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Listen and Learn

Hear from authors, journalists and writers, including Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander playwright Nakkiah Lui and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, as they dissect the cultural, social and political issues surrounding race today and how writing can be used as a weapon against injustice.

Recorded live at Melbourne Writers Festival.

Content Warning: these recordings may contain discussions about racism and violence.


Ta-Nehisi Coates: Writing Yourself Into History (2018)

American author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses writing yourself into history, making courageous art, Obama and We Were Eight Years in Power, Black Panther and Captain America, and the cultural, social and political issues surrounding race in the US today. With Santilla Chingaipe.

DeRay Mckesson: On the Other Side of Freedom (2019)

Civil rights activist and author DeRay Mckesson is one of the leading voices in the Black Lives Matter movement. He speaks to Benjamin Law about his new book, On the Other Side of Freedom, millennial activism and the power of politics translated through social media, and why it’s so important to keep hope alive.

How I Survived: Nayuka Gorrie & Nakkiah Lui (2018)

Co-writers and stars of ABC’s irreverent Black Comedy, Nayuka Gorrie and Nakkiah Lui, discuss their experience of breaking into the world of television comedy writing as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, sharing how they support each other along the way. They also discuss how writing can be used to dismantle racial injustice.

Reni Eddo-Lodge: On Race (2017)

British journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race) explores the issues surrounding white supremacy, feminism, class and race through her lived experience as a black woman. How can those who’ve never personally experienced racism acknowledge and help fight it, while not speaking over marginalised voices? With Benjamin Law.

Tayari Jones: An American Marriage (2019)

Winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction and a 2018 Oprah Book Club pick, An American Marriage centres on an appalling miscarriage of justice, and has been widely praised for its moving portrayal of love interrupted. Author Tayari Jones discusses her compelling work with author Eve L Ewing.


Our friends at Readings have curated a collection of books, including novels by some of the artists above, to help us understand and fight white supremacy.

View all podcast episodes here, or find us on Apple Podcasts/iTunes and Spotify.


Image: Alexis D Lea