PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — When I first started doing JSC Radio nearly 2½ years ago, I often pictured the podcast — which was, essentially, an extension of this blog — to be a sounding board for not just me, but for interesting and compelling people. In the 90+ shows I’ve done, counting the “Best of” shows and special episodes, I have had a number of great conversations. Ranging from the early episodes where I interviewed Jenee Darden, Lara Witt, and Adrienne Lawrence to the two appearances by Jazmine Duke (including Ep. 61.5, where she and her dad made a tandem appearance) to my interview with the dynamic Renee Washington. This show has been a slow burn and a slow build but every episode is worth it.
That brings me to Episode 80. The 80th Episode of JSC Radio morphed from being a milestone episode (every 5 shows is a damn milestone) to being my favorite overall episode of this show since I started doing it in 2016. I’m a competitive dude. I’m constantly trying to improve upon things and get better, and I felt a lot of that played a role in how well this turned out. But that podcast was nothing without those two dynamic women.
First and foremost, I want to thank Melissa DePino and Michelle Saahene for giving me their time and coming on with me. Their energy was infectious and the drive they have for progress is. Melissa had done a number of interviews on TV and Radio in the last three months. So by the time my ass came sniffing around, she’d have been well within her rights to simply tell me to f— off. But instead, she was wonderfully gracious, super cool, and introduced me to Michelle. She is the woman who shot the video and is one of the voices you hear in the background protesting the arrest of the two men in that Rittenhouse Square Starbucks on April 12.
They are the two women responsible for this year’s most importantly viral video, that all spurred from this tweet from Melissa a couple of hours after the incident:
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
Michelle’s story and Melissa’s couldn’t be more fascinating. Or the fact that they had never met prior to April 12. The interview lasts nearly an hour and hits on both perspectives: Michelle’s being a young black woman witnessing it up close in that Starbucks and Melissa’s being that of a “middle aged” white woman seeing the video and wondering what to do. There were a multitude of moments in that conversation that really stood out. Whether it was Melissa saying that she had her “white privilege wake-up call“ when she saw the video or Michelle recounting how a recent trip to her family’s native Ghana opened her eyes to the proverbial struggle.
Plus, the first 30 minutes of the podcast touch on, in greater detail, the night in 2000 that I was trailed home and harassed by a Michigan State University Police officer after going to grab food at a Burger King following a party. It got real, and before you move on to check out Episode 81 — NBA Free Agency is running wild, Brother! — go bookmark Episode 80. It’s essential.
Feel free to support this show by subscribing, sharing links, giving me a rating and a review on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Radio Public, Audioboom, and now playing on…Spotify and iHeartRadio! The show is also on Twitter at @JSCRadio!
Shouts out to Doc Illingsworth for dropping a ton of beats on me. Support him and buy his merch at His Website and get all his music on Bandcamp. I also wanna big up the homie Ossim Jones for adding his sound to the show as well.
I want to thank those of you who continue to support JSC Radio as I continue to grow this show day by day.
Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Thursday, July 12, 2018.
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