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Intersection Episode 14: Fighting for Black Lives, in Flint and Beyond

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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This Black History Month, we’ve been thinking about violence perpetrated against people of color, and the people who are fighting against it. We explore those themes from three different angles in this episode of Intersection.

Portrait of Ida. B Wells taken in the late 19th century
Wikimedia Commons

First, we look at Flint, Michigan, where residents (a majority of whom are African American) are wrestling with the health implications of long-term lead exposure, due to their city’s tainted water supply and poor policy choices by the city, state, and federal government. Host Jamil Smith, who moderated a panel discussion on the crisis in Flint last December, talks to New Republic reporter Rebecca Leber about her coverage of the EPA’s role in the Flint crisis.

Then, we turn to a more overt form of racist violence: white terrorism committed in the name of protecting white women. The Huffington Post’s Chloe Angyal and University of Alabama history professor Lisa Lindquist-Dorr discuss how protecting the “sanctity of white womanhood” has been used as the justification for countless murders throughout history, from Emmett Till to the nine victims of the Charleston church shooting this past summer.

And finally, we pay tribute to one of the mothers of intersectionality: Ida B. Wells. North Carolina State historian Blair LM Kelley, author of Right to Ride, joins to discuss Wells’s anti-lynching and women’s rights advocacy, and explains why Wells is her favorite historical figure.

If you want to learn more about one of the topics from this show, here’s a list of further reading: