Real talk, Real people

Real talk, Real people

By james walker
Real talk, Real people is a podcast that turns the mic over to everyday people to hear what they have to say about the problems and social issues we face as a society.
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Drag queens struggle to earn a living in era of COVID-19
The drag queen industry has been hit hard as bars,  nightclubs and restaurants have been shut down due to COVID-19, as well as other places and events where drag queens traditionally perform. My guest today is Robin Banks, a drag queen living in Hamden, who depends on performing to earn a living. Like many drag queens, she does not work a traditional job and the virus is preventing her from taking the stage. 
17:45
August 10, 2020
Evictions? 140,000 Connecticut residents could be affected
I received an email from the company that manages the building where I live, stating it would begin reporting missed rent payments to the three credit bureaus. That is a major problem during this pandemic where more than 30 million people have lost their jobs and more than 28 percent of Americans face being evicted due to the loss of jobs. Here in Connecticut, at least 140,000 are at risk of being evicted from their homes.
12:07
August 3, 2020
Every dollar counts on the road to financial freedom
How do you get on the road to financial freedom when you make $40,000 -$60,000 a year? With the cost of living, it really seems like a pipe dream to save or invest when you’re struggling to pay bills. Stephanie Miller, an assistant professor of accounting and finance at Quinnipiac University, says it's about prioritizing and taking small steps to get bigger rewards
14:38
July 27, 2020
The black community needs new leaders
There is a lack of leadership in black communities as we face multiple issues that are familiar such as jobs, housing, health care and crime.  The deaths of John Lewis and the Rev. Cordy Tindell "C.T." Vivian are reminders how important that leadership is at the national level. But who will step up at the local level?
11:42
July 20, 2020
COVID-19 isn't the only deadly disease affecting Black and brown people
If COVID-19 taught minorities one thing, that is to take better care of your health. You do that by gaining more access to health services and by becoming more knowledgeable about health issues that affect not only you but your race.   My guests today are Leandre Memborn, former New Havener living in Providence RI; Frank Taveres of Waterbury and Jim Rawlings, chairman of the board of directors for The Southern Connecticut Sickle Cell Disease Association of America.
23:16
July 13, 2020
The Black community is paralyzed about what to do about Black-on-Black crime
Black-on-Black crime and gun violence continues to be a serious problem as bullets continue to take young lives.  My guest is Thayer Barkley, a Bridgeport resident and volunteer for Moms Demand Action. She says the Black community is paralyzed and suffering from PTSD
20:53
July 6, 2020
What can be done to end gun violence?
Kiana Brown, 19, was shot in the head while she was asleep in her home in New Haven. She was the victim of a random bullet. Another innocent, black life lost. Gun violence continues to be a problem in black neighborhoods. What is the solution? Chaz Carmon, president of the anti-gun violence organization "Ice the Beef," says the key is getting to kids while they're young. He talks about how the organization intervenes in the lives of youth.
15:31
June 29, 2020
Race? Gaining economic self-sufficiency in the black community
The spending power of black people in 2018 was estimated to be $1.9 trillion. But you would never know that when you go into black neighborhoods. Most of it did not go to black businesses. It is time black people start making a commitment to spend more of their money in black-owned businesses to get some of that money into black communities. My guest today is businessman Howard K. Hill, the owner of Howard K. Hill Funeral Services.
17:18
June 22, 2020
Recap? Welcome to our new listeners
We have been gaining listeners since we aired our first episode on Oct. 25, with our podcast listened to hundreds of times. But we know new listeners may not be aware of the conversations we've had. Here are snippets of what people in Connecticut are talking about.  
05:40
June 15, 2020
Unrest? It's what you don't see that matters
Why do I love my country but at the same time hate it so much? The conversation is about systematic racism within police departments and the protests around the US. My guests today are Wes Johnson from Danbury, Clyde Nickerson from Bridgeport and Miche'lle Sanders of Shelton.
22:38
June 8, 2020
Angry? Yes, I guess I am
The country is at unrest over the killing of another unarmed black man at the hands of police. My guest is Greg Johnson, president President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Ansonia Branch. The conversation is about George Floyd and the ongoing murders of black men by police.
11:57
June 1, 2020
Time? Nothing will change for black and brown people
It’s no longer a secret that blacks and other minorities are being hospitalized and dying at a higher rate than whites from COVID-19.  I discussed this with my guests, Dr. David Hill and Dennis Brown, two professors from Quinnipiac University.  But it is no secret it is due to what has plagued minorities for decades: lack of access to health care, low-level jobs and poor working conditions, along with crowded and inadequate housing. 
