A Word … with Jason Johnson

A Word … with Jason Johnson

America doesn’t need another conversation about race. At least, not the kind we’ve been having ... the ones that are sparked by a crisis and move quickly from shock, to empty promises, to forgetting. No. What America needs are REAL conversations about race … ones that shine a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society. That’s what Slate offers each week on A Word With Jason Johnson. A veteran political commentator, Johnson will bring his incisive wit to thoughtful discussions with leaders, journalists and other change-makers who will tell the truth about America’s challenges around race, and ideas on the way forward.

Episodes

May 14, 2021 24 min

Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility climbed back on the best-seller charts after George Floyd’s murder. On today’s episode of A Word, she talks with Jason Johnson about what white allyship looks like after Derek Chauvin’s conviction, and the challenges of building an anti-racist society. The two originally spoke at the Crosscut Festival, an online conference that took a hard look at the people, policy and events that shape our lives. 

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On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Emmy-nominated actor William Jackson Harper. Fans might know him as indecisive professor Chidi from The Good Place. But he’s back on screens this spring in Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad. The series is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning novel from Colson Whitehead. Harper talks about the upcoming Amazon Prime series, playing Chidi on The Good Place, and his role as ...

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April 30, 2021 22 min

It’s game time, and Black women creatives are leveling up in the online video gaming business. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by online gamer Briana Williams, better known as Storymodebae. She’s a content creator, gamer, and Twitch ambassador. They discuss her path to winning in the white and male-dominated business of online gaming, and how she and Black women gamers are building their own community. 

Guest: ...

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Advocates of police reform, including President Biden, say Derek Chauvin’s conviction is a crucial step in ending racist police practices. But abolitionists say it’s too little, too late. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson speaks with Professor James D. Ward, the author of Policing and Race in America: Economic, Political and Social Dynamics. Ward explains why he thinks abolishing police can’t work politically, but jailing...

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April 16, 2021 22 min

Minnesota police killed another unarmed Black man, less than a year after George Floyd’s death. On Sunday, twenty-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot by then-officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by Johnathon McClellan, president of the civil rights advocacy group Minnesota Justice Coalition. They talk about Wright's death, the Derek Chauvin trial,...

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April 9, 2021 23 min

Black farmers scored a major victory in the Covid relief package, winning billions of dollars in aid. The farmers call it fairness. Some Republicans call it reparations. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by John Boyd Jr. to talk about what this relief means for Black farmers across the country. Boyd is the founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association, and says the time is now for the Biden adm...

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After historic Black turnout flipped Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new law that could hit Black and other voters of color hard. On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by LaTosha Brown. She is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter, one of the groups that helped Democrats win Georgia at the Senate and presidential level. They discuss how activists are fighting back against this new controversial law.

Gues...

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the latest example of Black characters taking on the mantle of comic book superheroes. On this week’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by professor and award-winning comic book artist John Jennings. Jennings is also the curator of the ABRAMS Megascope line of graphic novels. They discuss the importance of Black characters winning more power in comic books, and why Black superheroes sti...

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March 19, 2021 22 min

On today’s episode of A Word, host Jason Johnson discusses how the recent water crisis that struck Jackson, Mississippi has become an everyday consequence of inequality in many rural Black communities. His guest is MacArthur “Genius” Catherine Coleman Flowers. She is the author of “Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret.” They talk about environmental justice and how access to safe drinking water is an issue throug...

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March 12, 2021 25 min

On today’s episode of A Word, host Jason Johnson discusses the death of Breonna Taylor, one year later, with Kentucky State Representative Attica Scott. She’s the author of Breonna’s Law, which would ban no-knock warrants, like the one used by the police who killed Taylor. 

Guest: Representative Attica Scott, a state lawmaker for Kentucky’s 41st District and author of Breonna’s law. 

Podcast production by Ahyiana Angel and Jasmine El...

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March 5, 2021 25 min

On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson discusses cancel culture with Professor Loretta Ross. Professor Ross teaches a course titled White Supremacy, Human Rights and Calling In the Calling Out Culture as a visiting associate professor at Smith College. They talk about the role cancel culture plays in society and politics, and if there’s a better way to hold powerful people accountable.  

Guest: Loretta Ross, associate visiting ...

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February 26, 2021 26 min

On today’s episode of A Word, Jason Johnson is joined by national security analyst Malcolm Nance to discuss how the Capitol insurrection illuminated ties between violent white nationalists and US law enforcement. They address why white supremacists groups find some willing recruits in the military service and the police, and what officials are doing to stop it. 

Guest: Malcolm Nance, national security and counterterrorism analyst fo...

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February 18, 2021 41 sec

From Slate Podcasts, A Word with Jason Johnson shines a light on the facts, the history, and the reality of how race plays out in our politics and society.


Every Friday, veteran political commentator Jason Johnson will bring his sharp analysis to discussions with policy-makers, journalists, entertainers, and other experts about America’s challenges around race, and ideas on the way forward.


Episodes available starting Friday, Februar...

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