There’s something to be said about the conversations that come up in your living room — about the mind-bending and theoretical shape shifting that occurs when ideas are tossed around, political theories dissected, notions discussed; about the complex and nuanced views of ourselves and the world around us that become entirely reshaped.
The electric pulses that bounce off one another as we share, argue, lament and bolster one another in our attempts to bridge gaps in our own (mis)understandings are exhilarating. Figuring out where and how each of us connects to the other is a dance, as we weave thoughts from brain waves using tongues and teeth to mash rationale into our feelings to present them to our kin. Like building blocks or puzzles, we use conversations to find our place within the world and within our communities. We make a noble attempt to build ourselves up, even while the world tries to tear us down.
I’ve just described to you the generous offering that Morgan and Kona have bestowed upon the world via their newly born project, BlackChat the Podcast. These two radical, queer Black artists invite you into their living room to sip some tea, get comfy, and listen in as they endeavour to seek answers to the complex, the magical and the downright ridiculous.
BlackChat the Podcast is their most recent labour of love under the BlackChat banner. Starting inside of the home of these two intergenerational gems in the summer of 2016, the duo opened their home to Black folks as a way to build community and have difficult discussions in a safe, welcoming environment, all while throwing a low-key, high vibrational kickback. Thus BlackChat: the Gathering was born.
Coming from a need for more spaces for the lower mainland’s Afro/Caribbean diaspora to gather and find ways to heal together, as well as Black folks visiting from other cities, this almost-monthly gathering picked up momentum. It became clear to both Morgan and !Kona that it was time to bring the energy that was generated in their living room out into the world. Thus prompting BlackAttack.
In this iteration, and through generous community partnerships, BlackChat members attend art, film and cultural events together as a way to connect. And, most importantly, BlackAttack serves as a way to show the city of Vancouver that despite the history and blatant erasure of Black folks on these unceded lands, there still is and continues to be a thriving community.
While there are only four episodes (and counting) of the podcast to date, Morgan and !Kona are not afraid to go beyond the surface and dig deep. Asking questions like, “How do we go about creating the conditions that would allow people to invest in each others’ survival?” and “What does intergenerational work look like to you and how does it show up in your life?” They’ve had guests like local Black artist Jillian Christmas, who touched on the importance of self care and provided a more broad understanding of the sacredness of Locs. There is also an episode on what it looks like to support our Indigenous kin during the already complex time of Black Futures Month under colonial occupation on Turtle Island.
Through all of this, there is joy, magic and love in BlackChat the Podcast. You can really hear the care and tenderness between !Kona and Morgan, even when they disagree or don’t seem to hold the same value to shared experiences. Morgan’s inquisitive nature really shines through during interviews and !Kona’s deep belly laughs and soothing voice have you leaning in for more. Listening to them will have you feeling as if you’ve been pulled into the fold, wrapped up in their fuzzy, weighted blankets and given a delicious brown drink to sip. One that goes down easy, and warms every recess of your soul.