Unpopular

Unpopular

At times when people accepted the status quo without question, some rebels have dared to resist. When a cause is noble, it often pays to be unpopular.... Show More

Episodes

Stay tuned for season 2 of Unpopular! In the meantime, enjoy this episode with Dr. Priyamvada Gopal, author of the book "Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent," stops by the show to discuss how enslaved people and people who lived in the British colonies were not just passive subjects of British oppression. Dissenters at home in the U.K. and abroad rejected the tyranny of imperialism and actively reb... Read more

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Enslaved women were involved in uprisings, even though prominent narratives of revolts focus on the actions of men. In this bonus episode, Yves speaks with Dr. Rebecca Hall about the reasons why women have not been widely recognized in the history of slave revolts and about some of the enslaved women who participated in rebellions.    Keep up with Dr. Hall on Twitter @WakeRevolt    Follow Unpopular on social media!  Twitter: &#... Read more

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“I knew that I lived in a country in which the aspirations of black people were limited, marked-off. Yet I felt that I had to go somewhere and do something to redeem my being alive.” – Richard Wright, from “Black Boy.” Richard Wright’s writing was controversial. His work was both praised as improving race relations and criticized as perpetuating dangerous stereotypes of Black people in the United States. James Baldwin took issue wi... Read more

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Nazi Germany was oppressive, racist, and barbaric. Dissidents were arrested and killed under the Nazi regime. Still, vocal opponents of the government emerged. Some of them were involved in the White Rose, a nonviolent resistance group that distributed leaflets informing people of the Nazis’ atrocities and urging them to break their silence. Two people involved in that group were a sister and brother named Sophie and Hans Scholl.  ... Read more

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July 30, 2019 26 min

Vincent Ogé was a free man of color in Saint-Domingue, or modern-day Haiti, in the mid- to late-18th century. He petitioned for the rights of wealthy free men of color – a class distinct from free Black slaves – but he upheld the institution of slavery. Ogé was not a revolutionary, and it’s hard to know the degree to which self-preservation, internalized racism and white supremacy, classism, ego, and compassion informed his decisio... Read more

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Andrei Sakharov was a nuclear physicist whose secret work was instrumental in the secret development of Soviet thermonuclear weapons. Initially committed to the necessity of his contributions to the design, construction, and testing of hydrogen bombs, Sakharov began to feel the pressure of personal and professional responsibility. The testing and deployment of nuclear weapons was a moral and biological issue that Sakharov could no ... Read more

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July 16, 2019 23 min

The Mirabal Sisters – Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Dedé – were known as las Mariposas (the Butterflies) in the anti-Rafael Trujillo underground. The Trujillo regime openly persecuted and even killed dissidents and opponents. Still, the sisters organized a resistance against the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and put their lives on the line in doing so. They raised awareness about the brutality of the regime and prepar... Read more

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“The old traditions are extremely shameful: Women treated as if they were no different from cattle! The light of dawn now brings the tide of civilization. We’ll take the lead in independence. Let’s eradicate our slavery, become proficient in knowledge and learning. We’ll shoulder that responsibility. We women heroes of our nation will never betray its trust!” – from “A Fighting Song for Women’s Rights” by Qiu Jin.  Qiu Jin was nati... Read more

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July 2, 2019 29 min

From 1882 to 1968, more than 4,700 people were lynched in the United States, most of them Black. They were lynched for attempting to vote. Lynched for seeming suspicious. Basically, it didn’t take much for a mob to deem the murder of a Black person necessary, and the lynching itself was often the white community’s idea of a good old-fashioned gathering.  Ida B. Wells, an investigative journalist and activist born in the South, used... Read more

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"This is the first truth, bitter as it may seem, that we have to acknowledge before we can start on any programme designed to change the status quo. It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realise that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride ... Read more

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June 18, 2019 26 min

Galileo wrote the following in his 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess Christina: "But I do not feel obliged to believe that that same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them." Galileo was convinced the sun was near the center of the universe. Other people (ahem, the Catholic Church), not so much. As we ar... Read more

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Victorian social mores may have taken the idea that women should be seen and not heard a little far, if you consider how ostentatious the garb of mid-18th century middle-class women was. Petticoats could be cumbersome, and corsets could cause a wearer physical harm. But fashion is worth it, right? Nay, some women said. Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Smith Miller advocated for more "rational dress" and -- gasp! -- wore pants. ... Read more

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Nigerian women's rights activist and teacher Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was a force to be reckoned with. From the work she did protesting taxes on women, to her efforts in educating children and women, to her opposition of British colonialism, she played a major role in mid-20th century Nigerian politics and society. There were people who sought to diminish her power, as she fought systems that privileged few and penalized many. Bu... Read more

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A large part, but by no means the only part, of the story of Native Americans once Europeans arrived in the Americas is persecution. White colonists attempted to strip away their traditions, land, and lives through policy and combat. Many Native Americans assimilated, some going so far as to advocate for slavery and enslave Black people. Others resisted the dominance of white supremacy and the destruction of tribal culture. Sitting... Read more

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May 23, 2019 3 min

Throughout history, people have been denounced and demonized for dissenting from the majority. But that didn’t stop them from speaking up. Unpopular is about resisters and pariahs, rebels and revolutionaries. People like Sitting Bull, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Galileo, and the Mirabal Sisters took a chance on what they believed in – and inspired real change. Every week, host Yves Jeffcoat tells the story of someone who challenged the... Read more

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