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Into America

NBCUniversal Podcasts

Into America is a show about being Black in America. These stories explore what it means to hold truth to power and this country to its promises. Told by people who have the most at stake.

Location:

United States

Description:

Into America is a show about being Black in America. These stories explore what it means to hold truth to power and this country to its promises. Told by people who have the most at stake.

Language:

English


Episodes

Don’t Send the Police: Send Freedom House

5/25/2023
In May 2020, the murder of George Floyd inspired people to take to the streets in America and overseas, calling for cop reform, the defunding of police, or saying police should be abolished altogether. And as racial injustices continued, communities took matters into their own hands. The Healing and Justice Center in Miami, FL rolled out Freedom House Mobile and Crisis Units as an alternative to people having to call police, particularly in mental health emergencies. The group draws its name and inspiration fromFreedom House in Pittsburgh, which in 1968, became the nation’s first paramedics. Prior to 1968, police would transport people to the hospital during medical emergencies; but in Black communities, the result was often a disaster. Freedom House was all Black, rooted in community, and able to save lives. In a special two-part story, Into America explores Freedom House then and now; and how Black communities have always worked to keep themselves safe. On part one of ‘Don’t Send the Police,’ Trymaine Lee speaks with retired paramedic and health-care worker John Moon about how Freedom House began, and its lasting impact for generations to come. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Into Reimagining Mental Health and PolicingGeorge Floyd's Murder Won't Change Policing Without SenateAt Freedom House, these Black men saved lives. Paramedics are book topic

Duration:00:37:31

Writers Strike Black

5/18/2023
The entertainment industry and its TV and film writers can’t get on the same page. For the first time in over a decade, the Writers Guild of America is on strike. Shows like Saturday Night Live have already stopped production, with more to come as the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers try to reach a labor agreement. As networks and film studios continue make record-high profits, writers are fighting for livable wages and fair compensation in the streaming era. And for the Black writers and the community at large, there’s much more at stake. For decades, Black writers were shut out of writers’ rooms, unable to tell their own stories. As the industry changed, these scribes were only relegated to write comedy. Today, just a handful have made it to the top of the television hierarchy as showrunners. Anthony Sparks, a 20-year industry veteran told Trymaine Lee that for him, the strike is about making sure writing can continue to be a viable career path for people like him. Because if the industry doesn’t change, Black writers could get squeezed out, and Black audiences risk losing representation, or worse – having outsiders control it. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: The Re-Freshed Prince of Bel-AirComedian Cristela Alonzo explains why WGA writers are on strikeWGA Says Strike Is Costing California’s Economy $30 Million A Day

Duration:00:36:59

Healing in Buffalo

5/11/2023
In May of last year, Tops Supermarket in East Buffalo was attacked by a lone white supremacist. Motivated by “great replacement theory,” the shooter targeted an area densely populated with Black residents, leaving this community grief-stricken. Into America visited Buffalo and spoke with residents shortly after the incident, so now, on the anniversary of the shooting, Trymaine Lee headed back to East Buffalo to revisit this community which has found strength and healing through each other. Trymaine Lee speaks with Trinetta Alston, a nurse who’s made it her mission to look after the Tops survivors. And he visits the Love Supreme School of Music, which is putting on a series of wellness concerts for the community. And we get a heartwarming update from former guest Fragrance Harris Stanfield, who was working at Tops the day of the shooting. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Buffalo shooter sentenced to life in prison for racist attackWhy My Cousin Who Died in the Buffalo Mass Shooting Would Forgive the ShooterWatch Trymaine Lee on NBC News Now after Tops reopened

