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May 1, 2024 34 mins

Anuli Akanegbu is the host of BLK IRL, an audio docuseries. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at New York University, conducting research on Black creatives who are contract workers in Atlanta, Georgia. In conversation with SAPIENS’ podcast host, Dr. Eshe Lewis, Anuli delves into the historical and current successes and struggles of Black influencers, content creators, and artists for labor rights and recognition.

Through in-depth ethnographic interviews, Akanegbu’s work emphasizes the importance of acknowledging people’s humanity behind their digital personas. It reveals the complex realities of Black professionals in creative industries. And as a result, her research challenges us to rethink our assumptions about the online/offline dichotomy—and the possibility of a joyous and unified “life ecosystem.”

This episode is part of the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship program, which provides in-depth training for anthropologists in the craft of science communication and public scholarship, funded with the support of a three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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