Reparations: The Big Payback is an immersive, narrative podcast, hosted by social justice filmmakers, Erika Alexander (Living Single, Get Out, Run The World) and Whitney Dow (Two Towns of Jasper, I Sit Where I Want, The Whiteness Project). Erika, a Black woman, and Whitney, a white man, use their unique storytelling skills and experiences to explore the argument for and against the controversial topic of reparations for Black Americans.
Are reparations warranted and, if so, why? What would be the outcome and consequence of paying reparations? What is the “wound” of slavery and how will it be healed? Who qualifies for reparations and who qualifies as Black? What form would reparations take? How could reparations potentially damage Black and white Americans? Could it make an already fraught racial relationship worse?
This podcast will also investigate the underlying, racist architecture of modern businesses, laws, policies and institutions that have their roots in slavery. We’ll show how the money earned during slavery still multiplies today. Finally, we’ll answer this question: if the enslaved ancestors of African Americans built America for free, will America ever be able to pay the debt for this sacrifice?
Beloved for the iconic roles of Maxine Shaw (Living Single), Detective Latoya (Get Out), Barb Ballard (Run The World), Perenna (Black Lightning), Cousin Pam (The Cosby Show) and Linda Diggs (Wutang: An American Saga), Erika Alexander wears many hats, including actress, entrepreneur, creator, producer and trailblazing activist—an all-around boss. As co-founder of Color Farm Media, and board member for Exponent, VoteRunLead and One Fair Wage, Erika is on a mission to bring greater equity, inclusion, and diverse representation to both media and electoral politics. Color Farm’s most recent release is the documentary film John Lewis: Good Trouble about the legendary Congressman and civil rights leader.
Whitney Dow is an award-winning filmmaker who has been producing and directing films focused on race and identity for almost two decades. Dow’s films have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca and IDFA, and been broadcast on networks around the world. His director credits include: Two Towns of Jasper, I Sit Where I Want, Unfinished Country, When the Drum is Beating and he is the creator of Whiteness Project, a multi-platform exploration of American white identity. His work has been recognized with numerous honors including: the George Foster Peabody Award; Alfred I. duPont Award; and many film festival honors. Dow also teaches narrative theory at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation.
Color Farm’s mission is to build an ecosystem that fosters greater equity, inclusion, and diversity in media and that empowers and elevates voices who are underrepresented, overlooked, and undervalued. Self-described as the ‘Motown of film, television and tech,’ Color Farm serves as a bridge from the street to the mainstream. Building an ecosystem that will ultimately include media, technology, and community.
The vision for The Black Effect Podcast Network is to amplify, elevate, and empower emerging and established talent. Black Effect’s goal is to shift the narrative from Black creators signing transactional deals, to instead forming legacy partnerships that build generational wealth while allowing each creative to have an equitable stake in their future.
Podcast Producers: Erika Alexander, Ben Arnon, and Whitney Dow
Executive Producers: Charlamagne tha God & Dollie S. Bishop
Supervising Producer: Nicole Childers
Lead Producer: Devin Maverick Robins
Producer Writer: Cerise Castle
Associate Producer: Kevin Pham
Research and Writing Support: Nile Blass
Original Music: DJDTP
Logo: Michael Rock 2×4
Executive Producer for Best Case Studios: Adam Pincus
Producer for The Black Effect: Symantha Wilson
Talent Booker for The Black Effect: Nicole Spence
Erika and Whitney speak with Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host of NPR’s award-winning podcast Code Switch.
Erika and Whitney appear on Joy Reid’s primetime television show “The ReidOut” on MSNBC
Erika and Whitney appeared on The Breakfast Club with Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy