It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders

Each week, Sam Sanders interviews people in the culture who deserve your attention. Plus weekly wraps of the news with other journalists. Join Sam as he makes sense of the world through conversation.

Episodes

June 14, 2021 35 min
Sam sits in the Fresh Air host chair to talk to actor John Boyega. Since finishing his star-making role in the Star Wars franchise in 2019 and after the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd last year, Boyega has been outspoken about his treatment as a Black actor in Hollywood, and in the Star Wars franchise itself. He talked to Sam about why he was ready to talk about the "elephant in the room" that is racism i...
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We've witnessed plenty of historic moments with Joe Biden as president: widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, the reunion of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, Mare of Easttown. But Arizona Republicans are attempting to prove otherwise with an unprecedented vote recount of the 2020 election. Sam talks to Jessica Huseman, editorial director at Votebeat, about the ongoing election audit in Arizona and what it means for the future of ele...
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Zakiya Dalila Harris was working as an editorial assistant at a New York publisher when she ran into another Black woman for the first time on her office floor. That's when she got the idea for her book, The Other Black Girl. What's it like when you're used to being the only one, but now there's another one like you? And what if things get weird? Like, really weird. Sam and Zakiya talk about how her book subverts th...
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When Pride comes around every June, the same arguments start up again— should there be kink, cops and corporations at Pride? And who is Pride for? Sam talks to writer and author Roxane Gay about why the queer community has the same conversations year after year and what they mean for what Pride is today. Plus, actress and filmmaker Natalie Morales on directing the new teen buddy comedy, "Plan B."
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Sam revisits his chat with best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell about his book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know. The book explores examples such as the arrest of Sandra Bland and the Stanford rape case as to why interactions with strangers often go so wrong. This episode was taped in front of a live studio audience at The George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium in September ...
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May 28, 2021 29 min
It's almost summer, and whether you're at a beach, at a park, or at home, it's a great time to get lost in a book. Sam is joined by Barrie Hardymon, senior editor of NPR's Weekend Edition, and Traci Thomas, host of the podcast The Stacks. They give advice on how to get back into the habit of reading and recommend a few great summer reads: Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi, How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith, Wild Rain by Be...
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May 25, 2021 28 min
Sam previews this summer's Supreme Court rulings with Slate's Mark Joseph Stern and why some of those cases could potentially have big repercussions on daily life. They also discuss the future of the Court, including its decision to take up two of the most controversial issues of today — abortion and gun rights — and why the drama between justices can sometimes equate to a Real Housewives–style argument over dinner (with t...
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The U.S. unemployment rate is still high... so why are we in a labor shortage? Sam chats with Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR's The Indicator, and Cardiff Garcia, former co-host of The Indicator, about the American job market and why businesses are having such a hard time hiring. Then, as vaccines have become more widely available and pandemic restrictions lift across the country, people are wandering back out into the world, h...
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How do you bring up something that might be easier left unsaid? Anna Sale, host and creator of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast, has answers in her new book, Let's Talk About Hard Things. She chats with Sam about how to talk to family, why we need to start having different conversations about money, and what it means to actually listen.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr...
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What does defunding the police really look like? Sam talks to Austin City Council Member Greg Casar about how decreasing the city's police budget has worked— and what they aren't getting quite right yet. Then, Sam talks to KUT reporter Audrey McGlinchy about how Texas, a Republican-led state, has responded and what that could mean for other cities trying to follow in the footsteps of Austin. Plus, Sam talks to actress and c...
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May 11, 2021 30 min
How transformative are President Biden's economic and infrastructure proposals? Depends on what gets passed. The comparisons to FDR and LBJ miss the vastly different political landscapes those presidents faced. Sam talks with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin about how this moment compares to those past presidents' efforts at once in a generation legislation. You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and em...
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The housing market is booming— but who actually benefits? Sam talks to Jerusalem Demsas, politics and policy fellow for Vox, about what so many are getting wrong about housing. Plus, Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with Ziwe Fumudoh, whose comedy variety show Ziwe premieres on Showtime on May 9. Then, in honor of NPR's 50th anniversary, Sam plays "Who Said That?" with All Things Considered hosts Audie Cornish and Ar...
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As the groundbreaking series Pose comes to a close in its third and final season, Sam talks to Mj Rodriguez about the end of her role as Blanca, the loving and lovable house mother at the center of the show. They also chat about the start of her career as Angel in Rent, channeling grief into her character, and LGBTQIA+ perseverance.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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Even as vaccine access expands in the the US, the pandemic is far from over globally. Sam talks to Aarti Singh, a resident of New Delhi, about what it's been like living there as India's COVID-19 cases skyrocket. Then, Sam talks to public health activist Achal Prabhala about why rich and poor countries have unequal access to vaccines. Plus, Sam chats with Invisibilia host Kia Miakka Natisse about the new season of the show ...
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Patti Harrison is known for bringing her absurd, caustic, yet charming comedy to supporting roles on shows like Search Party, Broad City and Shrill. But now she's in a starring role in the romantic comedy Together Together. In it, Harrison plays a young single woman who agrees to be a gestational surrogate for a single man in his 40s, played by Ed Helms. Sam talks to Patti about what it was like to play a role different from ev...
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Sam chats with NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans about constant images of Black pain in news and in entertainment. Then, he turns to comedian Ashley Nicole Black to talk about the new season of "A Black Lady Sketch Show" and Black joy.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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Sam talks to actor and comedian Eric André about the evolution of the prank genre with his Netflix hidden-camera comedy Bad Trip. They chat about the complications of making a prank show while Black, who André would never prank, and why everyone could use a little absurdism to warp their realities.

— Watch the full extended version of this interview on YouTube: youtu.be/n8KamK-9hxY

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin ...
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What's it like to cover the Derek Chauvin trial against the backdrop of continued police violence? Guest host Ari Shapiro talks to Minnesota activist and journalist O'nika Nicole Craven. Then, he talks to Maurice Chammah, staff writer at The Marshall Project, about the origins and evolving symbolism of the thin blue line. Plus, Misha Euceph on the new season of her podcast Tell Them, I Am, and the many ways that Muslims fin...
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April 13, 2021 30 min
Bowen Yang often plays delightfully weird characters on SNL. But recently he appeared as himself on the show to address the uptick of Asian American violence in the U.S. Sam revisits his conversation from last fall with the comedian, who discusses becoming the first Chinese American cast member on Saturday Night Live, what it was like to do the show during a pandemic, and why Adele Dazeem is the number one moment in the history of ...
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Corporations have spoken out against the new restrictive voting law in Georgia, but to what end? Sam talks to Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick about whether that tactic actually effects change—and whether it's just a performance. Plus, Sam talks to author and historian Jules Gill-Peterson about the historic flood of anti-trans bills in state legislatures and how these bills echo anti-gay rhetoric of the past. Then, friends of the s...
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