Shani Jamila was a founding member of Decipher, a collective that launched a strip of radio programming to highlight progressive hip hop and politics. Her talk show aired in the nation's capitol every Tuesday from 2005 - 2011 on Pacifica Radio's WPFW 89.3FM, and streamed live worldwide at For six years the program was there to catalogue major cultural moments and figures in Black history and culture - both domestically and internationally. The archived shows you'll find here highlight some of this work.

Additionally, Shani is a frequent guest on other radio programs. Sample shows featuring her commentary are also available on this page.


Shani Jamila Aircheck
Shani’s aircheck is a collection of highlights from her work in the media over the years.
Talk Highlights
This compilation, which was assembled to commemorate the occasion of our 100th show, features the entire original crew: co-hosts Shani Jamila, Dr. Jared Ball, Dr. Mark Bolden and DJ 2 Tone Jones.
Music Highlights
Every week the Blackademics show provides a platform for grown folks hip hop – local and independent artists, the B-sides, experimental music and of course a touch of old school. This piece, mixed by Jared Ball, captures the music and the message of our show.

African American Culture and Politics

Dr. Clarence Lusane
Shani's guest on this program was Dr. Clarence Lusane, American University professor and author of The Black History of the White House. Listen in for a lively and informative discussion that takes a comparative look at race in the US and Brazil. In addition, Dr. Lusane shares behind the scenes stories from his most recent book and offers a peek into his writing process. (November 2010)
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill
In this wide-ranging interview with Columbia University’s Dr. Marc Lamont Hill a range of questions are addressed. What was really going on with the town hall meetings on health care? How can we use hip hop as a pedagogical tool? What’s up with the “stop snitching” and “no homo” movements? Tune in to learn about all this and more. (August 2009)

Poets & Writers

E. Ethelbert Miller
How is literary activism defined? What is the role of poets in a time of war? What were some of the major moments in the chronology of Black writing over the 20th and 21st centuries? Miller joined Shani to address these questions, as well as to talk about his own writings and career. (December 2006)
Patricia Smith
During this show Shani asks the award winning wordsmith Patricia Smith to trace the story of her childhood and explain how those experiences have informed her practices as a writer, teacher and performer. This sparked a conversation about the slam poetry scene, Smith’s recommended reads and a recitation of one of Shani’s favorite poems. (September 2007)

African Diaspora

Dr. Sheila Walker
Join a conversation in progress with Dr. Walker, renowned anthropologist and author of African Roots, American Cultures. This fascinating interview between two world traveling women features an in depth discussion about retentions, languages and cultures in the African diaspora. (December 2006)
Dr. Brent Edwards
Shani was pleased to welcome Dr. Edwards, Columbia University professor and author of The Practice of Diaspora, as her guest for this show. Press play to hear a conversation about jazz studies, women in the African diasporic arts scene, and the Pan African Congresses. (February 2008)

Me as Interviewee

Esther Armah
Shani Jamila is regularly featured on The Spin, an all women’s media panel hosted by Esther Armah on New York City's 99.5FM. In this episode Shani, author Joan Morgan and April Silver of Akila Worksongs discuss an effort to translate the Bible into Jamaican patois, skyrocketing arrest rates in the U.S. and women’s rights in Egypt. (December 2011)
Night Talk with Dr. Ron Daniels
Night Talk, a program that aired on WBAI in New York, was hosted by Dr. Ron Daniels. Shani was invited to discuss her perspective on the inauguration of President Barack Obama, as highlighted in her article “Dispatches from DC.” (January 2009)
Spoken Word at Joe’s Place
This poetry show, which airs weekly on Howard University’s WHUR 96.3FM, has profiled an array of acclaimed artists. This interview is excerpted from Shani’s second time being featured on the program. It includes a discussion of her personal journey and readings of a couple of her poems. (February 2009)