Jun 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

First look: Princeton scholar launches podcast on race, history

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. speaks onstage during Morehouse College 32nd Annual "A Candle In The Dark" Gala at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

Eddie S. Glaude at the Morehouse College 32nd annual "A Candle in the Dark" Gala. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Noted scholar and author Eddie S. Glaude is launching a new podcast examining American history and the country's troubled legacy on race, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Several states have passed or are pushing laws that limit the discussion of Black and Latino history in schools, while once-fringe neo-Nazi beliefs like white replacement theory have gone mainstream.

Details: The six-part series — "History is US" — will be produced by Shining City Audio, a history-focused podcast studio partnership between Audacy's C13Originals and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham.

  • The audio documentary will be written and narrated by Glaude, who will examine race from Reconstruction to Jim Crow ... from the civil rights movement to the election of President Obama ... from Jan. 6 to the Buffalo mass shooting.
  • Guests will include Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Black Votes Matter co-founder LaTosha Brown.
  • "History is US" will launch with its first two episodes on Wednesday. Two more episodes will be released each Wednesday for the rest of June.

What they're saying: "Part of what I think the importance of our podcast is — as a kind of supplement to the Jan. 6 hearings, for example — is to make explicit what's underneath it all," Glaude told Axios.

  • Glaude said there are racist origins to the Jan. 6 attack, especially President Trump's "Big Lie" accusations in communities where participation was high among voters of color in 20202.
  • "You've got to connect that with the state of voter suppression laws (and) with the mainstreaming of white replacement theory," said Glaude, chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University.
  • "Most of the people who participated in storming the Capitol ... came from counties that Biden won, but counties changing demographically."
Logo for History is US podcast, which is directed and produced by C13Original Studios
"History is US" is directed and produced by C13Original Studios. Photo: C13Original Studios

Between the lines: Podcasts about history are some of the most popular on Apple's podcast app.

  • The app now has its own history category where users can search the most popular history podcast episodes, ranging from topics like Cleopatra to Watergate.

Zoom out: Glaude was part of a roundtable for historians who gathered at the White House in March for a private chat with President Biden.

  • The session was organized by Meacham, the presidential biographer and informal Biden adviser who has helped with big speeches from Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as POTUS' historical muse.
  • The group discussed the elasticity of presidential power, and the limits of going bigger and faster than the public might anticipate or stomach.
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