Blackbelt Voices

Blackbelt Voices

The Blackbelt Voices podcast tells stories from and about Black folks down South that honor our history, celebrate our culture, and shape our future. Through first-person narratives and in-depth conversations, hosts Adena J. White, Kara Wilkins, and Katrina Dupins share the experiences of Black Southerners living in, loving, and reconciling with the region we call home. Music: Prentice Dupins Jr. Logo Design: Kara Darling Creative

Episodes

April 27, 2022 7 min

La'Twana Scott, the owner of Sweet Mama T's in El Dorado, Arkansas, developed a reputation as a great cook at an early age. The El Dorado native enjoys cooking for people and got her start from helping her mom as a child. 

Eventually, with the help of Southern Bancorp, Scott found the perfect location for her restaurant.  Find out more about Sweet Mama T's by visiting her Facebook page

Season 3 of Blackbelt Voices is br...

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On episode 37 of Blackbelt Voices, we continue our conversation about Black food, this time focusing on barbecue. Guest Michael “Mike D” De Los Santos of North Carolina walks us through his journey of becoming an expert on the topic, which eventually led to him creating his own sauces and rubs and selling through his company, Mike D’s. 

Mike’s journey to becoming a small business owner has uplifting and heartbreaking turns, includin...

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In episode 36 of Blackbelt Voices, Adena and Kara continue the conversation about Black food culture – this time from an agricultural angle. Our guest, Gerald Harris, along with his partners Derek Beasley and Gabrielle E.W. Carter (who was featured in the Netflix series High on the Hog  as well as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal)started Tall Grass Food Box, a community-supported agricultural model (CSA). 

Gerald told ...

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We’re starting a new series of episodes about Black Food Culture, which is a very broad topic to tackle. It can be fun, but it is also deep. Ashante Reese, Ph.D. is a writer, teacher, and anthropologist who works at the intersection of critical food studies and Black geographies. Her latest book, “Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice, enters two conversations at once: one that concerns the persistent threa...

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Jennifer Williams of Cleveland, Mississippi, always knew she wanted to be a teacher. When she was a girl, her favorite game was playing school.

Williams is teaching future teachers at the Cleveland Career Development and Technology Center. Once a week, her students get to serve as teacher's assistants, giving them a realistic feel of what it could be like to run a classroom. The center offers a practical learning environment des...

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On episode 33 of the Blackbelt Voices podcast, we are continuing our discussion on the Cost of Racism. This week we’re focused on building community wealth with Tim Lampkin, the CEO and founder of Higher Purpose Co., a  501(c)(3) economic justice nonprofit that supports and encourages ownership of financial, cultural, and political power in Black communities.  

Tim Lampkin, for about as long as he could remember, always had a passio...

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Cheryl Hampton grew up on a farm in Marianna on the same property where her great-great-grandfather lived. He grew lots of vegetables in his garden including sweet potatoes, greens, and okra. Cheryl still lives and gardens on the property today. When her nieces and nephews come to visit she shows them everything she knows, and they’re always excited to learn.  https://blackbeltvoices.com/2021/12/28/turn-to-your-neighbor-cheryl-hamp...

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Episode 31 of the Blackbelt Voices podcast begins a new series of episodes called the Cost of Racism. During the next month, we’ll dive into the ideas of economic equity and building wealth for Black communities. Today’s guest is Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp.

Williams, who studied law and practiced as a lawyer for many years, wanted to help people understand money, climb out of poverty and bridge the racial wealth gap.

Se...

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This Turn to Your Neighbor segment features Amanda Hunter, a registered nurse who lives in Central Arkansas. Amanda is very interested in exploring her family tree. She wanted to see how far she could go back into her family’s history and found  through her journey a valuable perspective she applies directly to her own life. 

Season 3 of Blackbelt Voices is brought to you by Southern Bancorp.

Southern Bancorp is one of America’s olde...

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Happy Thanksgiving, Blackbelt Voices fam. In this week’s episode we’re talking about genealogy. It is part of the “Preserving our History” series. For Nicka Sewell-Smith, learning about her family history is much more than a hobby. Nicka has more than 20 years of experience as a genealogist and has learned so much about not only her own family, but also American History. We think you’ll enjoy listening to our conversation with Nick...

