New podcast: Mychal Denzel Smith asks, ‘What’s the script for black manhood?’

How do you learn to be a black man in America? Mychal Denzel Smith in conversation with Helena Brantley at Berkeleyside’s 2017 Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas. Photo: Pete Rosos

What’s the script for black manhood? Mychal Denzel Smith unapologetically upends assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black men so that depression and anxiety aren’t considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight.

In October 2017, at Berkeleyside’s Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas, Denzel Smith, author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, talked with the festival’s co-curator, Helena Brantley. Their conversation centered on black manhood today and the heightened awareness of racism in Trump’s America.

Berkeleyside’s 29th episode of the Uncharted Berkeley podcast has just been released and it features that conversation. Each episode of the podcast is one of the conversations recorded at the Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas which takes place every year in Berkeley, and is produced by Berkeleyside.

The 2018 Uncharted Ideas Festival is on Oct. 5-6 at the Berkeley Rep and Freight & Salvage in downtown Berkeley. Tickets are available now. This year’s program will be announced later this summer.


Berkeleyside will be releasing more conversations from the 2017 festival as podcasts over the coming weeks. Subscribe to the Uncharted Berkeley podcast, on iTunes or wherever you find your podcasts.