Duration:00:36:44

For Delroy Lindo and Tracy McMillan, Art Imitates Life

5/4/2023
Tracy McMillan’s dad spent most of her life in prison, getting out for the last time when she was in her 40s. But for all the movies and shows about prison, she hadn’t seen her experience portrayed on screen in a way that resonated with her. So, as a successful television writer and author, she decided to write it herself — for her and the millions of others who grew up with a parent behind bars. After years of work, Tracy’s story became Hulu’s new hit show UnPrisoned. It’s a funny and heartfelt take on what happens when a father who has spent decades in prison, played by Delroy Lindo, comes to live with his adult daughter, played by Kerry Washington. This week, Trymaine sits down with Tracy and Delroy, for an eye-opening conversation about their experiences from childhood, their relationship with their fathers, and the healing power of art. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: UnPrisonedThe Re-Freshed Prince of Bel AirKerry Washington talks ‘Unprisoned,’ writing a memoir

Duration:00:46:11

The Right to Life

4/27/2023
Black women are three times more likely to suffer from pregnancy and childbirth complications than white women. And when faced with a health scare, terminating a pregnancy has been a way for doctors to save the life of the mother. But under strict new limits on abortion, doctors are often forced to hold off on critical care, like in Florida, where a 15-week ban meant that Anya Cook almost died after she began experiencing something called PPROM, which can cause infection and hemorrhaging. Months after that incident, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill aimed to shorten the state’s ban to just 6 weeks, potentially putting more lives in the balance. On Into America, Trymaine Lee speaks with Anya, as well as OBGYN Dr. Zsakeba Henderson, to learn how abortion limits are disproportionately affecting Black mothers nearly one year since Roe was overturned. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Two women were denied medical care due to Florida's abortion banDeSantis quietly signs extreme six-week abortion ban into lawInside a Texas Abortion Clinic

Duration:00:38:31

Policing Jackson

4/20/2023
The conversative, white majority in Mississippi’s state legislature has continued to systematically undermine the ability of its capital, the Black city of Jackson, to govern itself. Pointing to the city’s homicide rate — the highest of any major city in the country — state lawmakers contended that Jackson’s police department isn’t equipped to handle crime, and moved to expand the powers of the Capitol Police, a law enforcement agency that answers to the state. But the Capitol Police unit has little experience fighting crime, and in the months since its reach was first expanded last summer, the force has become known for its aggressive tactics — including four shootings in the last half of 2022, one of them fatal. In that same time, there were just 10 officer-involved shootings in the rest of the state. This week, Into America heads to Jackson to speak with Black residents affected by this expansion: Latasha Smith, who was shot in her bedroom by Capitol Police, Arkela Lewis, a mother who lost her son, pastor Dr. Dwayne Pickett, State Representative Earle Banks (D-Jackson), and anti-violence activist Terun Moore. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: We Save OurselvesWithout Water in JacksonHow did a police chase in Mississippi end with an innocent woman shot in her bedroom?Mississippi wants to expand an aggressive police force responsible for recent shootings

Duration:00:42:38

The Re-Freshed Prince of Bel-Air (2022)

4/13/2023
In March of 2019, Morgan Cooper dropped a video on YouTube that quickly went viral. It was a short film that he made as a passion project, after he was struck with a flash of inspiration: What if the 90’s classic The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air were updated for the 21st century? Three years later, Bel-Air premiered on Peacock to record-breaking numbers, with Cooper as director and executive producer. The season two finale drops on Peacock on April 27th, and the show was recently renewed for a third season. For Into America, host Trymaine Lee spoke with Morgan Cooper about Bel-Air, the creative decisions he’s making with the show, and his lightning quick rise in Hollywood. Trymaine also spoke with actress Cassandra Freeman, who plays Aunt Viv in the new show, as well as hip hop icon DJ Jazzy Jeff, who played Jazz on the original Fresh Prince, and who hosted Bel-Air: The Official Podcast. (Original release date: March 10, 2022) For a transcript, please visit https://www.msnbc.com/intoamerica. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For More: Stream Bel-Air on PeacockHow a Viral Video Turned Into Bel-AirThey're Back – See Which Original ‘Fresh Prince' Stars Are Reuniting on ‘Bel Air'

Duration:00:48:31

Vote for Into America to win a Webby!

