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At The Intersection

At The Intersection

By At The Intersection
A podcast about two friends investigating what happens at the intersection of culture, identity, and policy. Hosted by Brian Kennedy and Marion Johnson.
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Redefining Health as a Public Good (live)
Brian & Marion speak at UNC’s 42nd Minority Health Conference Body & Soul: The Past, Present, and Future of Health Activism, hosted by the Gillings School of Public Health’s Minority Health Caucus. They get into it with public health students about what the last year of COVID-19 and quarantine has revealed to us about our sense of collective responsibility, and how we can redefine public health as an essential public good and health access as a right. (This episode was recorded on February 26, 2021).  Don't forget to nominate At The Intersection for Best Local Podcast here: 
April 19, 2021
2021: Our Eyes on the Future, History's Eyes on Us
Brian & Marion kick off season 4 with some visioning: what do we want to see in 2021? Put another way, what do we need to leave in 2020? Brian instantaneously breaks his off-mic promise to not talk about history, while Marion manages to keep herself from going on a thirst rant about the men of One Night in Miami.  What we're reading:
February 8, 2021
Tall Grass Food Box and a More Just Food System
Brian and Marion are back with a Thanksgiving episode! Note: This episode was recorded in August 2020. Brian sits down with our friends Derrick Beasley, Gabrielle E.W. Carter, and Gerald Harris, the co-founders of Tall Grass Food Box, a CSA that distributes fresh produce from North Carolina's Black farmers to residents and restaurants around the Triangle. They talk through what inspired Tall Grass's creation, food justice, and of course, how they want their reparations. Find them at, and follow them on Instagram at @tallgrassfoodbox! 
November 25, 2020
Gene Demby and the Anti-Blackness of Black Exceptionalism
Brian & Marion chop it up with Code Switch co-host and Philly boy Gene Demby about how Black people in predominantly white institutions metabolize white supremacy and anti-Blackness, and why so many "exceptional" Black people hold on to the idea that other Black people don't like them. They also get into how Kamala Harris's career won't save us, how LLC Twitter and Passport Twitter can't even save themselves, and - of course - how Gene wants his reparations.  What we're reading:
August 24, 2020
Food Politics: You Are How You Eat
Brian & Marion bring you a king-sized episode to talk all things food -- what cooking means to them, how access to food gets determined, policed, and stigmatized, and how Americans bring other cultures' food into their comfort zone. They also share their own cooking hashtags - #teniadetreats and #eatpangea - and favorite cooking tv shows.  What we're reading:
August 10, 2020
The Normalization of America's Police State
Brian & Marion get into the history of American's violent policing of Black people, and how Hollywood has happily served as law enforcement's PR firm for 70 years. They also talk through why defunding, not reform, is the only real solution.  What we're reading:
June 8, 2020
Quarantine Check-in: How We're Livin
Brian & Marion get back in the (Zoom) studio to catch up on life since they began quarantining. They talk murder hornets, The Last Dance, and the new Instagram club scene. There's also new merch - reparations hoodies! 
May 11, 2020
Jessamyn Stanley and Black Body Positivity
Brian & Marion talk to yoga practitioner, author, and podcaster Jessamyn Stanley about body positivity and the aggressive policing of Black bodies. They also discuss how hard--and crucial--it is to build an inclusive yoga community without falling back into the consumerist, capitalist, and colonialist tropes that dominate so much of American yoga culture. And don't worry, they find time to discuss Adidas x Ivy Park as well.  Find Jessamyn's new podcast, Dear Jessamyn, at or just about wherever you're getting this podcast from!
February 24, 2020
Burnout Hits Different When You're Black
To ring in the new year, Brian & Marion get personal about their own experiences with that most millennial of conditions -- burnout. But oddly enough, most conversations about millennials and burnout have a very narrow, very white perspective on it...They also talk about how mental health can literally be life or death, and how policy can actually help our society take mental health as seriously as it needs to. CONTENT WARNING: suicide, self-harm. 
January 13, 2020
Primaries, Electability, and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Brian & Marion are BACK in the studio to talk about the already interminable 2020 election season and how primaries work. They also dive into the concept of "electability," which has come to mean "appealing to imaginary but somehow very important white folks."  Also, the merch has dropped! Head to to get a "how do you want your reparations?" t-shirt or mug! Wear responsibly. 
November 20, 2019
The Evolution of Voter Suppression
Brian & Marion are back from their unscheduled hiatus with something light and frothy for the summer: voter suppression! They delve into the history of gerrymandering, current disenfranchisement, and the swindling of a Supreme Court seat. They also go on a hella tangent about hanging chads, so enjoy that angry jaunt down memory lane. 
July 22, 2019
Dr. Ciara Zachary and Black Maternal Health
Brian & Marion talk to public health expert Dr. Ciara Zachary about how systemic racism is killing Black mothers at an alarming rate. (They also go on a semi-relevant tangent about facial recognition software, so look forward to that coming up again in a future episode.) Brian also talks to his wife Brianna about her own experience being a Black mother in America. 
May 27, 2019
Gentrification, or Revitalization?
Brian & Marion discuss the hottest trend that's showing up in cities from D.C. to Brooklyn to Durham, NC -- gentrification! They get into the difference between gentrification and revitalization, what your responsibility is as an individual to fight gentrification, and whether there are any communities out there who are actually getting it right. Marion also gets profane talking about The Sims, which is shockingly relevant; and Brian takes us on a history detour to 9th-century Ethiopia.  
May 6, 2019
From Punchline to Protagonists: Blackness in Horror
Brian & Marion dive into the surprisingly rich and complicated history of Black representation in horror movies, starting with The Birth of a Nation and ending (for now) with Us. Marion has a LOT to say about Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman's new Shudder documentary Horror Noire, and Brian surprises everyone by giving a world-class history lesson. They also answer that eternal question - what's your favorite scary movie?
April 22, 2019
Listener Questions
Brian and Marion answer your questions! Well, technically *answered* - this episode was recorded in December, so the takes aren't as piping hot as they could be; but they're still pretty hot so what is your damage? Be sure to vote us in as Best Local Podcast at! 
April 8, 2019
The Reparations Episode
Brian & Marion finally dedicate a whole episode to reparations. They talk historical context, cultural opposition, and how reparations has gone from a throwaway to a presidential litmus test in ten years. They also discuss how each presidential candidate so far has answered the reparations question; and discover that right now, Marion doesn’t particularly care for any presidential candidates or perennial almost-candidate Joe Biden. 
March 25, 2019
Talila Lewis and Disability Justice
Marion talks to disability justice activist Talila A. Lewis about the often erased or ignored intersections of disability and other marginalized identities. They also talk about the myth of productivity as a value, and a deeper form of reparations. Transcript available here, and find more about Talila's work here.
March 11, 2019
Legacy, Opportunity, and the Green New Deal
Brian & Marion dive into the historical and cultural context of the Green New Deal, America's latest stimulus proposal triggered by a specific crisis - in this case, climate change. They also refuse to check any acronyms before or during the episode, so fact check them at your leisure. Also also, this is their one-year anniversary episode! 
February 25, 2019
Edgar Villanueva and Decolonizing Wealth
Brian & Marion talk to philanthropist and author Edgar Villanueva about his book Decolonizing Wealth. They get into the role philanthropy can play in solving wealth inequality, how to protect your own energy as a Black or brown person in a white space, and why all of us are responsible for each other's healing. Obviously they talk about reparations too - what you think this is?  You can find Decolonizing Wealth and the "decolonizer" t-shirt at!
February 11, 2019
Fyre Fest: White Privilege and Modern Colonialism
Brian & Marion are back with an emergency episode about Fyre Festival and what we’ve all learned from the Hulu and Netflix documentaries. Of course that means getting into the history of the Bahamas and breaking down how Billy McFarland ain’t nothin new. Marion also coins a new phrase despite Brian’s insistence that another version of it already exists, and Brian pronounces the word “Bahamian” correctly exactly once. #Millennials, amirite? 
January 28, 2019
Dr. Jessica Barron and Surviving White Spaces [LIVE Crossover With Black Future Manifest(o)]
For their first crossover episode, Brian & Marion are joined by Micah and Mariah of Black Future Manifest[o] in front of a live audience! Together they talk to the brilliant Dr. Jessica Barron, author of The Urban Church Imagined, about her research on people of color in white spaces that want to use them to appear progressive and multiracial. On Black Future Manifest[o], Micah Gilmer and Mariah M. talk to leaders and community members working against racism, patriarchy, and capitalist exploitation to not only imagine but create a better future for ALL Black people. Follow them at @blackfuturepod! This episode was recorded at The Vault in Durham, North Carolina.
November 12, 2018
Affirmative Action, Anti-Blackness, and the Model Minority Myth
Marion & Brian discuss the latest court case challenging Affirmative Action and how the model minority myth is steeped in anti-Blackness and harms us all. Brian also struggles (and fails) to ramble off 200 years of history in 5(ish) minutes. Become a supporter of this podcast:
October 22, 2018
Environmental Racism: When The Storm Hits
Brian & Marion talk Hurricane Florence...and Matthew, and Maria, and Katrina, and how the narrative when hurricanes hit predominantly Black and brown communities is always the same. They then talk to activist and community organizer Omisade Burney-Scott about her time in her hometown of New Bern, NC after Florence hit. Finally, 1.5 rants from Marion round out the episode.
October 8, 2018
Student Loans: The Struggle is Real
We're back! In recognition of Back to School season, Brian & Marion stress themselves all the way out by talking about student loan debt. Theirs, yours, and everybody else's. Turns out, the way the system is set up means that Black and brown families are passing intergenerational debt down to their college-bound kids instead of building intergenerational wealth. Marion manages not to go on an anti-Bernie rant and we're all really proud of her. Marion does still go on an anti-capitalist rant, and Brian conjures up the spirit of Kanye West, because we gotta be who we are in this world.
