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

September 24, 2021 36 min
Ever since the pandemic hit, life has been split into two timelines: before the pandemic and after the pandemic. But when will the "after" truly be after? Or will some version of the coronavirus be around... forever? Sam talks to The Atlantic staff writer Katherine Wu about continuing to live with some version of COVID-19. Plus, Sam talks to playwright Heidi Schreck and actress Cassie Beck, who are currently in rehearsals f...
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Author Brandon Taylor used to spend most of his hours studying nematodes under a microscope as a grad student. He wrote his first novel over a period of five weeks, mostly while in a lab. That book, Real Life, was released in 2020 to much critical acclaim. He published his second book this year, a short story collection called Filthy Animals.

Taylor talks to Sam about his focus on the tensions of everyday relationships, writing fro...
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Sam is joined by NPR's The Indicator host Stacey Vanek Smith to talk about her new book, Machiavelli for Women and how women in the workplace are still falling behind. Plus, actor Harvey Guillén on the new season of the FX show What We Do in the Shadows and not waiting for people to be comfortable with his "brownness, queerness and roundness" to be comfortable in his own skin.

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September 13, 2021 24 min
It was 2016, and Yebba's career was beginning to take off. But 2016 was also the year that something awful happened: Yebba's mother committed suicide. And that changed everything, too.

Now, after years of collaborating with artists the likes of Sam Smith, PJ Morton and Robert Glasper, Yebba has her own standalone album. It's called Dawn, a reference to her mother's name. In this chat, Yebba and Sam talk about the em...
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Sam talks to Washington Post security and terrorism reporter Souad Mekhennet about what the war on terror has—and hasn't—achieved in the two decades since 9/11. Plus, for its 20th anniversary, we look at the legacy of Mariah Carey's album Glitter with Texas Monthly senior editor Paula Mejia and Danielle Turchiano, senior features editor at Variety, to explore how culture and fandom have changed since the album's release...
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Writer and actor Michaela Coel wrote, created and starred in HBO series I May Destroy You, which is up for nine Emmy nominations. Her new book, Misfits: A Personal Manifesto, is out this week. She talks to Sam about why she champions misfits like herself, I May Destroy You's basis on her trauma, and how her spirituality has shifted over time.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.or...
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Sam talks to Novena Carmél and Anthony Valadez, hosts of KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, about their end of summer song picks and the best albums of the year so far. They talk about how listening to music changed during the pandemic and why any floor can be a dance floor. Want to hear more of this year's best music? Check out all the songs from the episode in this playlist.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin ...
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In this special episode from our friends at the Code Switch podcast, we feature author Ashley C. Ford. For much of her childhood, Ford's father was incarcerated, and her mother struggled to raise her while grappling with her own upended life plans. In her recent memoir, Somebody's Daughter, Ford explores how these formative conditions shaped her understanding of childhood, authority, forgiveness and freedom.

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For the last 20 years, the U.S. has been wrapped up in a costly war in Afghanistan, initially in response to the attacks on September 11. But America's chaotic withdrawal this year, in just a short amount of time, has left the country back in Taliban control, with troops scrambling to get U.S. citizens and Afghan allies out before the deadline of August 31. So how do we make sense of it all? And what will be the impact on U.S. ...
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Jonathan Van Ness stepped into the spotlight in 2018 as a walking, talking bundle of energy, optimism and positivity as the grooming expert on Queer Eye. Queer Eye is now in production for its sixth season, and Jonathan— along with the rest of the Fab 5— have been nominated for an Emmy for their work as hosts this year. In this conversation from 2019, Sam chats with JVN about his book, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love, a m...
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Maya Rudolph has had a successful career, spanning decades as a Saturday Night Live cast member and well-loved actor and entertainer. She chats with Sam about her recent Emmy nominations, her approach to comedy, and the importance of having strong role models.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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Kathryn Hahn dazzled audiences in one of the biggest streaming hits of the year, WandaVision— and she just earned an Emmy nom for her performance. In this conversation with her from 2019, she and Sam talk about her film 'Private Life,' balancing politics in her work, and the nature of birth.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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#ShowerGate. Sam talks to Carl Zimring, professor of sustainability studies at Pratt Institute and author of Clean and White, about the online debate over celebrities showering habits and how it taps into a long history linking hygiene and race.

Then, we hear from Yessenia Funes, climate editor for Atmos Magazine, about this week's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

You can follow us on Twitter @...
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Tracee Ellis Ross won a Golden Globe in 2017 for her role on ABC's Black-ish. She's also been nominated five times for that role at the Emmys. In this chat from July 2020, she and Sam discuss her Black-ish role, sharing her singing from The High Note with mom Diana Ross, and portraying Black joy on screen.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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Sam is joined by LA Times television editor Matt Brennan to understand why ratings for this year's Olympics are not just dismal, but symbolic of changes in our culture. Then, culture writers Hunter Harris and Alessa Dominguez join the show to talk all things Bennifer.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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August 2, 2021 26 min
Prince's posthumous album, Welcome 2 America, came out last weekend. In honor of the release, Sam revisits his 2020 conversation with Prince's photographer, Randee St. Nicholas. She shares intimate stories about the legendary artist: from spontaneous photo shoots in burned out buildings to late nights after sold-out concerts.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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Disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines abounds on social media, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Sam talks to Max Fisher, international reporter for the New York Times, about "disinformation for hire" and what social media platforms are doing to combat it. Plus, Sam talks to actress Hannah Waddingham, one of the stars of Ted Lasso. They're also joined by fellow cast member Jeremy Swift to play Who Said Tha...
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The "Mother of Dragons" is out with a new comic book, Mother of Madness. Actress Emilia Clarke talks with guest host Ayesha Rascoe about superpowers in real life and fantasy, her career-launching role in Game of Thrones and how Hollywood has changed since her first season as Daenerys.

You can follow us on Twitter @NPRItsBeenAMin and email us at samsanders@npr.org.
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The Black Hair Experience is a pop-up visual exhibit dedicated to the beauty, history and nostalgia of Black hair. Guest host Ayesha Rascoe takes a trip there and chats with its co-founder, Alisha Brooks. Then, Ayesha is joined by NPR's Susan Davis and Asma Khalid about the two huge economic priorities for the Biden administration.

— Read Ayesha's essay: "The Black Hair Experience Is About The Joy Of Black Hair — Includi...
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Actress Sonequa Martin-Green has made a career of otherworldly roles. She survived a zombie apocalypse in The Walking Dead, she explores space — the final frontier — in Star Trek: Discovery, and she's the wife of NBA star LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy. She talks to guest host Ayesha Rascoe about her career, her hair and identity, and why she felt called to speak up about her internalized racism after the murder of Geo...
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