For many Black people in Hollywood, much of the work they’ve been doing over the last week is defending their right to exist with dignity and protesting police anti-Black racism and violence. As Kendrick Sampson (Insecure) told The Hollywood Reporter, “Most of the organizers that I know have had to sacrifice their art because they have had to liberate their own people and fight for a better world for their children”. Since our podcast is about the work that goes into show business, on this episode Kathleen Newman-Bremang joins us to talk about the experience of Working While Black, what it’s been like for her as a Black woman navigating white media work spaces.
To be clear, our purpose was to hear from Kathleen, to hear her stories about the specific work disadvantages that might be common among Black people working in media. We were not asking Kathleen to teach us or to help us be better colleagues and allies ourselves. That is not her labour, it should be ours. And certainly we understand that Kathleen does not speak for all Black people, that more Working While Black stories need to be shared from Black people working in many other industries. It is our hope, however, that this is a start. That we can learn from her experience and do the work ourselves to ask more questions, to be more empathetic, to widen our perspectives, and to be better allies.
Our allyship will not be perfect because we are unconditioning ourselves from so much institutionalised bias. What you are about to hear is unedited for content. The only editing is for tech and sound quality. So if Duana and I have made mistakes in our questions, if we have not been clear in our communication, we welcome the criticism and we promise to process it and grow from it. Our goal was to spotlight Kathleen’s experience.
This episode was recorded on Sunday. Yesterday Kathleen was a panelist on The Social. She was a producer on the show from its inception to a couple of years ago and she continues now to freelance for Bell Media, most recently producing me on Cravings: The Aftershow, while writing for Refinery29. During her appearance on The Social yesterday, she CALLED OUT THE SOCIAL! She put our show on blast! Here’s the clip:
Thank you, Kathleen, for showing your work always. And for taking the time to share your work with us on the pod.
Thanks to all of you for listening and for your willingness to learn and change with us.