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Truth B Told: Conversations About Culture and Power

Andrea Blackman

Andrea

Andrea is a mother, professor, lover and scholar of hip hop, and a Zora enthusiast. She enjoys deep conversations and pushing the envelope, all the features of Truth B Told

Tasneem Tewogbola

Tasneem

Tasneem is a writer, editor, performance artist, mother, and culinary queen of collard greens. She loves a good conversation, introspective questions, and soul-searching, all the features of Truth B Told

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Seduced by the soft news stories, we ignore issues that persist and demand attention. So while we’re talking about brown suits and exposed shoulders, saxophone solos and titles, we are not paying attention to: children held in detention centers; political prisoners in Guantanamo Bay; wage gap; voter suppression. What distracts us and what do we need to pay more attention to?

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This COVID year has been tough. It's been a time of loss, fear, anxiety, fatigue and isolation.  So many of us are weary, weeping and waiting for relief.  We feel you. Tasneem and Andrea are grateful for survival and fascinated with the opportunities to save themselves from unbridled despair. Tell us: What are you doing to save your own life?

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Soul Speak. Some call it "code-switching" but this is Andrea and Tasneem's phrase for the words and phrases that rise from comfort, familiarity and cultural connection. Some say the switching exemplifies assimilation, others insist it's a celebration of multilingualism. Listen to this examination of the cultural codes embedded in communication and share your truth: What languages, expressions and words connect you to your soul, to home? 

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Some say women are too fickle for good friendships. We’re catty. Petty. Back-biting. Evil. Watch your back. Yet we know the sanctuary of sisterhood. We have found it in one another and we extend it. Sister is a high title. Who are your sister-friends? And what defines your bond?

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This episode explores the ways of the culture vulture, the idea imposter, the heritage hijacker. Tasneem and Andrea explore cultural appropriation. Who gets to rock African mud cloth? And who doesn't?  Who gets to sing the blues? And who shouldn't? 

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Music is the call for revolution. While some songs move our bodies, others shift our thoughts.  Listen in as Andrea and Tasneem share the work of two artists whose talent and lyricism activate personal peace and social consciousness. 

 

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Sages declared 2020, "The Year of Perfect Vision." Ohhhhhh, what change we witnessed! Tasneem and Andrea tell personal truths about the lessons of 2020 and their new vision for 2021. What experiences will be released? What do they hope to attract? 

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We are numb, fam. Frozen in feelings that range from fatigue to frustration. So many tragedies. So much footage. Andrea and Tasneem examine the emptiness that follows yet another shooting, yet another disgrace, yet more heartache. 

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Tasneem and Andrea discuss the makings of the hit song that reveres female sexuality, elevates genital lubrication and celebrates feeling good. *Parental discretion

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Andrea and Tasneem examine lyrics from the Megan thee Stallion and Beyonce remix to explore the makings of "good girls" and ones who are, well, "wild and undomesticated."

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Andrea and Tasneem talk about their favorite podcast series and how they have their minds spinning about monsters, Black people, public schools and white power.

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Andrea and Tasneem insist that Blackness is not about burden but excellence, victory and celebration. But you tell us: What do you love about black culture, black identity and black lives?

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Learn more about the cultural lessons from Andrea and Tasneem's childhoods. When did they begin to notice social injustice? Who guided them toward careers that prioritize conversations about race and identity as more than than just talk? When have you noticed?