Day 6

These Black-hosted podcasts might not be for you — and the creators are OK with that

The new podcast network Rezistans Nwa, co-created by journalist Andray Domise, hosts discussions about topics from arts to history and politics within a Black radical context.

Rezistans Nwa is a podcast network created by Black people, for Black people

Andray Domise, a journalist and contributing editor for Maclean’s, helped start Rezistans Nwa, a podcast network focused entirely on Black thoughts and issues. (Submitted by Andray Domise)

In May, Andray Domise was fed up. U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was on a string of appearances on Black-hosted programs — including Desus & Mero and The Breakfast Club — trying to court their audiences' support.

On The Breakfast Club, Biden told co-host Charlamagne Tha God that if Black people have trouble deciding between him and U.S. President Donald Trump, "then [they] ain't Black."

Domise said Biden's comments were "atrocious."

"There was a conversation being had online as to what it is that Black people owe the Democratic Party that absolutely ticked some of us off," Domise told Day 6 guest host Peter Armstrong. 

The answer, he believes, is nothing — not a single vote. 

But you likely wouldn't have heard that stance, save for a few circles on Twitter, if you were reading Black columnists in major publications, Domise said.

It's part of what Domise calls a Black monolith in mainstream media: the idea that all Black people feel the same way about a certain issue. He intends to provide a platform for people outside that monolith.

There are times when we should be able to have conversations with ourselves and not be concerned about whether white people are involved.- Andray Domise

That was the genesis of Rezistans Nwa, a podcast network created by Domise and a few other Black creators in the U.S. and Canada. The podcasts range from arts to history to politics, all within a Black radical context. 

Rezistans Nwa means "Black Resistance" in Haitian Creole, inspired by the self-freeing slaves in Haiti in the late 18th century. 

The podcast network already has one podcast up, with another on the way. 

The first, The Drop Squad, is a rotating roundtable of Black thinkers, writers, political scientists and everyone in between talking about things like their love for hip-hop artists, how the pandemic has affected Black communities, and police killings.

At the start of the first episode, Domise says the podcast is not for everyone.

"There are no cookout invitations happening ... definitely no ally cookies are going to be handed out," he said. "This is all real talk, facts only. Do not argue with us if you have no citations."

Sharing this off the top was deliberate. "If you're not familiar with these kinds of conversations, you may feel a way about it," Domise said.

"But unfortunately, that's just not our problem."

Domise says Rezistans Nwa's podcasts talk about politics, arts, history and basically whatever is on the hosts’ minds. (CBC)

The conversations underneath the Rezistans Nwa banner are by Black people, for Black people, he explained. Domise won't tell anyone not to listen or support the work, but said some people have to understand that not everything is made for them.

"There are times when we should be able to have conversations with ourselves and not be concerned about whether white people are involved in the conversation or what they're going to think about it," Domise said.

It's a callback to shows like Black Journal, a long-running TV program on PBS hosted by Tony Brown that gave space to radical Black thinkers like Kwame Ture and Angela Davis.

Domise said mainstream media is a bit like a cul-de-sac. Conversations are being geared primarily towards white people, whether the content is about them or intends to educate them, with little-to-no movement forward.

He believes that conversations on shows like Black Journal, and ones he's had with his other collaborators on The Drop Squad, have a better chance at moving the needle.

"I'm no longer interested in the idea of people's souls being saved," Domise said. 

"What I'm interested in is liberation. I'm interested in freedom. I'm interested in Black power."

Written and produced by Kyle Muzyka. 

To hear more, download our podcast or click Listen above.

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