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Black Herstory Podcast BAPcast Launching Juneteenth

Black Herstory Podcast BAPcast Launching Juneteenth


BAPcast, a Black and proud herstory podcast, is set to release its first episodes on June 19th. With a focus on Black women who tend to exist in the periphery of U.S. history lessons, host Mary Eliska Dorn seeks to fill in some of the gaps she suspects are as prevalent in the average American’s understanding of Black history as they have been in her own.

Mary Eliska is a Brooklyn photographer whose interest in critical race theory and history has only been piqued in recent years. “As a kid growing up in a predominantly white Austin, Texas suburb, I instinctively recoiled from anything that stood to set me apart from my peers, including suppressing any curiosity about Black history or culture,” Dorn says, “The way my history education was set up made it almost seem like Black people didn’t exist between slavery and the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement, and those lessons tended to focus on the struggle and victimization Black people endured. I remember being taken aback the first time I saw images of Black Victorians. Of course there were Black Victorians… why are these images of dignified, ornately dressed, wealthy Black people from late 19th century America so surprising?”

“I had been tossing such questions around in my head for a while, but especially in early 2020, after reading A Black Woman’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross, I realized there were so many figures who shaped our country and should be much more widely recognized.” She continues, “Researching for this project has given me such a sense of pride and connection, because I see myself in the privateness and tokenism of Barbara Jordan, in Assata Shakur’s realization that her country wasn’t what she thought, in Charity Adams’ sense of duty and adventure. Elizabeth Jennings helped desegregate New York street cars, and I had previously given so little thought to the history of segregation in the city I’ve called home for eleven years.”

With Dorn’s casual storytelling style interspersed with personal anecdotes and comical commentary, BAPcast feels more like a chat over brunch than a history lesson. The season will kick off with a two-part episode on Charity Adams Earley, the first Black woman to serve as commanding officer for the first battalion of Black women to serve overseas in WWII. Also released on June 19th will be the pilot episode Dorn recorded last year: a brief history of the Juneteenth holiday. On the docket for the remainder of the season are congresswoman Barbara Jordan, star mail carrier Stagecoach Mary, performers Baby Esther and Florence Mills, civil rights figure Elizabeth Jennings Graham, and revolutionary Assata Shakur. BAPcast is produced by More Banana Productions, a women-owned, women-led podcast production company making smart, edgy media and empowering new creators.


By More Banana
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