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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.


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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.




Teaching the Truth

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...


UPDATE: Into Injustice for Breonna Taylor

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...


How Basquiat Earned His Crown (2022)

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...


Street Disciples: We Gon’ Be Alright

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...


Street Disciples: If I Ruled the World

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...


Street Disciples: America’s Most Wanted

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...


Street Disciples: Broken Glass Everywhere

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...


Street Disciples: The Concrete Jungle

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...


Vote for Into America

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: 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...


Reconstructed: The Book of Trayvon (2022)

Trayvon Martin’s hoodie was never supposed to end up in an exhibit on Reconstruction at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. But then the 17-year-old boy was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida, by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, while carrying nothing but a cell phone, a pack of Skittles, and a can of iced tea. Kidada Williams, a history professor at Wayne State University tells Trymaine Lee that she sees a clear through line between...


Reconstructed: Keep the Faith, Baby (2022)

On June 17, 2015, a white extremist shot and killed nine Black people in the Mother Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina as they gathered for a bible study group. This wasn’t the first time Mother Emanuel had been attacked. In the 1820s, white people burned down Mother Emanuel in retaliation over a failed slave rebellion. For years, the congregation was forced to meet in secret. But through all the violence and backlash, the Black congregants relied on their faith, and during...


Healing Tremé

New Orleans’s Tremé neighborhood is one of the oldest Black neighborhoods in America, and at the heart of that wasClaiborne Avenue. In the 1960s, construction of the I-10 highway cut through the community. But now, thanks to funding from the recent infrastructure bill, community residents might have the resources to heal. Proposals for the Claiborne Expressway have included everything from tearing down the freeway completely, to taking the federal grant funding and investing it into the...


Reconstructed: In Search of the Promised Land (2022)

In 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman asked a group of African Americans in Georgia what they needed most to start their new lives as free people. The answer: land. This led to Sherman’s order that every Black family in the region receive 40 acres, and an Army mule if they liked. It was a promise the government decided not to keep, but where the government failed, the newly freed made their own way. In the second episode of “Reconstructed,” Trymaine Lee visits Promised Land. Founded...


Reconstructed: Birth of a Black Nation (2022)

In February 2022, Into America launched “Reconstructed,” a series about the legacy of Reconstruction. The story begins in the late 1860s, as the newly freed became citizens under the law and Black men gained the right to vote. Black Americans across the South suddenly had the power to exert control over their own lives. In the face of horrific violence from their white neighbors, Black people voted in liberal governments across the South, elevating hundreds of their own to places of...


Where Are They Now?, 2022 Edition

We’re welcoming in a new year by checking in on a few former guests. Tavonia Evans, founder of the cryptocurrency Guapcoin, gives us the state of her digital economy after the fall of FTX. We also speak with Fragrance Harris Stanfield, a survivor of the Tops shooting in Buffalo, for updates on her perseverance post-tragedy, and talk with one of the families with links to the Tulsa massacre we met in 2021. And we catch up with Akeem Brown, founder of the San Antonio charter school Essence...


Christmas, But Make it Black

Black Christmas music is a genre of its own. From originals like “All I Want for Christmas is You,” to our spin on the so-called classics, these songs have become a staple in Black households. In the spirit of the holiday season, Trymaine sits down with music industry veteran Naima Cochrane to take us on a deep dive into some of the best and most influential Black Christmas songs of all time. We get into Whitney Houston’s take on “Joy to the World,” James Brown’s “Santa Claus Go Straight to...


Into Our Mailbag

After nearly 3 years and 200 episodes, Into America is having its first mailbag episode! We’ve asked for questions from listeners, former guests, and friends of the show. From moments that Trymaine has never forgotten, to critical feedback from listeners, to the best place in Brooklyn to buy a suit... we get into a little bit of everything. Show host Trymaine Lee and Executive Producer Aisha Turner let listeners peer behind the curtain of how this podcast works, as they talk about their...


Bethesda’s Lost Colony

When Marsha Coleman-Adebayo heard a rumor that members of her church might be buried under a parking lot for a high-rise apartment building, she couldn’t believe it. This small plot of land in the wealthy, white suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, had once been part of the Black community that flourished here after emancipation, and was now dwindling due to development and gentrification. The land was now worth tens of millions of dollars, and developers were eyeing it for further construction....



It’s been just over a month since Elon Musk became CEO of Twitter, capping off a months-long, controversial, $44 billion takeover. The company has drastically changed under Musk, from losing an estimated two-thirds of its staff to layoffs and resignations, to looser content regulations, to reinstating notable banned accounts such as former President Donald Trump. The changes have left many Black users uncertain of their future on the site, and that poses a danger to one of the site’s most...


Blue Skies, Black Wings

Since the advent of powered flight, African Americans have been fighting for a spot in the skies. During World War I Eugene Jacques Bullard made a name for himself as the first African American military pilot. But Bullard flew for the French Foreign Legion – because at the time, the U.S. military refused to train Black pilots. Later, in 1939, the Tuskegee Airmen would go on to win honor and distinction escorting bombers and flying attack missions during WWII, proving the skill and fitness of...