16:04
May 25, 2020
Hungry? The competition for food heats up
As the number of people who are unemployed due to COVID-19 continues to rise, thousands of people here in Connecticut and tens of millions nationwide are facing hunger. And that is happening as food prices soar and the food supply chain is breaking down. That is leading to  competition to feed people.  My guest is Nancy Coughlin, the executive director of Person-to-Person in Stamford, a nonprofit that has been around since 1968. She will talk about how her agency is helping put food on the table during the pandemic.
17:27
May 18, 2020
A recently released inmate talks about being behind bars with COVID-19
My guest this week is Brock Bacote, a New Haven resident. He had just been released from the Brooklyn Correctional Institute 3 days when this conversation took place about 10 days ago. I didn’t bring him on to talk about his crimes or what led to them, (for more on that kind of conversation, listen to our Nov. 4 podcast with Seymour resident Jimmie Kave on the benefits of a revamped justice system and turning your life around). But I wanted to talk to Brock to get an idea what it is like being locked up and in close quarters with other inmates after learning about COVID-19.
13:31
May 11, 2020
A healthcare worker talks about COVID-19 and working at a prison
You know folks, there are a lot of healthcare workers who don’t feel enough is being done to keep them safe from becoming infected with  COVID-19. Some of them work in prisons where the number of people infected with and dying from  COVID-19 continues to rise.
14:11
May 4, 2020
Inmates and seniors: Two groups in Connecticut who are confined and vulnerable.
COVID-19 has produced a crisis unprecedented in our times but still, Connecticut has been shameful in its slow response to stop the spread in nursing homes and prevent it from further spreading in prisons. And people are paying for it with their lives.
09:41
April 27, 2020
Confined? Are we killers or saviors?
There are more than 11,000 people locked up in the Connecticut prison system who are potentially on death row as COVID-19 slithers through the densely populated spaces. Should some of them be released in an effort to keep them from potentially becoming infected and infecting others? The governor says no; my two guests say yes -- and give their reasons why. 
17:40
April 20, 2020
A conversation with a non-essential employee required to go into the office
I was under the impression that only essential employees had to show up to work to maintain social distancing as health experts attempt to get a handle on the coronavirus. But I was wrong. There are a lot of non-essential employees whose lives are being put at risk when they could be working from home
21:25
April 13, 2020
Anxiety? The danger is in the paranoia
Normally, my Monday podcast is a followup conversation to my Sunday column in Hearst Connecticut newspapers. But I admit, the unknown factors of COVID-19 have inched my anxiety up a notch and I lost my cool this week. So I decided to switch things up and bring in someone who could offer us some inspiration. Sometimes, when there is a crisis like we are experiencing now, it is interesting to hear what a member of the clergy has to say. 
12:38
April 6, 2020
Reconnect? Humanity is man's greatest weapon
Like many Americans, my rational thought process tells me we will get through this, but I admit, that process is constantly interrupted by my emotions. I can’t help but worry about how much damage covid-19 will eventually do to the nation and more importantly, if it will affect my family and the people that I care about. I have family members throughout the US. This is what is going on where they live
19:36
March 30, 2020
Distancing? We’re doing something a little different this week
We’re doing something a little different with the podcast this week because what else is there to talk about but the coronavirus and we’re being hit with enough of that. We know what we have to do. And I am doing it. But you know this social distancing stuff is tough. I mean, there is only so much house cleaning and binge watching TV you can do. So I decided to give listeners something else instead of talk this week. My guest today is music. We all have talented family members and mine is no exception. My brother Allan is an actor who has numerous commercials, has appeared on TV shows such as Manifest, Orange is the new black, Gotham, Law and Order among others. He also wrote the music for this podcast. About 20 something years ago, he and his now-husband, Tom, started recording songs in their apartment in Brooklyn and every four years or so, they put together a collection on a CD that makes its rounds of family and friends. Here is their latest. I think you will like it.
21:13
March 24, 2020
Carriers? It's 6 feet away, or 6 feet under
It is pretty clear that the problem is we don’t know who is carrying the coronavirus -- but we do know as Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, admitted: “We’re past the point of containment.” And once you understand what that statement means, then you know the only thing that is going to stop the spread of this disease that has hijacked America, is a cure. And we don’t have one. We must follow what health experts are asking us to do. But will it keep us safe?
16:36
March 16, 2020
Fear? Coronavirus hits home
Until recently, it seemed like coronavirus was something happening to people far away in other parts of the world. But even when you feel immune, it is scary watching it jump from country to country while the numbers of deaths rise. Still, at least to me, it was one of those impending crises you hear and read about and watch television for the latest news on it -- but one that is still far away. That is, until it knocks on the door of someone you love -- in this case, my sister, Michelle, who lives in Rhode Island.
