When the craft of podcasting was created in 2000, it was simply a concept that allowed users to download news stories for listening on a PC or MP3 player. Now, it has become a global phenomenon with over 3 million podcasts and upwards of 152 million episodes. This progressive form of media has offered listeners a new and unique way to consume information, allowed thousands of people to enhance their quality of life, and in simplest terms – it’s changed the world.
When Charlamagne Tha God founded the Black Effect Podcast Network, his chief aim was to bring together the most trusted voices in Black culture for critical conversations on the many facets of life. On Saturday, April 22, he, along with iHeartRadio celebrated the first-ever Black Effect Podcast Festival at Pullman Yards in Atlanta, GA. Held to highlight, uplift and amplify Black voices in the podcast industry, the festival brought together thousands of podcast fans with the Black Effect Podcast Network’s top talent for a day of live podcast recordings from Black Effect’s most popular shows. So many Black women have excelled because of this network, and are also a large part into why the festival was so successful.
“It’s very important to highlight women of color in podcasting because podcasting gives you a platform where you can speak your truths and you don’t have to worry about nobody trying to cancel you,” Jess Hilarious says. “You can stand on what you say… and you can lead. It’s actually an opportunity where you can create a space where you can lead. And I love that in women.”
Helmed by Hilarious herself and Charlamagne, the event began with a live taping of We Talk Back, featuring special guest Porshia Williams. The show’s hosts – AJ and TamBam – spoke with the Real Housewives star about relationships, love, life, and everything in between. The festival also included in-recordings from Big Facts, Whoreible Decisions, The 85 South Show, and a special joint episode of Reasonably Shady, and Checking In with Michelle Williams.
Additionally, the event included thoughtful panel discussions aimed at aspiring and mentoring podcasters in the Black community with leading content creators and media executives. The 2023 Black Effect Podcast Festival also had engaging activations from event sponsors including Nissan, AT&T, State Farm and Molson Coors, as well as a Career Corner, a “Pitch Your Podcast” booth, gaming tournaments with The Trap Nerds and more.
When asked about why this popular network has separated itself from the pack, the Carefully Reckless creator tells ESSENCE that “It’s all Black, and it’s all opinionated and it’s all free. It’s relentless, it’s reckless, but it’s still careful, and it’s informative.”
She emphatically adds, “There’s no bulls**t on The Black Effect.”
Take a look at some photos from the highly successful Black Effect Podcast Festival in Atlanta, GA.