Historian Keisha N. Blain, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and President of the African American Intellectual History Society, recently co-edited the acclaimed book Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 with her colleague Ibram X. Kendi. In this episode, Blain talks about how to commemorate the 400 year anniversary of the pivotal moment in 1619, when the first group of twenty African captives arrived on “The White Lion” in Jamestown, Virginia. In her conversation with hosts Tom Zoellner and Aida Baghernejad, Blain reflects on the history of Black America and issues of racism, voting rights, and social justice today. Blain’s articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic and the Washington Post.
Tom Zoellner (host) is the New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books, including Island on Fire, Uranium Train, and The Heartless Stone. He teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College. A former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, he is the politics editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Aida Baghernejad (co-host) is a (pop) culture and food journalist based in Berlin. Her work has appeared in a number of regional, national and international media outlets, among them the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, tipBerlin, Intro Magazine, Spex and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She has previously taught at King’s College London and the Humboldt Universität Berlin.
Lisa Bartfai (producer) is an independent radio journalist and producer splitting her time between rural Maine and Southern California. Her work explores the intersection of culture and politics, and can be heard on NPR stations and podcasts all over the country.