Things That Matter

Oprah Helps Bring The Focus On Latinx Podcasts In Her Magazine And We Are Totally Here For It

Oprah — yes, that Oprah — has released a list of the best Spanish and Latinx podcasts in Oprah Magazine. Latinx folk are gaining visibility in the mainstream. While it is certainly not at the pace we all would have hoped (we have been in the states for quite some time now), it is always great to celebrate our continued come up in the cultural zeitgeist. 

Oprah Winfrey is a black woman who propelled herself through adversity, using grit and tenacity, into the hearts and minds of Americans. She created a magazine, named it after herself, and puts herself on the cover of every issue. To grace the pages of Oprah Magazine is an honor exclusively reserved by Oprah, and can only be earned by a lucky few. 

So for those who want light-hearted or heartfelt adventures deeper into Latinidad, you might want to add a few of these podcasts onto your lists. 

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an episodic digital audio series that can be downloaded or streamed. I use Spotify to listen to my favorite podcasts but you can use iTunes or a podcast app like Stitcher. Basically, podcasts are episodic talk “radio” shows, except they’re not transmitted through radio waves. It’s kind of like how we still call Netflix series “TV shows,” when they don’t exist on television networks. Like streaming TV, podcasts are an old format on a new medium. 

Why do Latino podcasts matter?

Podcasts have become a growing and profitable industry in the last 15 years. Breakout podcasts like SerialPod Save America, and Welcome To Nightvale, have spawned television series and HBO documentaries. However, they have largely been operated by white people even when the subjects of the podcasts have not been. Podcasting is another path to greater Latinx visibility. The comedy duo Desus & Mero, who are Jamaican and Dominican Americans respectively, have risen to fame largely earned by their popular Bodega Boys podcast. The pair now have had late-night talk shows on VICE and Showtime. 

It goes without saying, where ever there are people talking about culture from the frivolous to the political, Latinx voices need to be there taking up space. When you’re left out of the conversation, there’s no way you can be heard. As a recent study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative on Latinx representation in Hollywood discovered, over the past 12 years only 4.5% of 47,268 speaking or named roles in films were portrayed by Latinx actors. Moreover, in a time where we Latinxs are being politically targeted, our voices and stories matter even more. Representation can normalize the Latinx experience and further humanize us during a time of extreme, radical, dehumanizing language being weaponized against us. So, shout outs to Oprah! 

Scratch Your Political Itch with… 

In The Thick Of It

Hosted by the award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, In The Thick Of It doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations about race, politics, and identity. If you’re itching to get a Latinx perspective on news and events Hinojasa and Varela have got you covered.

Listen here.  

Radio Ambulante

For those fluent in Spanish who want a deeper look at the Latin American experience, Radio Ambulante will fill that bottomless void in your life. The series focuses on untold stories and uses investigative journalism to uncover heartfelt and moving narratives about Latinidad. 

Listen here

Super Mámas

For moms with a sense of humor (doesn’t every mom have to have a sense of humor? Kids are weird.), Super Mámas is here to drop some major funnies. Hosted by sisters Paulina and Bricia Lopez, the talk show provides comedic commentary on motherhood. However, the show has still got a lot of heart and insight. Prepare to be hit in the feels with profound conversations about postpartum depression, Latinx parenthood, and being a working mom. 

Listen here

Brujaja Podcast

Listen to comedians Anna Valenzuela, Vanessa Gritton and Cindy Aravena as they hilariously discuss everything from growing up Latinx to stereotypes to cannabis to Selena. 

Listen here

Scratch Your LGBTQ+ Itch with… 

Locatora Radio

Diosa and Mala host a “radiophonic novela” that highlights the experiences and contributions of femmes and women of color. Discussions of gender, sexuality, consent, and technology abound on this popular podcast.

Listen here

Brown Bitter Femmes

Cassandra Alicia and Rubén Angel discuss women’s and LGBTQ+ issues to dismantle bigotry and oppression. Their motto is “dismantling shit while talking shit,” and that sounds like an excellent brunch to me. 

Listen here

These are just a few of many incredible Latinx podcasts. For more suggestions check out Irina Gonzalez’s list at Oprah Mag

Princess Nokia Runs A Podcast, A Non-Profit And Is The Face Of A Major Fashion Brand

Entertainment

Princess Nokia Runs A Podcast, A Non-Profit And Is The Face Of A Major Fashion Brand

princessnokia / Instagram

Rapper Princess Nokia, whose real name is Destiny Nicole Frasqueri, is the Boricua Bruja who refuses to abandon Puerto Rico during this extended crisis after Hurricane Maria. She is still fighting and raising money to provide aid to the devastated island.