4/11/2023
Into America with Trymaine Lee is nominated for two Webby Awards! The show is nominated for best overall News & Politics podcast, and our Reconstructed series is nominated under best Limited-Series. We need your vote to win! To vote, click HERE. (Or type in your browser: vote.webbyawards.com) Click on General Series, then News & Politics to cast your vote for us in this category. Next, head over to Limited-Series & Specials. You can vote for our Reconstructed series under the News & Politics section. Once you’ve voted, share the news! You can tag the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Voting closes on Thursday, April 20th. Thanks for supporting Into America!

Duration:00:01:24

Special Preview: New episode of Tiffany Dover Is Dead* Podcast

4/10/2023
As a preview for Into America listeners, here’s a sneak peek from a special new episode of Truthers: Tiffany Dover Is Dead*, an NBC News podcast about misinformation and conspiracy theories. Nine months after the series ended without landing an on-the-record interview with its subject, Tiffany Dover speaks out for the first time. In this clip, she shares her side of the story and why we haven’t heard from her until now. Follow the podcast to listen to this episode or catch up on the whole story: https://link.chtbl.com/ttdisbe_fd

Duration:00:06:49

The Case of LaKeith Smith

4/6/2023
In 2015, a police officer shot and killed LaKeith Smith’s friend, A’Donte Washington, during a burglary gone wrong. But years later, LaKeith is the one behind bars for murder. LaKeith was originally given a sentence of 65-years, after beingc onvicted of burglary, theft, and something called felony murder. In certain criminal cases, the felony murder rule allows a person to be charged with murder even if they’re not the one who did the killing. Experts say it’s a legal charge that disproportionately hurts young, Black and brown men. In a March resentencing hearing, a judge ruled that LaKeith’s sentences could be served concurrently, thus reducing his overall time; but LaKeith’s family and supporters were still left heartbroken, because even with this reduction, he’s facing a 30-year sentence. Trymaine Lee spoke to LaKeith’s mother, Tina Smith, about her family’s continued fight for justice. And we talked to lawyer Leroy Maxwell and activist Daniel Forkkio, along with Andre Washington, the father of A’Donte Washington, about what true justice for his son would look like. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Sentence reduced for man convicted after friend killed by officerFelony Murder: An On-Ramp for Extreme Sentencing

Duration:00:32:36

Sacrifice Zones

3/30/2023
When toxic chemical spill from a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio last month led to health concerns in the area, the disaster attracted widespread media coverage, action from Environmental Protection Agency, and a bipartisan push to enact stricter regulations on rail safety. Yet for residents of so-called "sacrifice zones," this kind of environmental disaster is everyday life. These communities, which are disproportionately Black, are close to industrial plants that emit carcinogens and other dangerous pollutants. This week, Into America heads to Institute, West Virginia, a Black town that has long dealt with toxic air from nearby chemical plants, to talk with resident and activist Katherine Ferguson, interim director of the community group Our Future West Virginia, about the town’s fight for justice. Trymaine Lee also talks with Dr. Sacoby Wilson, a public health professor at the University of Maryland, about why Black communities like this one are hit hardest by environmental concerns, and what can be done to prevent further disaster. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Climate Denial is RacistThe Power of the Black Vote: Tackling Our Climate CrisisInto Dirty Air

Duration:00:40:32

Teaching the Truth

3/23/2023
Retired Florida professor Marvin Dunn has been dismayed at recent efforts to battle so-called critical race theory and limit the way educators can talk about race. Last year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law the Stop WOKE Act, which mandated that public schools teach race in a manner where students would not “feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part.” Like many educators, Dr. Dunn feared this would create an environment where teaching hard truths about history is discouraged. He decided to start the Teach the Truth tour. This week, Trymaine Lee hops on the tour bus with Into America to speak with Dr. Dunn and students about what’s at stake when it comes to learning the truth about American history. They visit historic sites related to the Ocoee Massacre, the lynching of Willie James Howard, and the Black town of Rosewood, which was destroyed a hundred years ago by a white mob. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Professor slams DeSantis for quashing Black history educationKnow Your History‘We need to hear it.’ This tour explores Florida’s horrific history of racial violence

Duration:00:39:29

UPDATE: Into Injustice for Breonna Taylor

3/16/2023
The Louisville Metro Police Department has engaged in sweeping civil rights abuses against Black people, women, and people with disabilities, according to newly released findings from a Department of Justice investigation. “Shortly after we opened the investigation, an LMPD leader told the department Breonna Taylor was a symptom of problems that we have had for years,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press conference last week. “The Justice Department's findings in the report that we are releasing today bear that out.” This week, which marks three years since Breonna Taylor was killed, Into America returns to Trymaine Lee’s conversation with Hannah Drake, a Louisville activist Hannah Drake who helped elevate Breonna’s story on social media, and was part of an effort to push the city council to pass Breonna’s Law — a ban on “no-knock” warrants. We also check in with Hannah about the investigation’s findings, Louisville’s rotating police chiefs, and her hopes for the future. (Original release date: September 24, 2020) Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: Rev. Sharpton, Ben Crump, and the Pursuit of JusticeReconstructed: The Book of TrayvonAfter George Floyd

Duration:00:41:04

How Basquiat Earned His Crown (2022)

3/9/2023
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an iconic American artist who rose to fame in the downtown New York City cultural scene of the late 1970s and early 80s. Today, Basquiat’s legacy looms over us, larger than ever. His images and symbols grace Uniqlo t-shirts and Tiffany & Co jewelry campaigns. In 2017, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful 1982 painting of a skull was purchased for $110.5 million, becoming the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. But has Basquiat’s pop cultural significance eclipsed the artist’s place in art history? For Into America, Trymaine Lee spoke with Basquiat’s former bandmate and friend, Michael Holman, about the young artist’s coming of age in 1980s New York and the crisis of Basquiat’s archive with American art historian Dr. Jordana Saggese. And finally we take a trip to Basquiat’s childhood and speak with Basquiat’s younger sisters, Jeanine Heriveaux and Lisane Basquiat, to unfold their early relationship and an exhibition King Pleasure they have curated in honor of their late brother. (Original release date: April 28, 2022) The exhibition will be on display at the Grand in downtown LA starting March 31st. "Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure" features over 200 works, and includes recreations of the Basquiat family home in Brooklyn, Jean-Michel's studio on Great Jones Street, and the VIP room at Palladium nightclub, as it was in the late 1980s. Special thanks to Dr Mark Anthony Neal for his research support. For a transcript, please visit msnbc.com/intoamerica. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, all with the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For More: The Concrete JungleBroken Glass EverywhereHealing Tremé

Duration:00:40:47

Street Disciples: We Gon’ Be Alright

3/2/2023
Trymaine Lee reflects on the direction of hip-hop over the last decade: through the Trump and Biden administrations, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and the spread of COVID-19. He surveys the state of the culture in 2023, 50 years after the birth of the artform; and he looks ahead to what the next 50 years could hold. Plus, guests from our “Street Disciples” series tell us how their lives have been shaped by half a century of politics, power, and the rise of hip-hop. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. Editors’ Note: an earlier version contained an incorrect time period for the death of Michael Stewart. The story has been updated. For More: The Concrete JungleBroken Glass EverywhereAmerica’s Most WantedIf I Ruled the World

Duration:00:47:35

Street Disciples: If I Ruled the World

2/23/2023
By the late 90s, rap was the world’s pop music. The money was flowing, creating hip-hop moguls and welcoming in the Bling Era. But as hip-hop went mainstream and gained commercial success, the rap music topping the charts had begun to largely shed its political messaging in favor of music that was mostly about the trappings of success: sex, partying, and money. That is, until pressure mounted and backlash to a Republican government brought politics back to hip-hop once more, leading to the mobilization of a generation and the first hip-hop president: Barack Obama. Trymaine Lee is joined by: rapper Master P, stic of the hip-hop duo Dead Prez, rapper & activist Tef Poe, Vote or Die’s Alexis McGill Johnson, political organizer Rosa Clemente, and writer Joan Morgan. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: The Concrete JungleBroken Glass EverywhereAmerica’s Most Wanted

