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Intersectionality Matters! is a podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of Critical Race Theory.

November 28, 2022

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This episode marks the beginning of a new IMKC series called Author Talks, where host Kimberlé Crenshaw sits down with the authors of books banned by anti-CRT legislation. They break down why the featured author’s work is so crucial to an understanding of America's racial history, and why its opponents have labeled the work’s subject matter as forbidden knowledge.

On this episode, Kim is joined by Ibram X. Kendi, founding Director of Boston University Center for Anti-Racist Research, and the youngest winner of the National Book Award for his non-fiction work Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. They discuss the importance of talking to kids about racism, and unpack the fear-mongering around Kendi’s critically acclaimed books about racism for kids, including Stamped: Racism, Anti-racism, and You, and Stamped (For Kids), both co-authored by Jason Reynolds. These vital books have been challenged or pulled from school libraries across the country.


IBRAM X. KENDI - National Book Award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author of six books for adults, and five books for children.

November 6, 2022

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Host Kimberlé Crenshaw is joined by Cliff Albright, cofounder of Black Voters Matter. Together, Crenshaw and Albright discuss voter suppression, gerrymandering and intimidation tactics — and the ways they intersect to suppress the voices of Black communities today, and throughout history. They reminisce about their recent cross-country tour, bearing witness to erasure of history at stops along the way — like the fact that there is not so much as a plaque at the site of a Black newspaper that was burned to the ground during the Wilmington coup in 1898. Listen as Crenshaw and Albright unpack how these moments, when they're erased, separate Black history from American history, and how the struggle for democracy and the struggle against racial suppression are one and the same.


To learn more about the Books Unbanned: From Freedom Riders to Freedom Readers Tour, and our new book club, visit


CLIFF ALBRIGHT - Co-founder, Black Voters Matter

October 19, 2022

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From October 8th to the 21st, we’re hitting the road with the 10 Million More Black Voters initiative. We call our tour Books Unbanned: From Freedom Riders to Freedom Readers, and we're handing out 6,000 copies of books banned by anti-CRT laws across the country. This effort is to ensure that everyone has access to critical literature — especially stories that teach America's true racial history.


Host Kimberlé Crenshaw is joined by friend and collaborator Barbara Arnwine, president and founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition. They unpack the connection between these banned books, voter suppression, and the vital importance of the upcoming midterm elections. To learn more about the Books Unbanned: From Freedom Riders to Freedom Readers tour, visit



BARBARA ARNWINE - Founder/President, Transformative Justice Coalition

July 15, 2022

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Drawing on the history of Freedom Summer, AAPF launched its Critical Race Theory Summer School in 2020 as a response to the state-sanctioned murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless Black lives that spurred the subsequent summer of racial reckoning. 


In anticipation of Summer School 2022, this episode takes a stroll down memory lane. Listen along as Kimberlé revisits our continuing coverage of  attacks on CRT — pulling out some of her favorite clips from past episodes to elevate how CRT offers a prism that allows us to see what is truly at stake. In addition to resurfacing highlights from past episodes, this episode also shares information about some of the fascinating classes lined up to be taught by a who’s who cast of academics, activists and advocates committed to defending and expanding our multiracial democracy.


DAVID BLIGHT - Professor of American History, Yale University; Author, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom
SUMI CHO - Director of Strategic Initiatives, AAPF; Former law professor who taught CRT for 25 years
ALICIA GARZA - Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter; Principal, Black Futures Lab
MATTHEW HAWN - 10-year educator and baseball coach; Former teacher at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tennessee
GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS - Pedagogical theorist & educator; Author, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children
KIRSTEN WEST SAVALI - VP, Content: iOne Digital
BRYAN STEVENSON - Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative; Author, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

May 12, 2022


In this episode, Kimberlé is joined by W. Kamau Bell, director of the four-part documentary series We Need to Talk About Cosby. Together, the two use an intersectional lens to explore Bill Cosby's descent from his seemingly immovable status as "America's Dad.” Unpacking the complex interactions of race and gender that enabled Cosby's alleged sexual violence, this conversation brings a new dimension to the exploration of the mogul's tarnished legacy and the subsequent range of responses from the Black community and beyond. From respectability politics to the emotional reconciliation needed for processing allegations made against our once-heroes, this episode covers it all and reminds audiences that the denial of and ignorance around gendered abuse come from silence and our nation's great, persisting short-term memory.


W. KAMAU BELL - Director and Executive Producer, We Need to Talk About Cosby; Host and Executive Producer, United Shades of America, CNN

April 7, 2022

In this episode, Kimberlé is joined by thought leaders Jelani Cobb, Sherrilyn Ifill, and Cornel West, who share their perspectives on the threats to Black history and realization of Black freedom. The conversation is anchored in the question, "Was 2022 the last Black History Month?” and makes explicit why we must to fight to ensure it was not. Revisiting the crucial insights they raised as part of the MasterClass series, “Black History, Black Freedom, and Black Love,” each guest discusses what lessons we can learn from Black history in this renewed period of racial backlash. With anti-Critical Race Theory bills assaulting curricula in classrooms and gagging conversations about racism across the country, this conversation addresses the urgent need to push back against the reconfiguration of right wing organizing. Having endured the first Black history month commemorated under the vice grip of this anti-truth campaign, this episode invites us into a timely conversation about the past, present, and future of our collective struggle.


JELANI COBB - Professor, Columbia School of Journalism; Staff writer, New Yorker; Author, The Matter of Black Lives: Writing From The New Yorker.

SHERRILYN IFILL - Former President & Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Author, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-First Century.

CORNEL WEST - Professor, Union Theological Seminary; Author, Race Matters, and Democracy Matters.


March 5, 2022

In this episode, Kimberlé is joined by Bob the Drag Queen for a conversation full of critique and celebration of all things drag. Having once existed at the margins of legality and social acceptability, drag has now moved into the mainstream with the popular success of shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race, Dragula and We’re Here. Even with this moment in the limelight, drag’s inherent subversiveness, fearlessness and resilience shine through, posing fundamental questions like: What is gender and how it is performed? How does race interact with the performance of gender? What are the transformative possibilities and the limitations of this as an art form? And ultimately, what can drag do to contend with and push back against social injustice?


Through laughter and honest reflection, Kimberlé and Bob answer these questions and more as they explore drag's ability to be a tool for intersectional activism, their favorite figures in Black and queer history, what it was like being a child of the South, and the vital need to protect Black stories.


BOB THE DRAG QUEEN - Winner of Rupaul's Drag Race Season 8; Star of HBO's We're Here; Drag Queen, Actor, and Comedian

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January 14, 2022

In this episode, Kimberlé is joined by an all-star panel to examine not merely the details of the shocking January 6th insurrection, but also the key undercurrents of racial resentment and right-wing authoritarianism that fed into the attempted coup. Together, the panelists unpack how the Trump administration’s shocking effort to subvert democracy was made possible by the longstanding dogmas of permanent minority rule that supplied its strategy and tactics. Furthermore, one year out from the terrifying event, the panelists gather their notes and offer practical next steps for contending with our nation’s white supremacist past and present.


MAXIMILLIAN ALVAREZ - Editor-in-Chief, The Real News Network; Host, “Working People”
JEAN GUERRERO - Columnist, Los Angeles Times; Author, “Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda”
JARED HOLT - Resident Fellow, Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab
OSITA NWANEVU - Contributing Editor, New Republic
Moderated by CHRIS LEHMANN - Editor-in-Chief, The Forum, a new publication from AAPF

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November 15, 2021

On this episode, Kimberlé presents a conversation from the African American Policy Forum's Under the Blacklight series, where an incredible line up of brave educators, students, advocates and activists gathered to share their stories from the frontlines. Moderated by Sumi Cho, the roundtable conversation shines a spotlight on the experiences of educators who have been victimized by the draconian legislative campaigns to prevent K-12 teachings about the realities of race and gender based oppression in the United States, past and present.


LILLY AMECHI - Junior at the University of Oklahoma; Founding member of UO's Black Emergency Response Team; Plaintiff in ACLU lawsuit challenging HB1775 and Oklahoma classroom censorship bill
STACEY DAVIS GATES - Vice President of the Chicago Teachers Union; Executive Vice President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers
AMY DONOFRIO - 13-year educator; Former teacher at Robert E. Lee high school in Jacksonville, Florida; Co-Founder of the EVAC Movement
MATTHEW HAWN - 10-year educator and baseball coach; Former teacher at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tennessee
BRITTANY HOGAN - Former Director of Educational Equity and Diversity for the Rockwood School District in St. Louis County, Missouri
DR. JAMES WHITFIELD - Former principal of Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville, Texas
LEAH WATSON - Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU's Racial Justice Program; Co-counsel to ACLU lawsuit challenging HB1775 and Oklahoma classroom censorship bill
SUMI CHO - Director of Strategic Initiatives, AAPF; Former law professor who taught CRT for 25 years


October 15, 2021

Thirty years ago this week, Anita Hill sat across an all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee to testify that her boss, Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her. A historic moment that brought visibility to the issue of sexual harassment, Anita's bravery during the 1991 confirmation hearing set the stage for countless others to better understand and speak out against their own experiences of gender-based violence. Decades later, questions of how gender-based violence intersects with race and power remain as relevant as ever.


On this special anniversary episode, Kimberlé and Luke Charles Harris, co-founder of the African American Policy Forum, reflect on their memory of being at the 1991 confirmation hearing and the lessons learned through Clarence Thomas' confirmation that inspired AAPF's birth. With excerpts from a recent conversation between Kimberlé and Anita Hill, this episode examines the legacy of Black women's truth telling, the persistence of gender-based violence, and the intersectional politics needed to pave a new way forward.

LUKE CHARLES HARRIS - Co-Founder, the African American Policy Forum; Associate Professor of American Politics and Constitutional Law, Vassar College
ANITA HILL - Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, Lawyer, and Legal Scholar; Author, Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence

September 21, 2021


Over the last year, the Right has ignited a widespread disinformation campaign around Critical Race Theory — and mainstream media is fueling the fire. Mentions of CRT in the news grew exponentially this past year, with journalists often framing the conversation around education censorship as an equal debate between supporters and opponents of anti-equality legislation. And despite CRT’s well-documented history of emerging in 1989 with a clear and fixed definition, the media have decided to play in the Right’s disinformation campaign by allowing a distortion of the concept’s meaning in exchange for views.

On this episode, Kimberlé meets with veteran journalist Soledad O’Brien to unpack mass media’s decision to legitimize faux debate, outline the consequences of this debate on racial justice and democracy, and chart a path forward for journalists who aspire to do better.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN - CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions; Anchor and Producer, The Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien”

September 2, 2021


Over the past year, Critical Race Theory has been increasingly misrepresented by the Right in an organized, widespread effort to stifle racial justice and gender equity, and weaken our multiracial democracy. In response to these attacks, AAPF held a 5-day Critical Race Theory Summer School in mid-August to educate participants about the origins, principles, and insights of Critical Race Theory, and to chart a path forward.

On this episode, we bring you a conversation that took place on the first day of Summer School, which features some of the leading thinkers in the field of Critical Race Theory. Together, the panelists tell the story of CRT came to be, explore what it teaches us about the world, and discuss it can now help us protect the very existence of critical thinking about race.

ANTHONY COOK - Professor of Law, Georgetown; Author, The Least of These: Race, Law and Religion in American Culture

DANIEL MARTINEZ HOSANG - Associate Professor of Ethnicity, Race & Migration, Yale; Author, Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives

GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS - Pedagogical theorist & educator; Author, The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children

GARY PELLER - Professor of Law, Georgetown; Author, Critical Race Consciousness

ROBERT A. WILLIAMS, JR - Professor of Law, University of Arizona; Author, Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization

(Ep. 38)
Engendering the Politics of the Black Athlete

May 26, 2021


When we think about the history of Black athletic resistance, we don't tend to think of Black women athletes like Wyomia Tyus, Rose Robinson, or Wilma Rudolph, who have all taken great risks to speak out against racial injustice. On this episode, Kimbelé is joined by Layshia Clarendon and Sydney Colson of the WNBA, Demario Davis of the New Orleans Saints, and civil rights icon Dr. Harry Edwards to celebrate the achievements of today’s Black women athletes, reflect on the history of athletic activism, and imagine the power that lies in collective action and athletic solidarity.

LAYSHIA CLARENDON - WNBA player, leading advocate for trans, non-binary and LGBTQ+ athletes, and the first vice president of the WNBA Players Association

SYDNEY COLSON - WNBA player, member of the WNBA’s Social Justice Council, and a leading voice in the WNBA #SayHerName initiative

DEMARIO DAVIS - Linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, member of the Players Coalition, recipient of the Bart Starr Award for outstanding character on the field, at home, and in the community

DR. HARRY EDWARDS - Professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, founder of the field of study known as the Sociology of Sports, and founder of the Olympic Project for Human Rights movement.


Special thanks to the Players Coalition (@playerscoalition) for making this event possible.

(Ep. 37)
Black Women's Health Through the Twin Pandemics

May 14, 2021


Kimberlé and a group of leading champions for equitable healthcare take us behind the “white coat” of medical racism, and explore its disproportionate impact on Black women and girls. Guests share their own stories being mistreated and ignored as patients, and reflect on the struggles they’ve endured as Black woman doctors working in a medical system with roots in eugenics and racialized violence. The conversation analyzes the lessons learned from the tragic case of Dr. Susan Moore, examines how the experiences of Black women in healthcare relate to historical racism and sexism, and asks what it would take to deconstruct the misogynoir that “lurks behind the white coat.”