17:37
March 9, 2020
Tic-tac-toe? It’s all in how you play the game
Sometimes, I like to take a different approach when writing a column to give people an alternative way of looking or thinking about a problem. In this case, I used tic-tac-toe to illustrate how the absence of fathers hurts children and the household
20:44
March 2, 2020
Talk? A conversation at Greenwich High shows black history is a shared history
I was invited to speak at Greenwich High School Friday as part of its Diversity Awareness Club’s Black History Month program. Here is an overview of that speech, which centered on domestic violence, being black in America and finding some success. 
14:28
February 24, 2020
Curfew? Resurrecting failure never works
The Bridgeport Police Department recently announced it would resurrect and enforce its youth curfew to curb teen violence after a rash of shootings. The curfew has been in place since 2012 but never enforced. But do curfews work? Many studies say no. And curfews are clearly a violation of constitutional rights. Bridgeport Councilman Ernest Newton and Bridgeport Board of Education member Joseph Sokolovic join the conversation. 
22:05
February 17, 2020
On a break this week, but coming up on Real talk, Real people
The "alleged" coming of snow, sleet and rain killed this week's podcast with high school students talking about Black History Month.  Of course, it barely snowed. But we wanted to give you an idea of the podcasts we are working on.
09:51
February 10, 2020
Scapegoat? Educators sure spin a tall tale
A white teacher cast two black kids as slaves in a read-aloud class play called “A Triangle of Trade.” The purpose was to give students a look at the atrocities of the slave trade. Carmen Parker, who is black, and her husband, who is white, are the parents of one of the kids. They called out the teacher and school for cultural insensitivity. The teacher was placed on leave but both parents along with others have called for the teacher to be reinstated and not be made a scapegoat. The real problem is the lack of black teachers.
17:54
February 3, 2020
Parenting? Mandatory classes are needed
Three years ago, I wrote in a column - https://www.nhregister.com/columnists/article/James-Walker-Responsibility-I-am-not-your-baby-11312756.php "Responsibility? I am not your baby daddy" --  that “I have never seen so many children being abused, living in misery or so many irresponsible parents.” And it just seems to be getting worse for these kids. Since that column appeared, the abuse of children has become downright shocking and staggering. Parents are not only killing their kids, but in some cases, are doing so in spectacular fashion, as if to make a statement to the world. We need to do more.  My latest column about the abuse of children: https://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/James-Walker-Parenting-Mandatory-classes-are-15005842.php
17:14
January 28, 2020
Bullets? The case is never really closed
Case closed - or is it? The yellow tape has been removed, the street swept clean and the latest body has been buried. In some cases, the prosecution has rested its case, the person who pulled the trigger is put behind bars and police have moved on. But for victims left behind after gun violence, the case is never really closed. Long after it strikes its intended victim, a bullet’s trajectory just keeps on going and buries itself in the memories it leaves behind -- and each new bullet adds a new victim and a new memory. And those memories and the post-traumatic stress disorder that develops and grips victims in their wake are what this column is all about.
16:24
January 14, 2020
Volunteers? The brigade is in full step
It's Christmastime and hundreds of volunteers are out in force. My Sunday column in Hearst Connecticut newspapers is a salute to volunteers. We talk to 3 people about why they put in the hours to help other people. 
18:38
December 23, 2019
Call-in feature details
We have added a call-in feature that will begin to take listeners calls. Here are the details
02:52
December 6, 2019
Building a better experience
Pardon our appearance -- so to speak -- as we are temporarily under construction to add a new call-in feature to make "Real talk, Real people" a better experience for listeners and allow more people to weigh in on topics. Listen for details.
09:10
December 2, 2019
A perfect union: My column on social issues returns to Hearst Connecticut newspapers
I am happy to announce that my listeners will be able to read what I have to say on Sundays and listen to me on Mondays after my column returns to the New Haven Register and Hearst Connecticut newspapers on Sunday, Dec. 1.
17:09
November 18, 2019
More focus on mental health in the black community is needed
African Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience serious mental health issues than the general population -- and suicide was the second leading cause of death for black men ages 15-24 in 2017. Yet, the subject is largely ignored in the black community.
24:55
November 11, 2019
Email change to contact Real talk, Real people
Email change to contact Real talk, Real people
00:32
November 6, 2019
Does a revamped juvenile justice system benefit society?
Jimmie Kave was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison at age 17. He wanted society to give him a second chance. He got one under a revamped juvenile justice system. So, what happened when he was released?
11:42
November 4, 2019
Will Universal Basic Income help people or make things worse?
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang has proposed giving every adult in the US over the age of 18 a $1,000 a month stipend to offset coming automation and job layoffs. Is this a good idea?
23:05
October 25, 2019