Watchmen, the new superhero drama from HBO, contains some of the sharpest and most deliberate commentary on race currently on television. This week, Eric sits down with Watchmen writer Cord Jefferson (The Good Place, Succession) to talk about what makes the show so singular in its unflinching look at race in America.
Friday, the 1995 comedy starring Ice Cube and the late, great, John Witherspoon, is one of Eric’s all-time favorite movies. But during a recent re-watch, he noticed some deeply unsettling themes that lay in stark contrast to the film’s cheery, comical tone. Can Eric convince Brittany that the cruelty he sees in Friday is real?
The Gimlet podcast, Mogul, is back with a new host and a new season about Miami hip hop and the infamous 2 Live Crew. Brittany and Eric invite the new host of the show, Brandon "Jinx" Jenkins, into the studio to learn more about what led this season of Mogul to the 305. And Brittany and Brandon go head to head in a special Miami themed round of Six Degrees of Black Separation.
Weddings, school dances, birthday parties for your great auntie—if you’re having a big function, the Cha Cha Slide is going to be on the playlist. But how did the Cha Cha slide become so ubiquitous? Brittany teams up with the Gimlet fam over at Every Little thing to find out. Get ready to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Cha Cha Slide.
What if we told you that every fad diet, fashion editorial, and #fitspo post on social media could all be traced back to racist pseudoscience? In this episode, Brittany is joined by Sabrina Strings, sociologist and author of Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia, whose groundbreaking research parses the intersection of thinness, whiteness, and beauty ideals.
On August 5th, 2019, the world lost one of the best of us in Toni Morrison. For Brittany, just being able to grow up in a world where Toni Morrison existed felt like a gift. This week, a special episode from our friends at The Cut On Tuesdays featuring Brittany and other Black women sharing their experiences of growing up with the beloved writer.
Brittany and Eric share a new episode of Mogul that's a tribute to the life and career of Reggie Ossé. Reggie hosted the first season of Mogul and he had a personality and a presence that was truly larger than life. A couple of months after completing the show Reggie was diagnosed with colon cancer and he passed away in December of 2017. The folks at Mogul are going to tell you Reggie’s story — his...
Two years ago, Eric had to make a big decision: whether to send his daughter, Eve, to Afrocentric school. It seemed like it should've been a cut and dry choice. Eric hosts a podcast about Black culture. He went to an HBCU. But when it came to choosing a school for his daughter, he wasn’t sure if Afrocentric school was the right choice. So he decided to go on a journey to learn more about Afrocentri...
Earlier this year, Brittany finally discovered the steamy, sensual world of romance novels that center Black women. A fire was lit, and she had to know more. So Brittany got schooled on the history of Black women in romance by experts Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins of the Thirst Aid Kit podcast. And Brittany also spoke with the woman who made her fall in love with romance novels in the first plac...
In our last conversation with Michael Twitty, the chef and culinary historian told us all about his “Southern Discomfort Tour.” The tour, which he wrote about in his book, “The Cooking Gene,” involved travelling the south and cooking on plantations using the same methods that his enslaved ancestors would have used. (He even did it dressed as they would have dressed.) Since our conversation, Michael...
Each week this August, we’re updating some of our most thought-provoking episodes. This week: writer Casey Gerald reflects on what we lose when we buy into the promise of the American dream. We first talked to Casey about his book “There Will Be No Miracles Here,” back in November of 2018. At the end of the episode, there's a very special update from from Casey, including the realization that he wa...
Was T-Pain’s heavily autotuned music totally genius… or the death knell of hip-hop as we knew it? In this edition of Vindication Court, Brittany tries to convince Judge Eric that T-Pain’s use of autotune was not only artistically ambitious, but that it changed music forever-- for the better. But with autotune’s many detractors, this case won’t be an easy one. Will T-Pain’s spin on autotune finally ...
Video game consoles were super boring in the early days: you could only switch between a few basic, built-in games — no Super Mario Bros, Sonic the Hedgehog or Legend of Zelda. But that all changed thanks to the contributions of a man named Jerry Lawson. Brittany tells Eric the story of the man who helped make video gaming way more fun, paving the way for the video game industry as we know it today...
Eric talks with Ed O’Bannon, a former professional basketball player whose landmark lawsuit forced a national conversation on whether the NCAA should pay college athletes. It’s a conversation with massive implications for the thousands of unpaid Black athletes whose work makes millions of dollars for their colleges. Strangely, it all started with a video game.