DR. KAREN SCOTT - Epidemiologist, educator and obstetric doctor; 
DR .GAIL WYATT - Professor at UCLA, psychologist, and board certified sex therapist;
DR. ALISHA LIGGETT - Board certified family medicine doctor with a clinical practice based in New York City; 
DR. JOIA CREAR PERRY -  Founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative.

(Ep. 36)
A Love Song for Latasha

April 28, 2021


The murder of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins by Soon Ja Du, a convenience store owner in 1991 became one of the flashpoints for the LA uprisings the following year. Yet while Latasha’s killing happened just 13 days after the Rodney King beating, her story garnered little lasting attention. On this episode of Intersectionality Matters, Kimberlé sits down with Sophia Nahli Allison, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary short “A Love Song for Natasha” (available on Netflix), to discuss the film, Latasha's story, and the role of art in bringing intersectional stories to life.

Read transcript

This episode includes excerpts from the following:

  - “A Love Song for Latasha”

  - “LA 92”, a National Geographic documentary

  - AAPF’s 2017 panel discussion on Latasha Harlins at the Hammer Museum, featuring Priscilla Ocen and Brenda Stevenson

(Ep. 35)

The Story of Us: Part 2

April 16, 2021


In the second half of a two-part episode on the stories that shape our understanding of America, Kimberlé Crenshaw and special guests explore the ways that film and other technologies have reproduced and popularized these dominant stories. The episode examines Hollywood’s role in writing and rewriting history, and asks how we can begin writing new stories that tell the full story of us.


RUHA BENJAMIN - Professor of American Studies, Princeton University; Author, Race After Technology

DAVID BLIGHT - Professor of American History, Yale University; Author, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

BRYAN STEVENSON - Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative; Author, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

VIET THANH NGUYEN - Professor of American Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California; Author, The Sympathizer

(Ep. 34)

The Story of Us: Part 1

March 23, 2021


In part one of a special two-part episode that asks, “What’s the story of America, and how can it be told differently?” Kimberlé Crenshaw sits down with a panel of esteemed thinkers and storytellers to examine the origins, implications, and failings of America’s grand narratives. The conversation delves into the stories that drove the January 6th attack on the Capitol, and those that informed liberal responses to it. How did the stories that shape our understanding of America get established in the first place, and what histories got buried in the process? In what ways have storytelling industries like Hollywood helped construct myths of American innocence? All that and more.

Read transcript


RUHA BENJAMIN - Professor of American Studies, Princeton University; Author, Race After Technology

DAVID BLIGHT - Professor of American History, Yale University; Author, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

BRYAN STEVENSON - Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative; Author, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

VIET THANH NGUYEN - Professor of American Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California; Author, The Sympathizer

(Ep. 33)

From the Base to the Face of the Democratic Party

February 9, 2021

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In this post-inauguration roundtable, Kimberlé and her guests grapple with the events of the past month, and contemplate the crossroads that the country now finds itself in. As we prepare for four years of Democratic leadership, how must we organize ourselves in order to fight for a more just future, rather than merely a return to the past? And what becomes possible when we embrace a political agenda that centers intersectionality as a means for achieving that future?


BARBARA ARNWINE - President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition

KIM FOXX - State's Attorney for Cook County, Illinois

JOIA CREAR-PERRY - Founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative

KIRSTEN WEST SAVALI - Senior director of content at iONE Digital

(Ep. 32)

If Hindsight Is 2020, Why Are We Still Not Saved‪?‬

January 20, 2021


In this episode, Kimberlé is joined by a panel of veteran UTB guests to unpack the learnings from a year of pandemic, political revolution, and purported racial reckoning. and to help envision a path forward as our nation reels in the aftermath of a white supremacist insurrection. As the panelists contextualize the events of January 6th through a critical race theory lens, they discuss how a national history of appeasing white supremacist interests and denial of racial terror have laid the groundwork for our present reality. Furthermore, they explore what the new Biden administration must consider in order to truly address white supremacist terror at its root.



CAROL ANDERSON - Professor of African American Studies, Emory; Author, White Rage

DAVID BLIGHT - Professor, Yale University; Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

ANOA CHANGA - Electoral justice reporter and organizer; Host of “The Way with Anoa”

JOE LOWNDES - Professor, University of Oregon; Co-author of Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity

(Ep. 31)

#TruthBeTold: The Destructiveness of Trump's Equity Gag Order & What Biden Must Do No‪w‬

December 11, 2020

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In this episode, Kimberlé is joined by a panel of scholars and civil rights leaders to explore the impact of the Trump administration’s “Equity Gag Order,” and the president’s crusade against racial justice and gender equity. The conversation includes insights from leaders of the National Fair Housing Alliance and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund about how the Equity Gag Order’s list of “prohibited concepts” has impaired their work, as well as a discussion of the importance of narrative and storytelling and how the Trump administration has engaged in historical revisionism in their attacks on racial. As the panelists explore how we can fight back against the Equity Gag Order and how to pressure the Biden administration to rescind it on day one, they also place the order in historical context as part of a long tradition of state repression of civil rights movements.


CAROL ANDERSON - Professor of African American Studies, Emory; Author, White Rage

RACHEL GODSIL - Professor of Law, Rutgers; Co-Founder, Perception Institute

LAURA GOMEZ - Endowed Chair at UCLA Law; Professor in Sociology, Chicana & Chicano studies

CHARLES R. LAWRENCE III - Professor, William S. Richardson School of Law; Critical Race Theory pioneer

JANAI NELSON - Associate Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF)

LISA RICE - President and CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance

(Ep. 30)

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community‪?‬

November 24, 2020

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After perhaps the most important election of our lifetimes, the real work begins. In this episode, Kimberlé sits down with a brilliant group of political thinkers and leaders to analyze the 2020 election and the challenges that remain. The discussion includes insights as to how local organizers turned Georgia blue for the first time in a generation, what strategies progressives might employ to keep pressure on President-elect Biden, and why in 2020, President Trump appears to have made electoral inroads with every demographic but white men. The panelists also discuss Kamala Harris’ historic ascension to the nation's second-highest office, despite facing unparalleled levels of misogynoir.


ALICIA GARZA - Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter; Principal, Black Futures Lab

EDDIE GLAUDE JR. - Professor, Princeton; Author of Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

JANINE JACKSON - Program Director, FAIR; Producer/Host of CounterSpin

REP BARBARA LEE - U.S. Representative for California's 13th Congressional District

KATE MANNE - Professor, Cornell; Author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

VIET THANH NGUYEN - Professor, USC; Pulitzer Prize author, The Sympathizer

KIRSTEN WEST SAVALI - Executive Producer, Essence Magazine

EMERY WRIGHT - Co-director, Project South; Organizer and political educator

(Ep. 29)

Black Men For Trump?: The Overdue Conversation on Patriarchy & Misogynoir in Black Politic‪s‬

October 30, 2020

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In this “barbershop edition” of Intersectionality Matters!, which was recorded live on October 28th, Kimberlé is joined by a panel of activists, scholars, and writers to discuss, patriarchy, misogynoir, and why a small but meaningful minority of Black men, including prominent celebrities like 50 Cent and Ice Cube, are choosing to support President Trump this election. Led by AAPF Co-Founder Luke Charles Harris, this roundtable conversation explores what genuine self-love looks like for Black men, the relationship between racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia in the Black community, and how we can imagine different, more empowering futures for ourselves and our communities.


