George The Poet's Genre-Bending Call For Change

Aug 10, 2020

This program was originally broadcast on June 17, 2020. 

George Mpanga, better known as George the Poet, is a 29-year-old British spoken word artist. His new podcast is a genre-defying mix of music, poetry, storytelling, and personal narrative. We talk to him about his art, his push for social change and this moment now.


George the Poet, London-based spoken word artist. Host of “Have You Heard George’s Podcast?,” the first European podcast to ever win a Peabody award.

From The Reading List

Time: “Black Excellence Is Not Just a Hashtag. It’s an Economic Lifeline” — “When I first saw the news about George Floyd, it was a thumbnail with a summary describing a police officer kneeling on a man’s neck.”

Al Jazeera: “Studio B, Unscripted: With Priyamvada Gopal and George the Poet” — “In this episode of Studio B: Unscripted, celebrated academic and author Priyamvada Gopal meets with BRIT award-nominated and spoken-word artist George Mpanga.”

New York Times: “‘Get Rid of Them’: A Statue Falls as Britain Confronts Its Racist History” — “With a mix of pent-up fury and sudden elation, the protesters who toppled a bronze statue of the 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol, England, on Sunday recalled the angry crowds that brought down statues of Saddam Hussein, Stalin and even King George III.”

Channel 4: “‘When this news cycle moves on, the lived reality of racism will persist in the black community as it has done since records began’ – George the Poet” — “Earlier, Krishnan Guru-Murthy took a camera down to meet the spoken word artist and rapper George the Poet – outside, at social distance.”

BBC Reality Check: “George Floyd death: How many black people die in police custody in England and Wales?” — “The death of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis has led to a wave of protests in the United States and beyond.”

NME: “George The Poet on Black Lives Matter: ‘This is our opportunity to reassess our story’” — “‘Is Black Lives Matter having its #MeToo moment?’ asked BBC Newsnight host Emily Maitlis last week when rapper, author and podcast host George The Poet appeared on the show to discuss the spread of anti-racist activism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd under the knee of a US police officer.”

New Yorker: “George the Poet’s Undefinably Good Podcast” — “The medium of podcasting has become so essential that it feels like it’s been around forever, while also being novel enough to surprise listeners with new forms and content, such as a deep dive into the cultural significance of Dolly Parton, or The Paris Review’s peregrination through its own archive.”

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