The turbulence and violence of the late 1980s pushed hip-hop away from its party music roots, giving birth to a new subgenre: conscious rap. Groups like and Public Enemy and artists like KRS-One became stars, creating music that emphasized pro-Black political messaging. But just as conscious rap was reaching its height, one song threatened to bring the whole movement crashing down.
Rachel Wilkerson Miller is a lifestyle writer who has made it her mission to help people find ways to take better care of themselves—whether through meal prep, DIY projects, or learning how to use a dot journal to track mental health. But the concept of self care didn’t really click for her until her own life took an unexpected turn. In this installment of Get Yo Life, Rachel tells Brittany how she...
June is Black Music Month, so Brittany and Eric decided to celebrate with a music-themed edition of Six Degrees of Black Separation… with a twist: the loser has to write and perform a song on a topic of the winner’s choosing. Will Eric FINALLY belt out that R&B slow jam about Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball? Will Brittany pen a ballad about The Real Housewives of Atlanta? Listen to find out!
Vindication Court is where we decide whether to redeem people or things that are reviled and ridiculed by the culture. On today’s docket: snap music. Eric tries to prove that snap music was falsely accused of being a stain on hip hop. But will Judge Brittany give snap music the redemption it deserves?
Following the release of the biggest superhero film to date, Avengers: Endgame, Brittany makes the case that Oprah has already made a superhero movie that puts ALL others to shame. The Nod goes deep into Oprah’s Legend’s Ball, which features some of the greatest real life heroes of our time.
Erika Alexander, who found fame as Maxine Shaw on the classic sitcom Living Single, details what it was really like to rise to fame with the Cosby Show in the 80s, ride the crest of the Golden Era of Black TV in the 90s, and navigate Hollywood as a Black actress after that Black entertainment boom went bust in the 2000s.
Food writer Nicole A. Taylor introduces Eric to a simple yet fancy dessert that helps her stay connected with her Southern roots. And Brittany tells a story about a little known woman from history who had the freshest collection of wigs, and even better comebacks.
Good for the Blacks returns! This week, we take a fresh look at the latest Kardashian feud with Jordyn Woods, a trusted family friend accused of fooling around with Tristan Thompson, Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend. The Kardashians tried to destroy Jordyn’s reputation, but Jordyn had a secret weapon in Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Will anyone come out on top? BuzzFeed News entertainment reporter Sylvi...
This week Eric talks with Cord Jefferson, a writer for NBC’s The Good Place, about how Blackness is depicted in the afterlife (Eric’s Chidi Anagonye standom is also discussed). Later, Eric tells Brittany the legendary story of a little-known Black cowboy that’s better than any tall tale.
We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of sister Mabel Madea Simmons. The iconic character, created and played by Tyler Perry, is being retired after 20 years of captivating and aggravating audiences on stage and screen. Join us as we gather with some special guests (including Jason Parham of Wired Magazine) to reflect on Madea’s life and legacy with a funeral service at the Nod-to-God Ho...
Brittany and Eric were recently guests on The Upgrade podcast's first ever live show, where the theme for the night was "How to Fail". In this week's BONUS, we are sharing an excerpt from that show, where they discuss each other's biggest failures and play a work inspired game of Never Have I Ever.
"If Beale Street Could Talk" and "A Star Is Born" are two of the biggest films out this year, and they’re both dramatic romance epics. Eric and Brittany dig into a (spoiler-free) conversation about how these movies get viewers to root for the love at the center of the story.
The beef between rap titans Cardi B and Nicki Minaj consumed the news this year. Shoes have been thrown, emails leaked, political candidates endorsed, and Harriet Tubman’s queenhood questioned. We consult comedian Nore Davis and associate editor at Vulture Hunter Harris to determine whether the beef is Good For The Blacks.
A little-known story of how one woman stood up to one of the most powerful men in American history. Her story comes to us from Uncivil, a history podcast from Gimlet where they go back to the time our divisions turned into a war, and bring you stories left out of the official history.
In this week's BONUS, we have a conversation with Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Teen Vogue's newest editor-in-chief. Last summer, Wagner wrote Everywhere and Nowhere: What its really like to be black and work in fashion, where she interviewed more than 100 people about their experiences in the fashion industry. She talked about putting together that piece, and her own experiences in the fashion world wit...
Writer and thinker Casey Gerald reflects on what we lose when we buy into the promise of the American dream. In his new book, “There Will Be No Miracles Here,” Gerald unravels his origin story, which was previously held up as a “rags to riches” tale, and tells his truth, which is much more complicated.