WADE DAVIS - Former player and first LGBT inclusion consultant at the NFL

LUKE CHARLES HARRIS - Co-founder, African American Policy Forum; Associate Professor, Vassar College

KIESE LAYMON - Author of Heavy and Long Division; Professor, the University of Mississippi

MARLON PETERSON - Host of DEcarcerated Podcast; Author of Bird Uncaged: An Abolitionist’s Freedom Song (upcoming)

ALVIN STARKS - Director of the Equality Team, Open Society Foundations

(Ep. 28)

Having Our Say: Black Women Respond to the Vice Presidential Debat‪e‬

October 20, 2020

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On this Black Girl Roundtable, Kimberlé is joined by Rep. Barbara Lee, Alicia Garza, Kirsten West Savali, and Barbara Arnwine for a dynamic conversation about the Vice Presidential debate, vote suppression, Trump's increased popularity with men of color, and the gentrification of the Democratic Party.


BARBARA ARNWINE - President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition

ALICIA GARZA - Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter; Principal, Black Futures Lab

REP BARBARA LEE - U.S. Representative for California's 13th Congressional District

KIRSTEN WEST SAVALI - Executive Producer, Essence Magazine

(Ep. 27)

Why the Court Matters: RBG's Legacy and the Fight She Leaves Behin‪d

October 12, 2020

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In this episode, Kimberlé speaks with six leading scholars about the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court’s largely undersung role in the battle for our democracy, and the profound consequences of the Left’s failure to prioritize the courts over the last several decades.

Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping:


DEVON CARBADO - Professor of Law, UCLA; Author, Acting White? Rethinking Race in “Post-Racial” America

ERWIN CHEMERINSKY - Dean, UC Berkeley School of Law; Author, We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century

SUZANNE GOLDBERG - Professor of Law, Columbia; Founding Director, Sexuality & Gender Law Clinic at Columbia

CHERYL HARRIS - Professor of Law, UCLA; Author, “Whiteness as Property”

SHERRILYN IFILL - President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

MELISSA MURRAY - Professor of Law, NYU, Author, “The Equal Rights Amendment: A Century in the Making"

(Ep. 26)

Black Girls Speak: Creating Community in the Summer of COVI‪D‬

September 11, 2020

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In this episode, Kimberlé Crenshaw is joined by Dina Wright Joseph, director of AAPF’s Young Scholars Program, a leadership pilot program designed to develop a new generation of intersectional researchers and to build community. Featuring the voices of 12 Black women from universities around the country, this episode explores the profound impact that COVID-19 has had on young Black women and their communities, and AAPF’s efforts to build a virtual community to address it.

Read transcript


Dina Wright Joseph and members of AAPF’s Young Scholars Program

(Ep. 25)

From the Base to the Face of the Party: Kamala Harris, Black Women & Misogynoir in the Electio‪n‬

August 29, 2020

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In this episode, six leading politicians, cultural critics, and political activists come together to discuss politics, Kamala Harris' historic vice presidential candidacy, and the intersection of racism and sexism in the 2020 election.


BARBARA ARNWINE - President and Founder, Transformative Justice Coalition

DONNA BRAZILE - Veteran Democratic political strategist

STATE'S ATTY. KIM FOXX - State's Attorney for Cook County, Illinois

REP. MAXINE WATERS - U.S. Representative for California's 43rd congressional district

KIRSTEN WEST SAVALI - Executive Producer, Essence Magazine

(Ep. 24)

Storytelling While Black and Female: Conjuring Beautiful Experiments in Past and Future World‪s‬

August 16, 2020


In this episode, Kimberlé Crenshaw is joined by the revolutionary and genre-defying writers N.K Jemisin and Saidiya Hartman, whose work demands a radical reimagination of our present by archiving and writing the violence of the past into imaginations of a limitless future. By inserting Black women into narrative spaces that they have largely been written out of, these women illustrate first hand how we can resist narrative erasure and become the authors of our own stories.

Read transcript


SAIDIYA HARTMAN - Professor and scholar of African American literature and history, Columbia University; Author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments; 2019 MacArthur Fellow

N.K. JEMISIN - Science fiction and fantasy writer; Author of the Broken Earth series, the Inheritance Trilogy, and the Dreamblood Duology; Winner of 3 Hugo Awards

(Ep. 23)

Politics, Power, and the Struggle Against

Black Precarit‪y‬

August 4, 2020

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On this installment of Under the Blacklight, Kimberlé Crenshaw sits down with Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Barbara Lee, and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to discuss their experiences at the intersection of grassroots activism and electoral politics. Together, they speak about the mothers who raised them, the work they're doing to combat the twin pandemics of COVID and racial inequity, and the dynamic tensions that lie between their progressive values and the political institutions they've chosen to work within. By pulling back the curtain to hear their stories and heed their calls, we all have the opportunity to become better partners, constituents, and torchbearers for those in the struggle.


STATE'S ATTY. KIM FOXX - State's Attorney for Cook County, Illinois

REP. BARBARA LEE - U.S. Representative for California's 13th Congressional District

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY - U.S. Representative for Massachusetts's 7th Congressional District

(Ep. 22)

COVID, White Power, and the Unseeing of Race Agai‪n‬

July 12, 2020

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As the vicious spike in COVID’s case count rocks the nation, this installment of Under the Blacklight focuses on the off-staging of race after weeks of protests about racial injustice. We ask: What has become of the supposed reckoning with white supremacy since George Floyd’s death? After weeks of uncovering the legacies of racism, are we at the bottom of a Sisyphusian hill again in insisting that race is as newsworthy in the disproportionate deaths of African Americans to COVID as it has been in the weeks of protest over police violence? And why has it been so difficult to connect the two?


BARBARA ARNWINE - President and Founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition; President Emeritus of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

CAMARA PHYLLIS JONES -  Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard; Senior Fellow, Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine

JONATHAN METZL - Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, Vanderbilt; Author, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland

KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR - Assistant professor of African American studies, Princeton University; Author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

(Ep. 21)

Under the Blacklight:

Telling Stories of State Violence & Public Silenc‪e‬

June 26, 2020

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On this installment of Under the Blacklight, the mothers and sisters of the #SayHerName Movement — Fran Garrett, Rhanda Dormeus, Maria Moore, Sharon Cooper, Gina Best, and Sharon Wilkerson — join Kimberlé Crenshaw for a very special episode. Through telling the stories of their loved ones, the women weave together the experiences that bring them together in a sisterhood of both sorrow and strength.

