One of our producers, Neil Drumming, has recently become fascinated with Afrofuturism. It's more than sci-fi. It’s a way of looking at black culture that’s fantastic, creative, and oddly hopeful—which feels especially urgent during a time without a lot of optimism. Featuring the new song "The Deep" by clppng. Original artwork by Paul Davey.
This American Life commissioned an original song, “The Deep,” from the hip-hop group clppng., featuring actor and Hamilton performer Daveed Diggs. The song is based on the underwater mythology of the 90s Detroit electro band Drexciya. (6 minutes)
After Huma Abedin’s emails were discovered on her husband’s computer by the FBI, and after FBI Director James Comey publicly declared the agency would be investigating those emails, Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers dropped. What was the conversation Huma Abedin then had with her boss, Hillary Clinton? Actors Tami Sagher and Cady Huffman tried to imagine it.
Before this show ended we wanted to know—how typical are the horror stories? What happens in a typical drug case? To find out, reporter Nancy Updike spent nine hours in Night Narcotics Court in Chicago. What she discovers is that the system is working as fairly as one could hope or expect, with one caveat: Nearly all the defendants are African-American, even though the jurisdiction contains an equal number of white drug users.
Keith Gessen, a young Russian emigre, revisits the heroes of his youth: the brave Soviet dissidents who risked their lives at the height of the Cold War. Many of them resettled into comfortable suburban lives in America.