Crosscurrents Podcast | KALW

Crosscurrents Podcast

Black Women Challenging Mental Health Stigma

Jul 31, 2019

First up, an Oakland group is helping black women fight the stigma associated with mental illness. Then, one woman’s Bay View on how support from her mother helped her cope with depression as a kid. And, how motherhood changed one Oakland musician’s career.

The History Of Sausal Creek / Russian River Salmon

Jul 30, 2019


First up, the historical significance behind a special creek in East Oakland. Then, we’ll drop into the Russian River, counting salmon.

Tech Training In East Oakland / Shakespeare In Prisons

Jul 29, 2019

First up, tech training centers in Oakland are empowering their students and the community around them. Then, stories from people making theater inside prison — and, a former prisoner making theater on the outside.

First up, we meet State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and ask him about his goals. Then, a drag queen struggles with authentic blackness in the drag scene. And, an Audiograph celebrating the 50th anniversary of the St. John Coltrane Church.

Asylum Seekers / Black Muslim Women

Jul 24, 2019

First up, a San Francisco judge is hearing a case today that could block one of Trump’s most aggressive attacks on asylum seekers. And, Muslim American women have to face Islamophobia, but when you’re also black, it’s even more complicated.

First up, why Oakland became the third city in the country to ban facial recognition software from policing. Then, we explore why and when black people nod to each other on the street. And, a henna artist takes a modern approach to an ancient art form.

W. Kamau Bell / Ghost prophecy

Jul 22, 2019

First up, comedian W. Kamau Bell explains why sometimes he has felt 'not black enough.’ And, in a story from Solano State Prison, a grandmother’s ghost gives a chilling prophecy.

Sara Nora Koust / KALW

In the past decade, over 1,800 trans and gender-diverse people have been reported murdered in Latin America. Probably hundreds more were never reported.

The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History

Jul 17, 2019
Damian Dovarganes / AP Images

Seventy-five years ago, today, on July 17th, 1944, two Liberty ships anchored at the Port Chicago Munitions Case near San Francisco, exploded. 390 men were injured. 320 men died. It was the worst homefront disaster of World War II.

First up, just before legislators go on summer break, California gets a new wildfire plan. Then, an East Bay author tells the story of the aftermath of Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria. And, we hear from the lead singer of an Oakland group that mixes hip-hop and punk.

ICE deportation / Forgiving a mother

Jul 15, 2019

First up, the ICE raids may not have happened last weekend, but migrant and refugee families still live in fear. We meet a Cambodian family who spent months fighting a loved one’s deportation. Then, the story of a man who learns to forgive his mother, from Solano State Prison. 

First, we explore tensions between a homeless encampment and a home depot in East Oakland. Then, homegrown national sportswriter Marcus Thompson discusses what it was like to cover the Warriors' last season in Oakland. And, we’re heading to the Tenderloin for this week’s Audiograph.

The Town That Refuses To Die

Jul 10, 2019
Sarah Craig / KALW

When drinking water gets contaminated, there’s usually a polluter to blame. Most likely it’s the fault of big industry spewing out toxic fertilizers or synthetic chemicals. 

But in nearly 100 communities in California, this isn’t the case. They have water that is contaminated with a naturally occurring chemical: Arsenic.

Cooking, culture, and connection

Jul 9, 2019

First, we visit a restaurant in conservative rural California that relies on Bay Area diners. Then, we get a taste of some authentic Uyghur Chinese food. And, a mother and daughter bond over their love of food in the StoryCorps booth.

First up, families of people killed by police weigh in on a bill that would change standards around the deadly use-of-force. Then, we hear how one prisoner is able to make his escape, in a new story from Uncuffed, at Solano State Prison. And, Southern California earthquakes have the Bay Area thinking about how to prepare for the Big One. Are you ready?

First up, the Golden State Warriors are moving to San Francisco — should Oakland nonprofits be concerned the Dubs will take their donations with them? Then, a commission with the mission to protect the Bay has neglected it. And, an annual event that marries joy to danger — it's tug of war between Bolinas and Stinson Beach.

First up, Chinese-American youth change San Francisco policy about mental health services at high schools. Then, the band Santana celebrates the 20th anniversary of their album Supernatural-  former lead singer Tony Lindsay tells us what it’s like to be a part of music history, and finally, a look into the trashy aftermath of the Pride Parade.


Coming up, a San Francisco-based federal court argues with the Trump Administration over its treatment of migrant children. Then, an Eritrean life coach tries to reimagine traditional foods. And, we hear the experience of Vietnam vets who have been charged with a crime.

First, we’ll hear a Bay Area signature sound that sings the song of LGBTQ resistance, then news on the SF Gay Men's Chorus tour of the South, and finally, a drag performer tells us how trans performers are othered in the art of drag.

First, we’ll hear about a San Francisco-based law firm’s 20 million dollar response to a trans woman’s death in ICE detention, followed by the contested sainthood of Junípero Serra, and finally a new episode of Bounce: Warriors' final words after a season gone awry.

Today, we’ll hear from a transgender queer pioneer who was on the frontline of the riot that helped spark the modern gay rights movement 53 years ago. Then, we’ll revisit a legendary drag bar in San Francisco that was home to many in the queer community until it closed.

Released from jail into the night / Music in prison

Jun 24, 2019

First up, a woman’s death shortly after being released from jail sparks demands for change. Then, stories of musicians behind bars: pianist Maimon Pony and guitarist 'Maserati E.'

First up, johns arrested for soliciting prostitutes sit down for an unusual kind of sex ed. Then, catch up with singer Lydia Pense on her long-lasting legacy in the Bay Area. And, it’s storytime with a twist at Drag Queen Story Hour.

First up, one million Californians don’t have clean drinking water and the state has finally reached an agreement to fund a solution. Then, the Golden State Warriors lost the NBA Finals last week, and now they’re on to an uncertain offseason. We’ll reflect with the latest episode of Bounce: the Warriors’ Last Season in Oakland.

Gabe Grabin / KALW

The Stud, a gay bar and performance space in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, turned 50 in 2016. But, it was also in the news that year for another reason: The owner was calling it quits after a new landlord upped the rent by nearly $6000 — from $3800 a month to $9500. 

First, a different kind of doula — a death doula — wants to give agency to people at the end of their lives. Then, an Oakland spoken word artist helps young writers become published poets. And, in this week's Audiograph, we head to Ocean Beach to hang out with some playful pups.

First up, the Warriors are moving to a stadium without a BART stop. So how are fans gonna get to the game? Then, the final series is almost over, and we’ll find out how fans can get their basketball fix in the off-season.

Non-verbal autism / Bay Area Beats: SOL Development

Jun 11, 2019

First up, we meet a young man who was called low-functioning for half his life. He had no voice. Then, he got one. Then, an Oakland music collective is spreading activism and hope through song. Mixtaping the revolution, today on Crosscurrents.

Today: meet the people trying to make insulin open source for diabetics. Then, if you live in East Oakland, where can you get fresh produce with a WIC voucher? And, what it’s like to be locked up in one of California’s most notorious prisons: Pelican Bay?

Today: we head to Santa Clara County, where officials are grappling with what a recent murder may mean for their immigration policy. Then, a San Francisco actor incorporates journalism into his stage performances. And, and Audiograph features throwback jams from an all-women-of-color DJ collective.