This week on It’s OK that You’re Not OK:
Collective Grief and Communal Joy: with Baratunde Thurston
Can you heal pain by focusing on joy?
Baratunde Thurston gave what’s been called “the greatest TED talk of all time.” He’s written about being Black in America, he’s got a podcast about community involvement called How to Citizen, and he’s got a television show that explores the beauty and diversity of America.
There’s a duality running through all of this work, and in Baratunde’s personal life: mourning and celebration. From the early death of a parent, to men’s emotional health, to violence against Black men and boys, to the healing power of play and community, this week’s episode is a fascinating discussion of both grief and celebration – and why you don’t get one without the other.
In this episode we cover:
- Baratunde says he’s “wired for optimism” – which makes identifying his own grief… complicated
- Transactional emotions – for example, feeling your grief so you can “get beyond it”
- The need for Black male role models
- How you can lose a parent at a young age and not recognize the impact until you’re an adult
- Why seeing other people be good parents can bring up grief
- What it’s like to see violence against people who look like you – over and over and over
- Black joy and mens’ community (plus the hashtag #BlackMenFrolicking)
- Why is it hard to play as an adult – and find other adults to play with?
- How to use your powerpoint slides to keep emotions in check (and why Baratunde isn’t using slides in his talks anymore)
- The nature of our interconnectedness as a species and a planet
About our guest:
Baratunde Thurston is an Emmy-nominated, multi platform storyteller and producer operating at the intersection of race, tech, democracy, and climate. He is the host of the PBS television series America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston, creator and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde, and a founding partner of the new media startup Puck. His comedic memoir, How To Be Black, is a New York Times best-seller. In 2019, he delivered what MSNBC’s Brian Williams called “one of the greatest TED talks of all time.”
- Baratunde’s book – How to be Black
- Baratunde’s TED talk How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time
- ‘America is addicted to watching me die…’ – Article in Puck
- Black Men Frolicking
- Baratunde’s Podcast – How To Citizen
- PBS America Outdoors
- Baratunde’s website
- Baratunde’s media outlet, Puck.news
- Baratunde mentioned Valarie Kaur – get her book, See No Stranger, and tune in to her episode on It’s OK that You’re Not OK later this season
- Check out Megan’s best-selling books – It’s OK that You’re Not OK and How to Carry What Can’t Be Fixed
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