Support the #SayHerName Campaign:

Support Say Her Name: The Lives That Should Have Been (Original Play):


GINA BEST - Mother of India Kager, killed by Virginia Beach police in 2015

SHARON COOPER - Sister of Sandra Bland, killed in custody in Waller County TX in 2015

RHANDA DORMEUS - Mother of Korryn Gaines, killed by Baltimore police in 2016

FRAN GARRETT - Mother of Michelle Cusseaux, killed by Phoenix police in 2014

MARIA MOORE - Sister of Kayla Moore, killed by Berkeley police in 2013

SHARON WILKERSON - Mother of Shelly Frey, killed by Houston police in 2012

(Ep. 20)

India Kager: A Mother's Story of Loss & Erasur‪e‬

June 16, 2020

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On September 5, 2015, India Kager and Angelo Perry drove to Virginia Beach to introduce their 4-month-old baby Roman, to Angelo’s family. Unbeknownst to them, Virginia Beach police were tailing their car and while India, Angelo, and Roman were parked at 7/11, a SWAT team threw a flash bang grenade and opened fire on their car. 4 officers fired over 51 rifle rounds into India’s car, while baby Roman sat in the back seat, killing Angelo and India within seconds. Virginia Beach Police Chief Jim Cervera would later say India’s killing was an accident.

In this episode of Intersectionality Matters! host Kimberlé Crenshaw speaks with India Kager’s mother, Gina Best, about her memories of India, a “beautiful, soft-spoken poet.” She describes the anguish of never hearing from the police except to receive a bill for the destruction of the car her daughter was murdered in. While she waited for a call that would never come, officers pulled her daughter’s body out of the car and left it on the cold ground overnight. As India’s family desperately sought out information

on his whereabouts, police handed India’s baby, Roman, over to foster parents. 

Read transcript

Learn More About & Support the #SayHerName Movement:

(Ep. 19)

Under the Blacklight: The Fire This Tim‪e‬

June 10, 2020

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Alicia Garza, Robin D.G. Kelley, Devon Carbado, Maria Moore, and special guest AG Keith Ellison join Kimberlé Crenshaw for an emergency episode of Under the Blacklight, the 10th in the series, to address this historic moment of social and political mobilization ignited by George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police just two weeks ago.


KEITH ELLISON - Minnesota Attorney General and Lead Prosecutor in George Floyd Case
ALICIA GARZA - Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter, Principal at Black Futures Lab, and Special Projects Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance
DEVON CARBADO - Legal scholar in Critical Race Studies scholar at UCLA School of Law and the author, with Mitu Gulati of Acting White? Rethinking Race in “Post-Racial” America
MARIA MOORE - Member of the #SayHerName Family Network and the sister of Kayla Moore, a Black transgender woman killed by Berkley police
ROBIN D.G. KELLEY - Professor of American History at UCLA and the author of Race Rebels: Culture Politics and the Black Working Class, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, and “Thelonious Monk: His Story, His Song, His Times

(Ep. 18)

Under the Blacklight:

Narrating the Nightmare & (Re)Imagining the Possibl‪e‬

May 26, 2020

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Kiese Laymon, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Arundhati Roy join Kimberlé Crenshaw for the 9th installment of Under the Blacklight. Together, they mine the complexities of narrative construction amid disaster, and shine the blacklight on the stories and counter-stories that shape the future and make meaning of the past.


KIESE LAYMON - Author of Long Division and Heavy; Professor, University of Mississippi;
ARUNDHATI ROY - Writer and activist; Booker Prize-winning author of The God of Small Things 
VIET THANH NGUYEN - Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer; Professor, University of Southern California

(Ep. 17)

Under the Blacklight:

Virus, Voting & Vigilantism in Georgi‪a‬

May 19, 2020

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On Part 8 of Under The Blacklight, LaTosha Brown, Anoa Changa, Crystal Feimster, Talitha LeFlouria and Emery Wright join together to discuss vote suppression, state violence, vigilantism, and fatal public health experiments in the state of Georgia.


LATOSHA BROWN - Award-winning organizer, political strategist, jazz singer; Co-Founder of the Black Voters Matters Fund

ANOA CHANGA - Electoral justice reporter for Prism; Organizer; Lawyer; Host of “The Way with Anoa”

CRYSTAL FEIMSTER - Professor, Yale; Author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching

TALITHA LEFLOURIA - Professor, UVA; Author of Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South

EMERY WRIGHT - Political Organizer; Educator; Co-Director, Project South

(Ep. 16)

Under the Blacklight:

Mobilizing Whiteness to 'Re-Open America‪'‬

May 12, 2020

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On Episode Seven of Under The Blacklight, Carol Anderson, Alex DiBranco, Joseph Lowndes, Mab Segrest, Dorian Warren, and Jason Wilson unpack the central role that ideological Whiteness continues to play in the US response to COVID-19, including ongoing efforts — on the part of individuals and institutions alike — to unlock the lockdown.


CAROL ANDERSON - Chair & Professor of African American Studies, Emory University; Author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation's Divide

ALEX DIBRANCO - Co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Research on Male Supremacism

JOSEPH LOWNDES - Professor of Political Science, UOregon; Co-author of Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity

MAB SEGREST - Professor emeritus of Gender and Women’s Studies, Connecticut College; Organizer with Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)

DORIAN WARREN - President of the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA) and Vice-President of the Center for Community Change (CCC)

JASON WILSON - Journalist who specializes in far-right, white supremacist, and right-wing movements; Writes for The Guardian

(Ep. 15)

Under the Blacklight: COVID in Confinemen‪t‬

May 5, 2020

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On Episode Six of Under The Blacklight, Josie Duffy Rice, Nina A. Kohn, Marc Lamont Hill, Rebecca Nagle, Ravi Ragbir, and Alyosxa Tudor map the devastating path of COVID through various locations of confinement — including prisons and jails, immigration detention centers, Native country, nursing homes, and the home — and examine the historical precedents, ideological frameworks, and surprising intersections between these seemingly separate sites that inform this movement and offer us a path forward.


JOSIE DUFFY RICE - Journalist and Lawyer; President of The Appeal; Host of Justice in America

NINA A. KOHN - Visiting Professor of Law, Yale; Professor of Law,, Syracuse University; Elder Rights Advocate

MARC LAMONT HILL - Best-selling author and journalist; Professor, Temple University; Host, BET News

REBECCA NAGLE - Writer and community organizer; Host of This Land Podcast

RAVI RAGBIR - Immigrant rights activist; Executive Director, New Sanctuary Coalition of New York

ALYOSXA TUDOR - Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies, the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London

(Ep. 14)

Under the Blacklight: History Rinsed and Repeate‪d‬

April 28, 2020

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On Episode Five of Under The Blacklight, David Blight, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, William Darity Jr., Ibram X. Kendi, and Kate Manne navigate the historical contours of the pandemic, and the pre-existing inequalities that shape its impact. Building on last week’s interrogation of “disaster white supremacy”, this week's conversation explores how intersecting systems of capitalism, patriarchy, racism, and nationalism have converged to define another dark moment in American history.


