Blackness’ Biggest Fans

Source: Gimlet Media

My relationship with my blackness is complicated to say the least. I’m a black boy who spends the majority of his life in spaces where I am one of the only black people in the room, including my dorm room, so I’m constantly looking for things that make me feel more comfortable in my skin. No two people do that for me like Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings.

Brittany and Eric host Gimlet Media’s The Nod. Every Monday, the two of them drop a new episode telling stories from Black heritage and life. The Nod covers things from the night Black people made American fashion stand on its own to the black man behind the bending in Avatar: the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Pressing play on The Nod instantly immerses me in a lush wonderland of culture and history. Between the great music and their corniness, listening to Brittany and Eric feels like talking to an older brother and sister.

Brittany and Eric started their journey as podcasters several years ago with their independent show, For Colored Nerds. (Side note: that title is amazing and I want it for my memoir.) For Colored Nerds similarly discussed all parts of Black life, like Stevie Wonder, the state of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the way race is taught in schools. Their didacticism and charisma goes all the way back to their first episodes of For Colored Nerds. I recommend this show too, by the way. After nearly three years– in which they both got jobs at Gimlet– they got to do a show for the company, which became The Nod.

TheĀ NodĀ features all kinds of goodies that make it the kind of show where learning is inevitable. “Six Degrees of Black Separation” is a game that asks people to trace the connections between different famous Black people in six moves or less. “Peanut Butter History” is a challenge that tries to tells stories that are as legendary as George Washington Carver’s experiments. Once, Karyn Parsons, who played Hilary Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, played the game with a mouth full of peanut butter. By popular demand, they’ve stopped eating peanut butter on air, but it made for a really funny memory of this show. “Good for the Blacks” was their first game, and it gets a panel to decide whether some pop culture phenomenon is good for the perception of Black people and the Culture at large. I listen to the edition on Drake of the Diaspora on a regular basis. In the end, everyone has a good time and learns a little something.

The Nod is an amazing podcast and the perfect thing to celebrate Black History Month right. Anyone who has seen me randomly laughing in the dining hall or walking across campus knows how much I love The Nod. Everyone should be listening to this show about Black culture from Blackness’ biggest fans. Take notes.

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About the Author

Andrew Walker Watson is a sophmore International Studies Major. He loves Brazilian rap music, discovering useless facts, and, naturally, writing. If he could ever stop staring out into space, he would like to start a global movement to change the world and guest host Saturday Night Live.
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