Over the last nine months, I have spent countless hours in my car, driving 100 miles to check on my grandmother — who had a stroke in December — and back again a few days later. At first it was every week. Now it’s every other week. The drive used to suck. Until one of her caretakers told me about a bluetooth device that magically beams the stuff on my phone onto my car’s 2013 stereo. Now I almost look forward to the drive, because it’s when I catch up on the 90+ episodes of Hear to Slay, the Black feminist podcast hosted by Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom.
Every week they have one or two guests, usually Black women: Writers, activists, musicians, politicians, journalists and everything in between. Each episode is a thoughtful and engaging conversation (as opposed to an interview with someone doing the promotional circuit to sell their latest release) and I always learn something new. I will become so absorbed in, for example, Rissi Palmer’s stories about her country music career, or Esther Perel’s analysis of what happened to relationships during COVID, that the drive feels like it takes a tenth of the time it would otherwise.
One added bonus: This podcast costs money. I pay $35 a year for the privilege of listening to these conversations. Which means not only are the people who create it getting paid, but there are no ads. Not having to risk my life on an interstate to fast forward through someone telling me about the power and glory of subscription-based underpants delivery is the icing on the cake.