DAVID BLIGHT - Professor, Yale University; Pulitzer Prize Winning Author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

EDUARDO BONILLA-SILVA - Professor, Duke University; President of the American Sociological Association; Author of Racism Without Racists

WILLIAM DARITY JR. - Economist; Professor, Duke University; Director, Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity

IBRAM X. KENDI - Professor, American University; Author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

KATE MANNE - Professor, Cornell University; Author of Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny

(Ep. 13)

Under the Blacklight:

COVID & Disaster White Supremacy

April 21 2020

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On Episode Four of Under The Blacklight: The Intersectional Failures that COVID Lays Bare, Paul Butler (Professor of Law, Georgetown; Author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men), Bree Newsome Bass (Community organizer & artist), Barbara Arnwine (Founder and Director, Transformative Justice Coalition), Kehinde Andrews (Professor, Birmingham City University; Author of Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century), and Jonathan Metzl (Professor, Vanderbilt University; Author of Dying of Whiteness) examine the role of Disaster White Supremacy in shaping the current crisis. Together with Kimberle Crenshaw, the five panelists mine the different locations where White Supremacy has been deployed and unveiled amidst crisis -- from voting booths in Wisconsin, royal handshakes at 10 Downing Street, and gun stores in the “American heartland,” to overcrowded jails in Chicago, public housing in the American South, and the chambers of Congress.


BREE NEWSOME - Artist and community organizer known as the person who actually spearheaded taking down the Confederate flag
PAUL BUTLER - Professor at Georgetown Law and critically acclaimed author of Chokehold: Policing Black Men, and Let’s Get Free: a Hip Hop Theory of Justice
JONATHAN METZL - Author of “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland” and professor and Director at the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University
BARBARA ARNWINE - Veteran voting rights advocate and president and founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition
KEHINDE ANDREWS - Academic, activist, and professor of Black studies at Birmingham City University

(Ep. 12)

Under the Blacklight:

Mapping COVID's Racial Geograph‪y‬

April 14, 2020

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In the third episode in our new series, Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare (originally aired over Zoom April 8th), six incredible change-makers — Rosa Clemente (organizer and journalist; President and Founder of Know Thyself Productions), Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes (Executive Director, Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans), Dallas Goldtooth (Keep It in the Ground Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network), Daniel HoSang (Associate Professor of Ethnicity, Race & Migration, Yale University), Mari Matsuda (Professor of Law, University of Hawaii), and Rinku Sen (Racial justice strategist and writer; Co-president, Women’s March board) — join host Kimberlé Crenshaw for a conversation about building collective resistance and power in the time of COVID-19.


ROSA CLEMENTE - President and Founder of Know Thy Self Productions
DANIEL HOSANG - Professor of Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies and American Studies at Yale University
RINKU SEN - Co-president of the Women's March Board
ASALI DEVAN ECCLESIASTES - Author, Educator, and Community Developer
MARI MATSUDA - Law Professor at U of Hawaii and Critical Race Theorist
DALLAS GOLDTOOTH - Leader of Keep It in the Ground campaign

(Ep. 11)

Under the Blacklight: COVID and Disaster Capitalis‪m

April 7, 2020

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In the second episode in our new conversation series, Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare (originally aired over Zoom April 1st), five incredible change-makers join host Kimberlé Crenshaw for a conversation about building collective resistance and power in the time of COVID-19.

Saru Jayaraman and Mily Treviño-Sauceda illuminate the impact of the current crisis on workers in the restaurant and agriculture industries; Naomi Klein explains how governments around the world are using this disastrous moment to push through legislation that would otherwise be roundly dismissed as dangerously authoritarian; Dara Baldwin talks about the dehumanizing and ableist rationing programs being advanced in states like Alabama, Kansas, and Washington; and Janine Jackson critiques, among other things, the corporate media’s “lives v. livelihood” framing that has dominated news cycles in recent weeks.


Dara Baldwin - Director of National Policy, Center for Disability Rights

Janine Jackson - Program Director, Producer & Host of FAIR

Saru Jayaraman - President, One Fair Wage; Co-Founder, ROC United

Naomi Klein - Gloria Steinem Chair for Media, Culture and Feminist Studies, Rutgers University; author of The Shock Doctrine

Mily Treviño-Sauceda -Vice President and Co-Director, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas

(Ep. 10)

Age Against the Machine: The Fatal Intersection of Racism & Ageism In the Time of Coronaviru‪s‬

April 3, 2020

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On this episode of Intersectionality Matters, Kimberle Crenshaw is joined by two timely voices -- Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism, and J.R. Fleming, Executive Director of the Chicago Anti-Eviction Campaign -- to discuss how ageism, and its varying intersections with race, class, ability, and gender, is materializing in the fight against COVID-19.


Applewhite and Crenshaw highlight institutional and cultural prejudices that pre-date the novel coronavirus’ sweep of the United States, especially foregrounding the consequences of America’s commercialization and valorization of white youth. Applewhite implores listeners to pursue a society that “acknowledges the real differences, weaknesses, [and] good things about every stage of life without organizing them into a system of social inequality,” and articulates how our failure to do so “is a huge reason, globally, for our laxness [in responding to corona].” Next, Kimberlé Crenshaw speaks with J.R. Fleming about Chicago’s recent decision to put polling stations in low-income public housing, disproportionately occupied by older Black individuals, and how such a decision is microcosmic of Black people’s long-time treatment as expandable in America.

Read transcript

(Ep. 9)

Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bar‪e‬

March 30, 2020

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The past several weeks have prompted unprecedented levels of turmoil and unpredictability due to rising alarm over COVID-19. While American society has taken precautionary measures to counter the spread of the virus, those most vulnerable to societal neglect remain most impacted. Coronavirus did not create the stark social, financial, and political inequalities that define life for so many Americans, but it has made them more strikingly visible than any moment in recent history. Unfortunately, some of the intersectional dimensions of these structural disparities remain undetected and unreported.

On Wednesday, March 25th, Intersectionality Matters! teamed up with the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) to premiere a new virtual conversation series entitled Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare On this episode, you’ll hear a condensed version of that conversation, which featured six incredible speakers and drew an audience of 1,300 people over Zoom.


Eve Ensler - Tony award-winning playwright, performer, and activist; Founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising

Laura Flanders - Author and broadcaster; Founder of GRITtv and host of the Laura Flanders Show

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. - Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University

Ai-Jen Poo - Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Dorothy Roberts - Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Alvin Starks - Director, Equality Team, Open Society Foundations

(Ep. 8)

When They See Her: The Story of Michelle Cusseau‪x‬

December 14, 2019

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December 14th, 2019 marks the fifth anniversary of the #SayHerName Campaign, a movement founded to raise awareness of the names and stories of Black women, girls, and femmes killed by police, and to provide support to the families affected.

The campaign has produced a groundbreaking report expanding the conversation on police violence so that it foregrounds the experiences of Black women and girls, earned a nod in a tweet from a major presidential candidate, developed a multimedia arts-activism venture called Say Her Name: The Lives That Should Have Been, and convened the #SayHerName Mothers Network, a community for mothers of Black women lost to police violence.