For the last few weeks, Frasqueri has been working with NYC based non-profits to launch “Hood to la Genter.” This is a GoFundMe aimed to combine Frasqueri’s charitable efforts with the NGO’s organizing resources to actually help Puerto Ricans.

Here’s what we know about the cause and its champion.

Princess Nokia is a proud New York raised Puerto Rican woman.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

She grew up around East Harlem and the Lower East Side of New York City and was born as on June 14, 1992.

She is best known for her unapologetic feminist music.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

With lyrics like, “I love my little titties and my fat belly” under titles like “Tomboy y Bruja,” Princess Nokia has made herself known as a shameless intersectional feminist badass.

She even has a podcast called “Smart Girls Club” to talk about the realities of urban feminism.

CREDIT: Soundcloud

She told VICE that Smart Girl Club is “a safe space for me to decompress and turn my anger and my dissatisfaction into positive outlets. And I think that’s why safe spaces are always important; it’s one thing to feel the anger, but it’s always about finding a healthy solution for it.”

She started making viral music when she was 20 but her album, “1992 Deluxe” is what has launched her career.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

She told The Guardian, “Growing up in the 90s was the coolest thing to me. Listening to metal with my gothic babysitter, dancing to Kriss Kross, hanging out and listening to the music at the block party downstairs from my house, the cartoons I’d watch, seeing black representation and Latina representation on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, going to summer camp; oh, God, it’s so vivid, so significant.”

Princess Nokia’s mother died of AIDS when she was 10 years old.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

The rapper was in the foster care system after her mother died and dealt with abusive foster parents. She was in foster care between the ages of 9 and 16 until she could live with her grandmother.

Her foster mother was so physically abusive, she had to use makeup to cover a black eye in a school photo.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Princess Nokia calls her a “succubus.” She ran away with “three dollars in my pocket and 75 percent on my cell phone battery” to live on the streets.

The FADER released a documentary called “Destiny” that shares Princess Nokia’s unimaginable life story.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

In the documentary, she shares what it was like growing up in the foster system. She thanks that queer community around her that helped her harness her true self, even amidst the chaos of her violent home life.

Princess Nokia identifies as bisexual and is an avid advocate of LGBTQ+ rights.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

That girl is a tomboy and it looks great on her. In “Destiny,” she sums it up pretty easily when she yells at her dad in the kitchen, “Dad, I always been gay, right? [Dad:] Yup!”

The artist has always been real about what’s going on in her life.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Twitter

Her feed is a real treat. Plus, she really does fight the Trump administration and racists in the flesh. She has no issue with being loud about the injustices she encounters in her day-to-day life.

She made headlines when she threw hot soup on a racist subway passenger.

CREDIT: Evan Eddington / Twitter

It’s all on video. The person in question was shouting the “N” word on the train so passengers kicked him off at the next stop. When he tried to board the train again, Princess Nokia came at him with some hot soup. Dale.

The rapper has launched a relief initiative to help the still struggling Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Twitter

In an Instagram video, Princess Nokia wrote, “When the government intentionally neglects and actively works to hurt our people for profit, it’s on us to organize and fight for our communities. We understand as working class and oppressed peoples living in America, we are struggling in so many ways under the same system that is hurting the people of Puerto Rico. But when we combine the little bit we’ve got as individuals, we can make a huge impact.”

“We know we cannot trust the government or the millionaire non-profits aligned with it to fight for our people.”

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

How do we know? Because, “Almost a year after Hurricane Maria, the nation of Puerto Rico is still in a massive crisis. Puerto Rico has a higher poverty rate than any state in the U.S. Poverty has increased from 44 percent to 52 percent after the hurricane. Suicide rates have doubled.”

She even cancelled her Mexico City show to focus on her work for Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

In the GoFundMe, the musician wrote, “It is expected that Puerto Rico will lose close to a half million people by next year, resulting in ‘brain drain,’ which means leaving the island without doctors, nurses, teachers, scientists, and other trained professionals.”

No wonder she’s taking time to focus on the island.

The fund has raised more than $7,000 of it’s $12,000 goal.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

This is a grassroots initiative. If every person with a dollar to spare donated it to the organizations that have always been closely tied to Puerto Rico, lo mejor.

