“Breaking Down Racism” Podcast Series Premieres


#BreakingDownRacism New from Progressive Pupil 

Progressive Pupil released all season 1 episodes of its first podcast series Breaking Down Racism on Soundcloud.  With topics ranging from “What is White Liberal Guilt?” to “Am I Black or African American?,” these upbeat podcasts provide accessible information related to everyday experiences of race.   Each episode answers a frequently asked question about race with the help of commentary from today’s grassroots activists in addition to rarely heard speeches and interviews by inspiring historical leaders.  The series is hosted by Black studies professor, human rights advocate and filmmaker Dr. Robin J. Hayes. It is brought to you by Progressive Pupil, a nonprofit that makes “Black Studies for Everybody” by creating documentary films and interactive media.

Comment below or while streaming the series on Soundcloud with your feedback and requests for future topics. Follow Breaking Down Racism for updates on Season 2. 

Season 1 Episodes

What is White Liberal Guilt?

Why do I Care About Intersectionality?

Where is the African Diaspora?

Black or African American? 

*Music of Black and Cuba (Bonus Episode)

Leave a comment


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Michelle De Swarte perspective. I did feel myself cringing when she used “mixed race” to describe herself but I understand that both my whiteness and my Americaness contribute to this discomfort. Intersectionality isn’t a new concept for me, I’ve had my kicks on this ol Ivory tower’s desk for neigh on a decade.
    De Swarte brings up the Black Lives Matter Movement, contrasting it with the riots of her childhood and how those were framed in the media of the day. Now, while we have seen growth in the black American middle class, the numbers are much lower than they would have been if redlining or other openly racist policies had never existed. Moreover, both democratic presidential candidates have tried to reframe the conversation the front line BLM activists have initiated about racial inequality and continued police violence as a class issues only–when clearly there is an intersection of class *and* race on these and many other issues facing the U.S.


  2. Johanna Golomb

     /  September 28, 2015

    I was interested in listening to this podcast about white liberal guilt, because I often “check myself” for feeling this way. I was feeling uncomfortable with even the thought of commenting on this blog because I felt like I had no right to be commenting on race issues as a white person. However, the idea of white liberal guilt makes me feel frustrated. To me, it just encourages white people to make everything about themselves, just as I was doing internally by hesitating on commenting, instead of channeling emotions as an impetus to take action and make change.

    I really appreciated the way the podcast outlined 7 ways to combat white liberal guilt. I feel that education and conversation is the most important tool to help increase consciousness as well as create allies for the movement instead of whites apologizing, diminishing or dominating the conversation because of feelings of guilt. As a a person with a performing arts education background, I have always been an advocate for allowing emotions to propel action. However, I really appreciated the idea of programming and workshops geared towards changing the emotion from guilt, which is not helpful or active to emotions of curiosity or anger. I think calling individuals and institutions out for for white liberal guilt on a consistent basis is an important way to emphasize the role it plays in race relations everyday. Whites need to be “checking themselves” for privilege and discrimination all the time, that otherwise would go unrecognized. The more we highlight these feelings as part of the problem, without perpetuating self indulgent white guilt fixations, but actually propelling systemic change, I believe we can move closer to a real understanding of what racial injustice looks like and consequently real impactful action can take place.



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