But none of these developments would be possible without the courage, resilience, and ingenuity of Fran Garrett, the mother of Michelle Cusseaux. Cusseaux, a 50-year-old Black woman, was shot and killed on August 14, 2014, by Officer Percy Dupra while Phoenix police were trying to serve a mental health wellness check. Her life was taken just days after the police killing of Ferguson, MO teenager Mike Brown became national news, sparking nationwide outrage and galvanizing the modern movement for Black lives. To help Cusseaux’s story gain resonance in its own right, Garrett led a group of local activists in marching her daughter’s casket through downtown Phoenix, calling for an outside agency to investigate the shooting and a slew of reforms aimed at racial justice and mental health parity.

It was this brave act that drew the attention of the African American Policy Forum, which catalyzed the Say Her Name campaign and the delineation of a throughline linking the loss of Cusseaux with countless other Black women like her lost too soon to state violence. Garrett’s bid for broader attention to the cause was amplified a few months later at the Millions March NYC, where AAPF made an intersectional intervention by saying the names of Michelle and other slain Black women to politicize their legacies alongside the demands made on behalf of Brown and other victims of police violence.


On this special episode of Intersectionality Matters!, Kimberlé Crenshaw dives deep with Fran Garrett to go beyond the headlines for the unvarnished truth on the unspeakably tragic loss of a beloved Phoenix community member. Tune in as they take stock of the movement’s progress five years in and assess the headway still to be made in making Black women’s vulnerability to police violence fully legible as a social problem.

Read transcript

(Ep. 7)

Defending the C.R.O.W.N.:

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Nappynes‪s‬

December 3, 2019

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There's a natural boom among women of African descent. Kinky, curly, and coily hairstyles have joined cornrows, locks, and twists as just a few of the looks that Black women, girls, and femmes are rocking confidently and unapologetically. This Black hair renaissance is reshaping what we see in fashion magazines, on television, in classrooms, and even in boardrooms. But constant vigilance is the price of freedom, with the exception of new legislation in California and New York, it remains true that anti-discrimination laws nation-wide do virtually nothing to protect Black people from getting fired, suspended, and otherwise disciplined for wearing their natural hair.

In 2012, Vanessa Van Dyke was threatened with expulsion by her Florida middle school unless she “tamed” her natural hair. Tiana Parker was told by her school that her dreadlocks were faddish and unacceptable. In 2013, Melphine Evans, a top executive at British Petroleum, says she was fired for wearing braids and dashikis to work. And in 2016, Chastity Jones lost her case against an employer who withdrew her job offer for refusing to cut off her natural locs.

On this special episode of Intersectionality Matters!, Kimberlé Crenshaw dishes with Mixed-ish star and PATTERN founder Tracee Ellis Ross on their respective journeys towards loving their own natural hair, aesthetic freedom, and how the current convulsive political moment is expanding the social justice imaginary. We also hear from award-winning journalist Brittany Noble Jones about her personal experience with hair discrimination in the workplace and modeling self-love for the next generation. Tune in for an inspiring look at Black women’s tireless advocacy for life, liberty and the pursuit of nappyness.

Read transcript

(Ep. 6)

What Slavery Engendered:

An Intersectional Look at 161‪9‬

November 14, 2019

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In this episode, Kimberlé chops it up with Dorothy Roberts, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a leading scholar in race, gender, bioethics, and the law. In a conversation that merges intersectional inquiry with The 1619 Project, which interrogates America’s history of slavery in order to understand racial disparities in 2019, Crenshaw and Roberts shed light on the lasting consequences of slavery, segregation, and White Supremacy, and their impact on Black women specifically. Their timely conversation highlights the relationship between the legacy of slavery and instances of modern oppression against Black women, such as the curbing of welfare, forced sterilization, and mass incarceration.

Read transcript

(Ep. 5)

Stonewall 50: Whose Movement Is It Anyway‪?‬

June 28, 2019

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Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the wrenching demonstration against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar and refuge for queer and trans people in Lower Manhattan. The courageous act of resistance that took place over the course of several days in 1969 is widely perceived as the catalyst to the modern LGBTQ+ liberation movement in the United States.

As Pride month reaches an exuberant crescendo this weekend with World Pride in NYC, an event that’s one part party, one part protest, questions about the trajectory, priorities, and composition of the movement persist, including how to best foreground the lives and concerns of members of the LGBTQ+ community whose experience is filtered through the interstices of more than one form of oppression.

On this episode of Intersectionality Matters!, host Kimberlé Crenshaw ponders these questions with two of the movement’s torchbearers: Barbara Smith, trailblazing Black feminist critic and co-founder of the Combahee River Collective, and Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, also known as Lady Phyll, co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride. Tune in for their fascinating insights on living in the overlapping margins of race, gender, and sexuality, the future of LGBTQ activism and their commitments to retrieving the experiences of queer Black women from a location that resists telling.

For more information and read transcript


Lady Phyll (@msladyphyll)

Barbara Smith (@thebarbarasmith)

Reclaim Pride Coalition (Colin Ashley, Robert Baez, Francesca Barjon) (@queermarch)

(Ep. 4)

The Anatomy of An Apolog‪y‬

June 6, 2019

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You’ve probably heard the phrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”--the misguided notion that love eliminates the need for apology. In politics, the love that mutes apologies is often same-party affinity--as in, “we know we’re on the same side” so accountability is unnecessary. Yet it’s more likely that the contrary is true: love, as well as coalition, demand an openness to saying “I’m sorry,” for without it, justice is impotent.

But what are the consequences when apologies don’t materialize? Is letting it go really the only way to think about healing, both emotionally and politically?

In this episode of Intersectionality Matters!, host Kimberlé Crenshaw talks to Tony award-winning playwright and activist Eve Ensler about her groundbreaking new book The Apology, and how the withholding that is the touchstone of the inviolable code of silence among men can be broken. Ensler discusses the journey she traveled to conjure the apology she needed from her late father for sexual and physical abuse.

We also hear from philosopher Kate Manne on himpathy, the term she coined to describe the disproportionate and inappropriate sympathy powerful men often receive in cases of sexual assault and other forms of gendered violence. Himpathy, she explains, may help us understand how some women who stood by Anita Hill are now embracing Joe Biden’s candidacy despite his failure to fully come to terms with his role in her heinous treatment during Clarence Thomas’s Senate confirmation hearings in 1991.

Both Manne’s and Ensler’s interviews illustrate the grim reality that men are often socialized to deny their commission of gender-based harm, and that many of us are socialized to condone that very inability to accept blame— sometimes to the degree that we position men who have victimized others as victims themselves. Tune in for a thought-provoking exploration of what it could mean for perpetrators and bystanders to genuinely confront and atone for violence they’ve either committed or enabled.