Princess Nokia is inspired by her daughter.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Caption: “The God Mother & Her Apprentice. Teaching her magic and self love every single day. Teaching her the importance of kindness, self esteem, and inner beauty. And what she teaches me… words could never explain. My little witch and old soul. My daughtaaaaaaaa, my twin 🌙✨🌻”

She’s been named the face of Betsey Johnson’s 2018 Fall Catalog.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

That means she’s bringing Boricua beauty even more mainstream. Princess Nokia has modeled for Calvin Klein and isn’t afraid to rap about it. (See: Tomboy)

She is also a big advocate for decriminalizing marijuana.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

I mean, there are the obvious reasons and then there is the fact that brown people are incarcerated far more often than white people for possession of marijuana.

While Princess Nokia gains worldwide fame, she isn’t turning her back on her roots.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Somos Americanos, pero por siempre somos Latinos. With more Puerto Ricans fleeing the island for a better life on the mainland, we’re responsible for maintaining what’s left of our mami’s homeland. There’s nobody else.

She released a powerful PSA that tells the world we’re on our feet and we’re fighting.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Caption Part 1: “Despite the attention Hurricane Maria has brought to the current struggle of my people in Puerto Rico, many are unaware of the centuries-long suffering Boricuas have endured in the form of colonialism. We created this campaign to spread knowledge on the poverty and exploitation Boricuas have survived under the boot of the US government.”

When you’re already sick about the negligence, get sick about Americans profiting off PR disaster.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

Caption Part 2: “This video is a call to act in speaking out for the independence of the Puerto Rican people and to support organizations working to actually help the people. We can not stay silent while Puerto Ricans continue to suffer under the colonizer American government, which consistently places profit over the lives of the people and silences those who rise up to defend the people.”

Princess Nokia wants you to know that you can help.

CREDIT: @princessnokia / Instagram

If you want to help, you can donate to Hood 2 la Genter or donate directly to these organizations: Sol es Vida, el Hormiguero, Luis Llorens Torres projects, Urbe Apie, the Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition and el Centro de Apoyo Mutuo de Utuado.

READ: J.Lo And A.Rod Share Moments From Their Trip To Puerto Rico And Announce A Donation Of 2 Million Dollars

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Two Latinx Women Are Tackling Major Issues In Their Community One Podcast At A Time

Entertainment

Two Latinx Women Are Tackling Major Issues In Their Community One Podcast At A Time

tamarindopodcast / Instagram

When Brenda Gonzalez felt there was a lack of Latinx voices and Latinx-lead podcasts, she decided to raise her voice—literally.

What transpired came to be known as Tamarindo Podcast, with a tagline of “Latinx voices at the intersection of politics and pop culture.”

Gonzalez and her new co-host Melinna Bobadilla are bringing commentary on politics and culture that is as tart as the pod-like fruit itself.

New photos, who dis??!! 💖🔥Major troublemaking primas vibes!!! We recently climbed up on a rooftop in DTLA looking all chíc & chifladas for some new publicity shots in preparation for a special announcement….. Tamarindo Podcast is heading across the country to speak at @wellesleycollege in Massachusetts! These two Cali girls will be Boston bound next week to speak on a Podcasters of Color panel on May 1 presented by @wcmezcla as part of #Latinx month 2018! We’re so excited for this opportunity and are ready to collaborate with our community for future events! 📸: @matiasinmotion #TamarindoPodcast #TwoDopeReinas #supportbrownpodcasts #ladypodsquad #latinas #latina #mexicanas #chicanas #latinapodcast #Latinxs#podcasts #womeninpodcasting #DTLA #Photoshoot #Fashion #Threads #EducatedPeleoneras

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“This is a place for folks to enjoy themselves, be funny and upbeat. I want no part of a revolution that isn’t joyful,” Gonzalez said during a phone interview.

That sense of joy transcends as soon as a listener hits ‘play’ on episodes of the podcast, quickly picking up on the soul sister vibe Gonzalez and Bobadilla share.

The duo has picked the brains of guests including poet Yosimar Reyes, Linda Yvette Chávez and Marvin Lemus of Gente-fied.