September 10, 2018
Live from Durham, it's Black August!
Brian & Marion go to Black August in the Park! For At The Intersection's first live episode, recorded in Durham Central Park, they talk to attendees about the number one block party/family reunion/cookout of the year, how we're celebrating our Blackness, and how -- or whether -- everyone wants their reparations.
August 20, 2018
Self-Made in America: The Bootstraps Myth
Brian & Marion break down the myth of the self-made billionaire and how it's tied up in racism, sexism, and capitalism. They also get into why the myth is still so comforting to so many of us, despite the fact that we will never be wealthy. Finally, tax policy expert Misha Hill stops by the studio to drop some knowledge on exactly how our economic and fiscal systems are set up to prevent any kind of self-made wealth, and to share how she wants her reparations.
July 30, 2018
#EverybodyBlack: The Bonds of the Diaspora
Brian & Marion compare their experiences of being Black in America as a descendant of enslaved Africans and a first generation African American, respectively. They also discuss why everyone in the African Diaspora is always rooting for everybody Black, the different ways we internalize white supremacy, and how reparations will solve a whole lotta problems.
July 16, 2018
Cancelled: All Your Faves are Problematic
Brian & Marion open up about their personal problematic faves vs. the people who have landed on their ‘cancelled’ lists, and what makes it difficult to let a fave go. They also investigate who’s allowed to have second chances (hint: it’s usually rich white people) and how deeply embedded power dynamics make it hard to hold those people accountable for the harm they’ve caused. EVERYTHING IS LOVE gets sneaked in there too.
July 2, 2018
We're Brown, We're Queer, We're...Not Here?
Brian & Marion talk about the falling rate of LGBTQ representation on the big screen, and how important it is to see honest, relatable portrayals of queer Black and brown people in media, especially in a political climate that criminalizes every single one of those adjectives. Sadly, Marion is forced to call out her longtime fave Donald Glover for participating in one of today's hottest trends, "Word of Gay." Happy Pride Month!
June 18, 2018
Language and White Supremacy
Brian & Marion talk "the n-word," free speech, and how language can be used as a weapon to protect white supremacy. They also talk to policy analyst and immigrant rights advocate Victoria Crouse about the renewed interest in making English the official language, and what the actual fallout from legislation like that could be. Content warning: profanity and ICE deportation.
June 4, 2018
Donald Glover, Beyonce, and The New Black Renaissance
Brian & Marion dive into the 21st-century Black Renaissance we're blessed to be living in, covering everything from "This Is America" to Beychella to DAMN. Then they throw back to the originator - the Harlem Renaissance - and read each other quotes by Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alain Locke.
May 21, 2018
Janelle Jones and White Progressive Myths
Brian & Marion talk to economics expert Janelle Jones about the meaning of equity and how we actually achieve it. Surprise - reparations come up. Janelle also gives us some real talk about how white progressives continue to uphold white supremacy by being unwilling to accept the whole truth about racism in America.
May 7, 2018
Darrick Hamilton, Reparations, and a Federal Job Guarantee
Brian & Marion talk to Professor Darrick Hamilton about the federal job guarantee proposal that he helped create, and about how we want our reparations. Brian also slips in an unnecessary dig at Indiana Jones for what must be the thousandth time.
May 2, 2018
Equal Pay Day - the intersection of sexism and racism
Brian & Marion discuss the many layers of discrimination found in the gender wage gap and why women of color get left out of the wage gap conversation. Brian shares some advice for men in a new game called Don't Be That Guy.
April 11, 2018
March Madness - Should college athletes be paid?
Brian & Marion debate the financial, ethical, and political implications of paying college athletes for their labor. (Spoiler alert: people's opinions on the matter are often guided by race.) Marion also learns that Canadians play American football.
April 4, 2018
Guns, Race, and Hypocrisy - Pt. 2
In Part 2 of this episode, Brian & Marion reminisce about the mass shooting events that loom large in their memories, and discuss where the gun control movement could go next. Marion also talks to her friend Marcus, a veteran and life-long gun owner, about his place in the gun debate.
March 15, 2018
Guns, Race, and Hypocrisy - Pt. 1
In Part 1 of this episode, Brian & Marion explore the long history of American gun culture and how the gun debate has been racialized since the beginning. They cover the Black Panther Party, Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan, and a George R.R. Martin-style takeover of the NRA.
March 7, 2018
Black Panther - How policy and culture created Wakanda
Brian & Marion dive into the most important movie of the 21st century, Black Panther. They discuss cultural influences and impact, the importance of nuanced and human portrayals of Africans in the media, the historical context that Black Panther draws upon, and how this movie fits into our current political climate. They also completely forget to discuss their own professional and personal backgrounds - presumably, that's for Episode 2. Original music provided by 7Keys.
February 26, 2018