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The Ozark Foothills African-American History Museum would not have been possible without the work of  Albessie Thompson,  the subject of this Turn to Your Neighbor segment. Born and raised in Twin Groves, Arkansas, Thompson has worked tirelessly for the past 30 years to preserve the history of her hometown. We continue the "Preserving Our History" series with a closer look at this museum in Twin Groves, Arkansas.

Find out mo...

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Blackbelt Voices continues its focus on “Preserving our History” with a closer look at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a 35,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art museum on 9th Street in Little Rock. The museum, which is a part of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, became accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in April 2020. Quantia Fletcher was recently named director of the museum. She told us how she found her passion ...

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American Reckoning is a component of PBS FRONTLINE's Un(re)solved multi-platform initiative investigating unsolved murders that happened in the Civil Rights Era. 

We sat down with filmmakers Yoruba Richen and Brad Lichtenstein who are working on a documentary about the events surrounding the 1967 murder of Wharlest Jackson Sr. in Natchez, Mississippi. Jackson is one of 150 cold case killings brought to light because of Congressm...

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October 6, 2021 54 sec

Blackbelt Voices is coming back for our third season in mid-October. We can’t wait for you to hear from our fantastic guests. They’re telling stories from and about Black folks down South that honor our history; celebrate our culture; and shape our future.

Look for new episodes beginning next week. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow or subscribe to the Blackbelt Voices podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or w...

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In this episode, Adena and Kara talk to Kristy Carter, author and principal investigator of a newly released study about women of color business owners and entrepreneurs in Arkansas. The research was conducted by the University of Central Arkansas and the report commissioned by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas. Women of color open businesses at extraordinary rates. The qualitative study explores why. 

This episode’s Turn to Your N...

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On Episode 22 of Blackbelt Voices, Adena and Kara have a conversation with Candice Barnes. Ed.D., an associate professor and distinguished equity fellow at the University of Central Arkansas College of Education. 

They talked about moving closer to diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion in education and what steps educational systems, teachers, and future teachers can take to move toward that goal.

They discussed the importance ...

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February 10, 2021 39 min

Three people, from three backgrounds and generations, take a road trip using The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. Adena and Kara have a conversation with Alvin Hall and Janée Woods Weber about their living history podcast called Driving the Green Book. They talk about their podcast, their journey, life lessons, and behind-the-scenes adventures. 

In this episode's Turn to Your Neighbor segment, WellBrewed Coffee Co. foun...

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Happy Black History Month. February 1 marks the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln signing a resolution that would later become the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. On this episode, Adena and Kara address some eyebrow-raising legislation aimed at restricting teaching on social justice and diversity. We ask Stacey McAdoo, longtime educator and 2019 Arkansas Teacher of the Year, to weigh in. 

You can find out more about ...

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Blackbelt Voices wraps up 2020 with tips on setting goals, job hunting, and protecting your peace.  Kara and Adena talked to Leigh Oliver, a talent acquisition coordinator in Nashville who gave us a glimpse into the mind of a job recruiter. 

Have questions about your resume or need job recruiting tips? Our guest today said she would be happy to help. Email Leigh Oliver.

This episode’s Turn to Your Neighbor segment features Tenethrea ...

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December 23, 2020 41 min

COVID-19 ‌has‌ ‌dominated‌ ‌headlines‌ ‌nearly‌ ‌the‌ ‌entire‌ ‌year‌ ‌–‌ ‌and‌ has ‌affected‌ ‌life‌ ‌for‌ ‌every‌ ‌single‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌us.‌ ‌ ‌And‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌images‌ ‌of‌ ‌people‌ ‌receiving‌ much-anticipated‌ ‌vaccinations‌ ‌last‌ ‌week,‌ ‌there‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌glimmer‌ ‌of‌ ‌hope‌ ‌for‌ ‌some‌ ‌return‌ ‌to‌ ‌some‌ ‌sort‌ ‌of‌ ‌normalcy‌ – ‌though‌ ‌we‌ ‌still‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌while.‌ ‌In‌ ‌this‌ ‌episode,‌ Adena and Kara ‌ta...

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