Farai's blog

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Find out more about my books, political reporting and broadcasting, public speaking, and teaching.

The Episodic Career

The Episodic Career provides the big-picture vision of the world economy, as well as the particulars of salary, family, health, and lifestyle that you need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

One with Farai

Podcasts with global visionaries.

Black Issues Connected: Why Race Is Never Just Race

Even for a country where racial commentary is an amateur sport and racial incidents come in waves, we’ve had a strange run of racial news about black Americans, people who think they’re black Americans, and justice.

Browder; Dolezal; Vesey

Browder; Dolezal; Vesey


There’s Kalief Browder, pushed to suicide by years of abuse in the New York jails for a crime he arguably should never have been arrested for and did not commit, juxtaposed with what is variously described as the trans-racialism or minstrelsy of Rachel Dolezal. (See (Read More...)

June 18, 2015 Blog 1 Comment

In 2008, Hillary Clinton said mother would have been in foster care today

She was Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008, when she ran against Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards in South Carolina, the last state before Edwards dropped out of the race.

I spoke to her for NPR’s News and Notes, and she mentioned her mother, saying, “If she had been born at a later time, I believe she probably would have been put into the foster care system because her parents essentially abandoned her.”  Today, former Secretary of State Clinton is expected to formally announce for President, foregrounding themes of her mother.

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 10.32.29 AM

The (Read More...)

June 12, 2015 Blog No Comments

Kill Yourself and We’ll Know You are Human: Kalief Browder and Ota Benga

Among man’s greatest inhumanities to man is saying one is not a man — merely a beast, a prisoner, a captive. Two stories in the media this week span a century, yet end the same way: with a death that is technically a suicide, but where the hand was powerfully forced.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 9.53.59 AMPamela Newkirk’s new book Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga was excerpted here in The Guardian. She explores the life of a Congolese man captured in 1904 and displayed in the monkey house of the Bronx, New York Zoo in 1906. He was forced to live with

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June 9, 2015 Blog No Comments

Free-Range Workers Crossing the Highway of Life

“Free-Range” has become a buzzword applied to everything from poultry to children. And in its broadest sense it applies to today’s workers too.

via Huffington Post

via Huffington Post

I spoke with a man recently who told me about looming layoffs in the financial sector (see this; plus this about the oil industry; and this NYT list of its articles about (Read More...)

June 8, 2015 Blog No Comments

We came together; and we left the same way

We came back for our reunion, some of us eagerly and others skeptically. Twenty-five years after graduating from Harvard (nearly 30 from arriving) we returned to the nest of our adult years. We superimposed layers of vivid recall from crucial stages of our development on the physicality of the present: brick walls with ivy; columned library towers; Memorial Hall fancified into something akin to Hogwarts. And add to that the people we were and have become.


We can’t read each others’ minds, at least I think not, but if we could I think a lot of us would have arrived at the Yard saying let’s just see how this goes. As in: my friends are great but what if everyone else is an asshole?

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June 2, 2015 Blog No Comments


Bigger Than Technology: An Interview with Joi Ito on One with Farai

21 Aug 2014

Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, explains how a sense of play and experimentation inform their cutting-edge work. As a child, Joi Ito went back and forth between Japan and US cities, including Detroit, forging an international identity; a fascination with technology; and also for community. He explains how passions …

Living History, Exploring Nature: An Interview with Betty Reid Soskin on One with Farai

15 Aug 2014

At 92, Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest full-time National Parks service ranger, teaching about racial and gender equality as well as nature. National Parks ranger Betty Reid Soskin has worked for women’s and civil rights; run a “race record” music store; and now helps tell the history of gender and industry …

Music (and Dance) for All: An Interview with Bill Bragin on One with Farai

8 Aug 2014

Bill Bragin, the director of public programming for the famed Lincoln Center, on bringing free and adventurous music, dance, and art to all. Farai Chideya speaks with Bill Bragin, the Director of Public Programming for Lincoln Center, about what it takes to bring great music and art to crowds for free… and also …

Equality — A Survivor’s Guide: An Interview with Urvashi Vaid on One with Farai

1 Aug 2014

Activist Urvashi Vaid talks about how LGBT politics relate to other rights struggles, plus her journey surviving two rounds of cancer. Farai Chideya speaks with Urvashi Vaid, author of books including “Virtual Equality” and a professor at Columbia Law School. Born in India, raised in America, she details how LGBT issues connect …

First Nations Filmmaking: An Interview with Bird Runningwater on One with Farai

25 Jul 2014

Bird Runningwater of the Sundance Institute on innovations in Native and indigenous film. Farai Chideya speaks about the work of the Sundance Institute — the mentoring, training, and career-building sister to the Sundance Film Festival — with its Native American and Indigenous Program Director, Bird Runningwater.

Digital Diplomacy and Global Economy: An Interivew with Alec Ross on One with Farai

18 Jul 2014

Author and former U.S. diplomat Alec Ross on globalization Alec Ross helped define “digital diplomacy”, and logged nearly a million air miles for work — as Senior Advisor of Innovation to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He talked with Farai Chideya about technology and the future of globalization.