NEW EPISODE ALERT! It’s Oscar Week and the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite is still painfully accurate, so the Tamarindo team decided to sit down with a pair of visionary Latinx filmmakers who are breaking down barriers in Hollywood by putting Latinx stories and faces front and center. Marvin Lemus @elmarvinlemus & Linda Yvette Chávez @lindayvettechavez , the talented young creators behind the highly anticipated bilingual digital series #GENTEFIED (2017 #Sundance Film Festival Selection, executive produced by @americaferrera & MACRO Ventures), join Tamarindo Podcast to talk about their experiences as Latinxs in the industry, why representation & inclusion matter, challenging the status quo, and even their relationship to Instagram! The conversation was so rich that we couldn’t contain it to just one episode, so we decided to do a Tamarindo Podcast first- a two part episode! Part 1 focuses on their trajectories as filmmakers and Part two (dropping soon) will delve deeper into complex discussions around changing the status quo in Hollywood and making sure that #OscarsNotSoBrown becomes a thing of the past. #Latinos #Latinxs #LatinoFilm #LatinosInFilm #LatinoFilmmaker #LatinasInFilm #ChicanoFilm #Chicanx #Guatemalans #FemmeFilmmakers #FemaleFilmmakers #Diversity #OscarsStillSoWhite #Oscars2018 #Inclusion #RepresentationMatters #LatinoActors #LatinosInHollywood #LatinosOnScreen #Film #TV #SundanceFilmFestival

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While both women share a palpable on-air vibe, their co-host duties started surprisingly only nine months ago.

Back when she launched the podcast in 2016, Gonzalez had linked with Luis Octavio but the two amicably went on different paths when Octavio wished to pursue other passion projects.

Gonzalez’s next desire of the podcast being led by two strong Latinx women could now take shape.

Bobadilla came to the mic after Gonzalez initially reached out for an on-air interview. A couple of months later, when Gonzalez was on the lookout as to who could sit beside her in the host chair, she invited Bobadilla to guest co-host an episode and the two eventually synced up for a permanent partnership.

Bobadilla said her newbie status as a “podcast rookie helped [her] to enter it really authentically and laid-back.”

The duo’s backgrounds may be varied but they both mesh well to add commentary on history, cultural and societal norms, politics and more.

After previously being an undocumented student, Gonzalez went on to receive her M.A. in political science and taught at Cal State Fullerton. Bobadilla cut her chops acting and being a voice-over artist after receiving her M.A. in theater and education at New York University.  

After their podcast 2.0 started in October, the hosts started to receive more recognition, including a guest spot by Gonzalez on Crooked Media’s ‘Lovett or Leave It’ podcast when it aired live from Los Angeles last month.

“Bro.” #lovettorleaveit

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Gonzalez said she was “happy to be part of that conversation, to be able to give some diversity for ‘Lovett or Leave It’.”

Fans are starting to be avid followers and take notice. Gonzalez and Bobadilla can often be seen using the #educatedpeleoneras hashtag on their social media, dedicating one of the episodes to educated peleoneras such as Emma Gonzalez.

Listeners have been using the hashtag on everything from t-shirts to graduation caps.

These educated peleoneras have been teaching their audiences and starting dialogues about filmmaking while brown, the state of immigration in 2018 and helping to break society’s norms of beauty—the pair’s ‘Decolonize Your Beauty, Decolonize Your Diet’ podcast has been one of their most popular podcasts to date.

As for upcoming topics, tackling the representation of Latinx in media is on their list.

“Latinx inclusion doesn’t stop at surnames,” Bobadilla said. She added Afro-Latinx and indigenous people should be represented in front and behind the camera as well.

There is still much Gonzalez and Bobadilla want to explore for their podcast, saying they are “focused on the quality and integrity of each episode that comes out.” They name each episode once recording is wrapped up, choosing to see what that episode’s tone and vibe turned out to be.

When asked who their dream guests are, both cited Maria Hinojosa, Gina Rodriguez, Sonia Sotomayor, Beyonce—and a Selena hologram.

Happy #WCW to all the #EducatedPeleoneras out there striving to bring equity, justice and love to the world! Keep thriving in your authenticity, speaking truth to power, pushing the status quo and walking in your truth🙌🏽. We have a powerful collabo episode dropping very soon with the Queens of @waitholduppod hosted by @heyjessmolina & @yarel_ramos! Follow them ASAP & stay tuned for the drop! . XO Brenda (left) (@sweetpixnaranja) & Melinna (right) (@melinnabobadilla) . ✊🏽🧠✊🏾👑✊🏿💖 . . #TamarindoPodcast #SupportBrownPodcasts #LatinaPodcast #ladypodsquad #WomenPodcasters #Latinas #Latinxs #Chingonas #Latina #WomensHistoryMonth #Herstory #Mujeres #EducatedPeleonerxs #EducatedPeleonera #Podcasts #IntersectionalFeminism #RepresentationMatters

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If you want to check out past episodes and keep up-to-date with new episodes following their summer hiatus, listen to ‘Tamarindo Podcast’ here. You might hear one of their dream guests on an upcoming episode.

READ: This Podcast Captured The Emotional Moment When A Father Told His Daughter His Immigration Story

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