Writer Hannah Giorgis grew up eating lasagna the Ethiopian way, and she shows Brittany why that is the BEST way. Plus, author Michael Arceneaux describes his new book I Can't Date Jesus as "learning how to ho without the fear of God." He tells Brittany how he gets his life.
Autumn loves to play The Sims. The life simulation game gives the 15-year-old an escape from her difficult home life. But after something terrible happens, the line between the game and real life starts to blur. Producer Wallace Mack brings us this week’s story on the journey to find peace amid tragedy.
For years, KalaLea experiences painful periods that keep her in bed for days at a time. As she tries to figure out what’s happening to her body, she discovers that she has a condition that disproportionately affects Black women. This is the story of how KalaLea listened closely to her own body and made her doctors listen, too.
A woman comes to the Nod Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with a mystery that only a Black person could have. Brittany and her team of detectives embark on a search for a long lost childhood memento and become entangled in a web of Internet k-holes and clandestine Facebook groups.
Kenan Thompson is the longest-tenured cast member in Saturday Night Live’s history, and one of the funniest. But his acting hasn’t landed him an Emmy nomination… until now. Eric makes an impassioned plea for Emmy voters to recognize Kenan’s mastery of the craft. And we revisit some of Kenan’s best moments on classic shows like Kenan & Kel and All That.
Every year, descendants of both enslaved people and slave owners come together for a family reunion. The darker side of their shared past remains hidden underneath the celebrations and pleasantries. Until one year, when Ever Lee Hairston says two words that break decades of silence. To commemorate our 1 year anniversary, we’ll be playing the hits, as determined by you, all month. The people voted, ...
There was once a grocery store in Chicago that Black folks LOVED. And that grocery store made one of the most iconic commercials the city has ever seen. We hear the story behind that commercial. Plus, what does it mean to “buy Black?” And how… practical is that? Brittany and Eric go on a scavenger hunt to figure it out. To commemorate our 1 year anniversary, we’ll be playing the hits, as determined...
This week we have two stories about incredible Black trailblazers. First up, a story about a Black designer and a group of Black models that revolutionized the fashion world forever. Then, a story about a Black, queer icon that you may not have heard of, but will never forget. To commemorate our 1 year anniversary, we’ll be playing the hits, as determined by you, all month. The people voted, and he...
According to a certain conspiracy theorist, Beyonce is hiding a secret from the world. He also has strong feelings about Big Sean and clones. To commemorate our 1 year anniversary, we’ll be playing the hits, as determined by you, all month. The people voted, and here we have it— a two parter of Shawn Blazington’s conspiracy theories.
We reunite members of Crime Mob to get the inside story of Knuck If You Buck, the club anthem that defined the crunk era and took them from high school kids to rap legends. All tea, no shade—straight from the people who lived it: Diamond, Princess and Lil Jay.
Comedian Wyatt Cenac, host of the new HBO series “Problem Areas,” joins Brittany and Eric onstage at their recent live show in Brooklyn. Wyatt dishes on his favorite conspiracy theories, makes a case for why we should ban all babies from bars, and solves some of our listeners’ most pressing problems.
Eric tells a story about forgotten part of civil-rights history that is still very much alive. In 1965, a group of black men in Louisiana called the Deacons for Defense and Justice took up arms against the Klan. Now a daughter of the Deacons wants to start a museum in their honor, but not everyone in town wants their story told. This episode originally aired on the Gimlet show “Undone,” and include...
A young man named Eric embarks on an epic quest to figure out why so many Black folks love kung fu. He seeks the wisdom of two teachers, including RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan and the lead martial arts consultant on "Avatar: The Last Airbender." Will he discover what it takes to become a true master?
Coming to America may have given us the greatest Jheri Curl anthem ever made, but that doesn’t make it untouchable. With a potential sequel on the way, we asked a question we never thought we’d ask: is Coming to America, good or bad for the Blacks? Guests Luvvie Ajayi and Saidu Tejan-Thomas help us decide.
Actor Michael K. Williams joins Brittany and Eric in the studio and dishes on his love of Janet Jackson’s "Rhythm Nation," self-help books and his favorite fried chicken joint. He also shares a personal story that led to his new documentary, "Raised in the System."
This week’s bonus is a lighting round of Good For The Blacks from our SXSW live show! Brittany, Eric, and their guests Kara Brown and Aaron Edwards must quickly decide if Bruno Mars' musical and visual aesthetic is good or bad for the culture.