Read transcript


Eve Ensler (@vday, @eveensler)

Kate Manne (@kate_manne)

(Ep. 3)

#MeToo and Black Women:

From Hip Hop to Hollywoo‪d‬

May 10, 2019

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After hip hop icon Dr. Dre brutally assaulted trailblazing emcee and television personality Dee Barnes in 1991, his career continued to skyrocket while she was effectively blacklisted from the entertainment industry. Nearly three decades later, Dre, who has allegedly assaulted several other women in addition to Dee, continues to enjoy a celebrated career in which his heinous misdeeds have become mere footnotes. The combination of racism and patriarchy is the condition of possibility that allows Beats by Dre to be well-known commodities while beatings by Dre remain largely overlooked.

As part of their fifth annual event series, Her Dream Deferred: A Week on the Status of Black Women, the African American Policy Forum, in partnership with the Hammer Museum, convened a panel called “Black Women and #MeToo”. Along with Dee, the panel included such leading lights as actor and Times Up WOC activist Rashida Jones, supermodel and Bill Cosby accuser Beverly Johnson, cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux, historian Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers and #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Tisha Barnes. The panel was moderated by AAPF Executive Director and Intersectionality Matters host Kimberlé Crenshaw.

The panel uplifted the unsung genealogy of the Me Too movement by acknowledging forerunners like Tarana Burke, who coined the hashtag #MeToo to raise awareness around the question of Black women’s vulnerability to sexual violence, and Anita Hill, who told the world her story about what a Supreme Court nominee had done to her as a young lawyer. Black feminists like bell hooks and Alice Walker were recognized also for laying bare the realities of gender-based violence that impacts Black women.

Tune into this profound and pathbreaking episode of Intersectionality Matters! for a thorough post-mortem on the powerful insights shared on the panel, as well as a look into what the movement’s path forward might look like.

Read transcript


Dee Barnes (co-host)

Kenyette Barnes

Beverly Johnson

Rashida Jones

Stephanie Jones-Rogers

Jamilah Lemieux

(Ep. 2)

I Believe I Can Lie: R. Kelly (Still) In Denia‪l‬

March 8, 2019

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R. Kelly’s serial abuse of Black women and girls has been one of the entertainment industry’s worst-kept secrets for the entirety of the 21st century. In the mid-90s, Kelly was romantically linked with and even briefly married to 15-year-old singer Aaliyah, for whom he wrote and produced the incriminatory hit “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” An explicit bootleg tape that appeared to feature Kelly abusing yet another teenage girl circulated on street corners as early as 2001. In 2017, a Buzzfeed exposé alleged that the man who famously crooned “I’m a bad man/And I’m not ashamed of it” held several women captive in his home in a cult-like harem. Yet it took the convergence of the #MuteRKelly movement, the January 2019 release of documentary Surviving R. Kelly and popular culture’s broader reckoning with the pattern of sexual violence perpetrated by powerful men for the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B to face consequences for orchestrating his salacious symphony. At long last, Kelly has now been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom were minors at the time.

On this timely and trenchant episode of Intersectionality Matters!, host Kimberle Crenshaw goes beyond the sheet music with #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Barnes to rupture the rhythm Kelly has used to give Black women and girls the blues for decades.

Read transcript

Learn more at:


Kenyette Barnes (@legisempress)

(Ep. 1)

A Mother's Nightmare:

The Life and Death of Korryn Gaine‪s‬

February 1, 2019

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On August 1, 2016, Baltimore County police arrived at the Randallstown, Maryland apartment of 23-year-old Korryn Gaines to serve a warrant alleging that she had failed to appear in court. Gaines, who had miscarried twins as a consequence of improper treatment while being held in connection with a traffic stop, had received paperwork for the stop that did not provide the date on which she was expected to appear. A month prior to the day officers descended on her home, Gaines had visited the police station seeking clarification about her court date, only to be told that the officer who had issued the paperwork was unavailable. When Gaines noticed police attempting to force entry that day in August, she sat down in her living room with a legally owned firearm, and a 6-hour standoff ensued. Gaines had amassed a sizable online following via her activism and poetry, and narrated the sequence in real-time on Facebook Live until the social media portal shut her page down per police request. During the 6-hour standoff, Gaines relocated to her kitchen, at which point Officer Royce Ruby, Jr. fired at Gaines from outside her apartment. Officer Ruby then entered the apartment and shot Gaines three more times. One of the bullets passed through Gaines and wounded her young son, who survived but sustained lifelong disabling injuries. County prosecutors concluded that the killing of Gaines was justified, and Officer Ruby was not criminally charged.

Pundits and critics have foregrounded Korryn’s possible mental impairment, her gun ownership, and her ideology as reasons to paper over the possible intersectional vulnerabilities that contributed to Korryn’s killing. In this riveting and morally urgent episode of Intersectionality Matters!, host Kimberlé Crenshaw sits down with Rhanda Dormeus, Korryn’s mother, to reveal the untold story of Gaines’ death, the blatant miscarriages of justice that led to it, and the harrowing consequences of Officer Ruby’s authorization to take the life of a mother in her own home. Dormeus’ story plumbs the very depths of unfathomable grief and raises deeply disturbing questions about whether the sanctity accorded to most human life is withheld from Black women and their families. Dormeus has reaped some positivity from tragic topsoil by becoming a leading voice in the Say Her Name movement, a campaign to shine light on Black women who are the underreported victims of police violence.

Meet the members of the #SayHerName Mothers Network and read transcript


Midterms Countdown: Will Vote Suppression Win or Will An Intersectional Clapback Against 45 Prevail‪?‬

November 5, 2019

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We're pleased to bring you a new podcast from AAPF and Kimberlé Crenshaw, Intersectionality Matters! Featuring on the ground interviews with some of the world's most innovative activists, artists, and scholars, each episode will explore a different topic through an intersectional lens, ranging from the Supreme Court to grassroots activism in Brazil and the Congo to #SayHerName and the future of the #MeToo campaign. Today we bring you a special preview episode in time for the midterm elections. We hope you enjoy it, and stay tuned for the official podcast release later this month!

Donald Trump’s path to power was littered with attacks on Muslims, women, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, people who are undocumented, and people who are queer. And these communities have suffered under his administration. The November 6th election presents an opportunity to put significant checks on Trumpism. There is no lack of clarity about what is at stake, but the ability to fight back effectively turns on the ability of all of these constituencies to see common cause and to overcome concerted efforts to keep them from voting. On this special preview of Intersectionality Matters!, we talk to two African American women leading the fight for our democracy: Barbara Arnwine, Founder of both the Transformative Justice Coalition and Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition; and Kristen Clarke, Executive Director of the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights Under Law. Clarke is leading the court challenge against Georgia’s vote suppression tactics in the face of the historic campaign being waged by Stacey Abrams, a candidate who may make history by becoming the first African American woman to be elected governor. These eye-opening interviews by Kimberlé Crenshaw address critical issues presented in this election, and explore what more we must do after November 6th to ensure intersectional justice for all.

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