hers. [laughter] That’s love, that’s love. [laughter]. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: But the importance of this book is the imagery, right? To remind us of how we were portrayed then, how it still connect– and this book came out in like 1974, but all of it is still true to this day, right? So from from slavery times all the way through, just in terms of like those racist, racist tropes that are so cemented in American culture and that white people just love. They just love it. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah. 

 

De’Ara Balenger: Y’all better get over y’all selves and it don’t take, it’s not it first of all, you don’t have to be a skilled chef to make a damn pancake. So also that don’t make no sense. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: I was going to say like like to like to your point as well. Like the one of the reasons why I stopped writing as much and just yeah, it’s one of the reasons I’m writing publicly and speaking publicly as much was because if you’re not really you can’t you can’t really have a conversation about Lizzo no matter how you feel about her or you don’t feel about her or whatever, you can’t really have it divorced of context of Black women, of Black fat women and mammification, even if no matter where you where what no matter what side you are on, you have to understand that. You have to understand our legacy when it comes to media making and culture making and the and that that whatever Ben Stein was feeling that that that tension that he was feeling that he recorded himself doing is the reason why Liz– it’s the same reason why Lizzo is uh overly critiqued and seen as disgusting and also the same reason why Black women are asked to behave in certain ways like all these things are just like interconnected and if you divorce it from that, you’re not really getting to the point, in my opinion. 

 

DeRay Mckesson: I had a question of what is the black like the actual black book? 

 

Kaya Henderson: Oh, it’s a book of all of the advertisements, like all of the portrayals of Black people in in all kinds of different things, like in one compilation. 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yeah. So it was made and it was made in the seventies. So it’s really um the only place so like so far where you can kind of see the um the DNA of like how Black so everything from like uh from lynching postcards to cigarette ads are in this and it is a through line of of of the evolution and not so much evolution of Black culture. 

 

Kaya Henderson: And essays from Black homemakers– 

 

Myles E. Johnson: Yes. 

 

Kaya Henderson: –interspersed in between. [music break]

 

DeRay Mckesson, narrating: Well, that’s it. Thanks so much for tuning into Pod Save the People this week. Tell your friends to check it out and make sure you rate it wherever you get your podcasts. Whether it’s Apple Podcasts or somewhere else. And we’ll see you next week. Pod Save the People is a production of Crooked Media. It’s produced by AJ Moultrié and mixed by Evan Sutton. Executive produced by me and special thanks to our weekly contributors Kaya Henderson, De’ara Balenger, and Myles E. Johnson.