The Hyphen: Podcasts Have Got Me Through Lockdown

Hi friends—

How are you doing this week?

I’ve been thinking a lot about podcasting this week. I don’t know about you, but podcasts really have got me through lockdown. They’ve kept me company during lonely cold walks; they’ve been my company while I do the washing up; they’ve been a distraction while I wallow in the bath; they’ve even been a background noise to an anxiety attack. In lieu of actual people, it’s been nice having different voices in the house.

I’ve also been thinking about the podcasting industry as a whole, and how it needs to do better. A stat I came across was that only 33% of podcasts are hosted by women. But this isn’t really the most important statistic. We need to be discussing why so many podcasts (in top 100 samples) are hosted by white people only (88.5%, according to one study). The podcasting and audio space needs to step it up when it comes to equality.

This week’s Ctrl Alt Delete is with CEO and founder of Broccoli Content, Renay Richardson. She questions these statistics taken from samples and asks: are there really less podcasts being created by black and POC hosts — or are you just not aware of them? Because the podcasts are out there, it’s just that they are not getting as much attention and recognition as they deserve. There’s no excuse for the Apple Podcasts homepage banner to not be representative across all intersections of race, gender, class (ps. all the time— not just when BLM is in the news).

Renay’s company created the Equality in Audio Pact, if you work in the audio space, please do sign it!

Enjoy listening to the podcasts in my list below, and do pass onto a friend, or post on social media. Discoverability is everything.

Hope you enjoy today’s newsletter. (If there’s anything you’d like me to share in next week’s newsletter, please email me at

Emma xo


What’s New on Ctrl Alt Delete Podcast?

This week's podcast is with Renay Richardson, founder and CEO of Broccoli Content.

When producer and now CEO Renay Richardson first pitched the podcast "About Race" by Reni Eddo-Lodge (which was no1 this month) industry execs said it was "too broccoli.. it's good for you, but no one wants to eat it." Someone actually said this: that no one would want to listen to a podcast about race. Yep. What. So Renay called her company Broccoli Content. Please do listen. Renay talks about the industry blindspots, and how we can do better. 

Check out Broccoli shows, including the brilliant Anthems, here.

Listen here (or via any pod apps!)


15 Brilliant Black-Hosted Podcasts

  • Call Your Girlfriend, hosted by Aminatou Sow & Ann Friedman. One of my absolute faves. I loved this recent episode on Bad Bosses. Also definitely pre-order their debut book Big Friendship.

  • Still Processing, hosted by Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers for The New York Times. They devour TV, movies, art, music and the Internet.

  • Stance, hosted by Chrystal Genesis, an independent award-winning arts and culture podcast.

  • Sooo Many White Guys, hosted by comedian Phoebe Robinson. Intimate, funny conversations with all kinds of artists who (mostly) aren’t white dudes. 

  • Hear To Slay, hosted by Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom, this is a black feminist podcast about the politics that shape the world we live in and the popular culture we consume.

  • Scam Goddess, hosted by Laci Mosley — a podcast dedicated to fraud and all those who practice it!

  • Growing Up With Gal-Dem, hosted by Liv Little and Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff. They invite a different guest to respond to old diary entries, text messages, or letters from their younger selves.

  • Slay In Your Lane, hosted by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené — a topical news and popular culture from a Black British female perspective.

  • Power Hour, hosted by Adrienne Ldn, a weekly podcast that will motivate you to pursue your passion and to achieve success

  • Time To Talk, hosted by Alex Reads, he interviews mental health practitioners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders and more to explore topics around emotional and mental health.

  • Foxy Browns, hosted by Priyanka Mattoo and Camilla Blackett, who navigate the world of beauty and wellness from their perspectives as women of colour.

  • The Receipts, hosted by Audrey, Milena and Tolly - a fun, honest podcast fronted by three girls who are willing to talk about anything and everything. And they’ve just announced a new tour!

  • The Read, hosted by Kid Fury and Crissle, the duo bring their honest brand of cultural commentary every week.

  • Code Switch, hosted by the Code Switch team, a multi-racial, multi-generational team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture.

  • Thirst Aid Kit, hosted by Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins. They dive into discussions on romance in pop culture asking: Why do we desire who we desire?


More than 100 writers including Booker winner Bernardine Evaristo, Benjamin Zephaniah and Malorie Blackman have called on all major publishing houses in the UK to introduce sweeping reforms to make the overwhelmingly white industry more inclusive at all levels. Read the letter in full here.

I love this interview. Agency Sonder & Tell spoke to Sophia Jennings, the head of content at I Weigh about mobilising activism, community-driven movements and how tone of voice can inspire and educate. You can read the full interview here.

I found the honesty in this blog post by Niamh Mulvey on publishing a real eye-opener. “I sometimes get asked by young people starting out, how they can get into publishing. And I've been thinking lately that if I were to respond honestly I would say: maybe, don't.” You can read the full piece of writing here.

In Case You Missed It ☝️

You are invited to my online book launch for OLIVE!

You can get your ticket HERE.

A Spotlight on Rianna Patterson — founder of the Dominica Dementia Foundation

Emma: Hi Rianna! We met in 2017 as part of the Queen's Young Leaders. How did you come across it /become a part of the programme? 
: I knew about the process from one of my friends that was a Queen’s Young Leader in 2016, Tina Alfred. We volunteered together at the National Council of Women. I was so inspired by her growth that I had to re-evaluate my goals and decided to work towards being part of this network and creating change in my community. 

E: What made you start the Dominica Dementia Foundation? 
I thought about the biggest challenge in my life — a problem that is not being actively addressed in the community. My grandfather passed away with Dementia in 2013, so I launched the foundation in memory of him, the aim of the organisation was developed through my personal experience.

E: What's been your biggest challenge & best moment so far?
My biggest challenge was credibility and then funding. As I was very young most companies did not want to support this venture. This compromised business deals and my confidence. My grandmother was the first person who supported my organisation with a start-up capital and this is how the organisation began. My favourite moment was when we did Christmas Carols at a local residential home in Dominica. The faces and energy we brought to the home is always a reminder of what I live for. 


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Thanks for subscribing! I'm Emma, the person behind this newsletter. I am the bestselling author of The Multi-Hyphen Method and the soon-to-be-published novel OLIVE, and creator of the hit podcast series Ctrl Alt Delete. You can also follow me on Instagram here, and Twitter here.

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