Duration:01:01:11

Street Disciples: America’s Most Wanted

2/16/2023
As hip-hop found its rhythm in the late 80s and early 90s, artists had to grapple with the scars of violence the drug war was causing within the community, using music videos like “Self Destruction” to hold each other accountable, and trying not to unravel in the face of what was happening in the streets. This is also when hip-hop began to expand outside of New York, to Los Angeles, where California’s own policies and structures were shaping the rise of gangsta rap. These movements culminated in the so-called “golden age” of hip-hop, a time of maturing and sophistication in the music. But along with that maturity came uncertainty from national leaders, and a new wave of commercialization that threatened to unravel this political artform. On this episode of “Street Disciples,” Trymaine Lee hears from: Daddy-O from the hip-hop group Stetsasonic, rapper and producer The D.O.C., Video Music Box’s Ralph McDaniels, radio host Bobbito Garcia, writer Nelson George, and journalist Davey D. Note: this episode contains several instances of profanity. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: The Concrete JungleBroken Glass Everywhere

Duration:01:01:19

Street Disciples: Broken Glass Everywhere

2/9/2023
By the 1980s, hip-hop artists were beginning to expand the party culture of hip-hop's early years and think about what they wanted to say with their music. Faced with a city wrecked by economic abandonment and neglect, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five released “The Message” in 1982, calling out the conditions head-on: “rats in the front room, roaches in the back, junkies in the alley with a baseball bat.” And to take control of this environment of neglect, young artists began shaping their environment through dance, fashion, and graffiti. But with the growth in the culture came a crackdown on Black America: in the form of “broken windows” policing, and then a ramped up War on Drugs.And as some members of the hip-hop counterculture became targets of police harassment, they began to fight the power with work that was bold and demanding.. In the second episode of “Street Disciples,” Trymaine Lee hears from: Melle Mel of the Furious Five, fashion designer Dapper Dan, graffiti artist Cey Adams, sociologist Tricia Rose, historian Mark Anthony Neal, and hip-hop activist Harry Allen. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. For More: The Concrete JungleInto America playlist

Duration:00:54:32

Street Disciples: The Concrete Jungle

2/2/2023
Hip-hop is a rose that grew from concrete. And there’s no other place it could have grown than the fertile soil of the South Bronx. At the beginning of the 20th Century, urban planning destroyed neighborhoods and led to white flight, and tall high-density towers re-arranged the landscape of the borough. Around the same time, a massive wave of Caribbean immigrants and Black Southerners were migrating to the South Bronx, leading to a convergence of cultures that would light a spark for the birth of hip-hop in the summer of 1973. Hip-hop is turning 50 this year. So, for Black History Month, Into America is presenting “Street Disciples: Politics, Power, and the Rise of Hip-Hop.” Trymaine Lee is looking back on the political conditions and policies that have inspired half a century of hip-hop, and how over time, hip-hop began to shape America. On part one of “Street Disciples,” how the concrete jungle of New York in the 1970s led to the birth and spread of hip-hop. Trymaine is joined by: Kool DJ Red Alert, DJ Grandwizzard Theodore, historian Mark Anthony Neal, sociologist Tricia Rose, and journalist Davey D. Follow and share the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Thoughts? Feedback? Story ideas? Write to us at intoamerica@nbcuni.com. For a transcript, please visit our homepage. Check out our previous Black History series here: Reconstructed: Birth of a Black NationHarlem on My Mind: Jacob Lawrence

Duration:00:51:28

Vote for Into America

1/27/2023
Into America with Trymaine Lee is nominated for two NAACP Image Awards! And we need your vote to win. To vote, click HERE. (Or type in your browser: vote.naacpimageawards.net) Scroll to the bottom to find the podcast section. Then select Into America for both “Outstanding News & Information Podcast,” as well as “Outstanding Society & Culture Podcast.” Once you're done, hit “cast your vote.” And remember to spread the word! Once you’ve voted, share the news with your circles. You can tag the show on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using the handle @intoamericapod. Voting closes on Friday, February, 10th. Thanks for supporting Into America!

Duration:00:01:39