This week we’re heading to Wakanda, y’all! Black Panther's Erik Killmonger might be fine and fighting for black liberation, but does that make him a hero ? We invited Kara Brown and Aaron Edwards to help us decide: is Wakanda's rebel, good or bad for the Blacks ?
Josephine Baker is famous for doing outrageous things: dancing in a banana skirt, walking a cheetah on a leash, working as a French spy… But did you know about her attempt to build a racial utopia? This week, we dive into Josephine Baker’s grand plan.
Planning a wedding is stressful. There’s making the guest list, sticking to a budget and picking the right dress. Writer Ashley Ford knows this all too well— she’s getting married! This week, Eric guides Ashley through a wedding decision that’s a lot more complicated than it appears...
When we discover something we love at The Nod, we’ve gotta share it with the fam. Eric’s close friend, a self-proclaimed “glo-up artist,” explains how a piece of clothing changed his life forever. And Eric shares something he just can’t stop thinking about.
Some funny things happened in the past year: a reality TV star became president, tiki torches had to renounce white nationalism, and CNN's Don Lemon seemingly went through a reinvention. In our latest edition of Good For The Blacks, culture writer Ira Madison III joins us to debate Don Lemon’s 'transformation’ from respectability politician in chief to beacon of wokeness.
Brittany doesn't make New Year's resolutions. Instead, she creates a list of intentions for how to live her life in the coming year. Eric is skeptical of the process. In this week's bonus, Brittany tells Eric her 2018 intentions, and tries to convince him to make at least one intention of his own.
In this week's bonus, Eric may (or may not) have taken advice from Brittany. And that advice may (or may not) have worked.In this week's bonus, Eric may (or may not) have taken advice from Brittany. And that advice may (or may not) have worked.In this week's bonus, Eric may (or may not) have taken advice from Brittany. And that advice may (or may not) have worked.
Reggie Ossé, friend of The Nod and host of The Combat Jack Show, explains how a wild night of dancing and partying helped him get into his dream law school. And Producer Emanuele Berry shares the story of the man who made that magic night happen: DJ Larry Levan.
Every year, descendants of both enslaved people and slave owners come together for a family reunion. The darker side of their shared past remains hidden underneath the celebrations and pleasantries. Until one year, when Ever Lee Hairston says two words that break decades of silence.
In this week's bonus, Brittany makes an appearance on the Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids stage. Listen to find out which celebrity young Brittany was convinced she would marry, and come back next week for an all-new episode of The Nod!
Tupac vs. Biggie. Mac vs. PC… Brittany vs. Eric. This week, Brittany and Eric’s rivalry reaches new heights as they face off in a competition that tests their smarts, perseverance and maybe even their friendship. Who will win bragging rights for life? And who will take the L? We've created a map of all the Black-owned businesses Brittany and Eric visited during their scavenger hunt. Soon, you'll be...
This week’s bonus is a lightning round of Good For The Blacks from our Toronto live show! Brittany, Eric and special guests Vicky Mochama and Sarah Hagi discuss a topic that has taken over the tabloids. Is the relationship between American actress Meghan Markle and the UK’s Prince Harry good or bad for Black culture?
Jolly Ranchers. Skittles. Gatorade. No matter what, Eric always goes for the purple stuff. This week, he uncovers the deliciously deep roots of his love for grape flavor. Plus, Eric challenges Brittany to eat an unhealthy amount of peanut butter… all for the culture.
If you think Kanye West was the first to change the American fashion game, meet one of the flyest Black fashion squads in history. RELATED LINKS Check out Robin Givhan’s book, “The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History.” CREDITS The Nod is produced by Brittany Luse, with Eric Eddings, Kate Parkinson-Morgan, and James T. Green. Our senior produ...
We’re off this week, but we wanted to share a little of the behind the scenes magic of our show. There’s a lot that goes into making an episode of The Nod…and there’s a lot that doesn’t go in. Enjoy these outtakes and come back next week for an all new episode!
Snoop Dogg has a television show with Martha Stewart. The Tyler Perry movie "Boo! A Madea Halloween" made almost $100 million at the box office. A Black man once held the nuclear codes for President Trump. Sometimes in life we have to decide if a thing is good or bad for the Culture.
Luther Vandross ballads. Oil sheen spray. ‘Twice as good.’ What do these things have in common? They are each, in their own way, essential to some facet of the Black experience. In The Nod, a new podcast from Gimlet Media, co-hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life. It is a fun, yet poignant examination of both the biggest momen...