Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay

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Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay dissect the biggest topics in black culture, politics, and sports. Two times per week, they will wade into the most important and timely conversations, frequently inviting guests on the podcast and occasionally debating each other.

Episode Date
Joe Biden’s Latest Problematic Comments, Plus the First Mailbag Friday
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss 'The Oprah Conversation' and Ted Cruz’s comments about it (10:25) as well as Joe Biden’s comments comparing the Black and Latino communities (26:49) before having their first Mailbag Friday with questions from the Thought Warriors (44:00). They also compliment the women of the WNBA for speaking out on social justice (1:09:18) and share their Unexpected Allies of the Week (1:22:56).
Aug 07, 2020
Beyonce's 'Black Is King' and Tayshia Adams Is The Bachelorette
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay react to the rumors that Tayshia Adams is the new Bachelorette (0:30) and then discuss their thoughts on Beyonce’s visual album ‘Black Is King’ (16:16), Jonathan Isaac’s decision to stand for the national anthem and not wear a Black Lives Matter T-shirt (36:49), President Trump threatening to ban TikTok from the U.S. (46:00), and the upcoming Verzuz Battle between 2 Chainz and Rick Ross (56:35).
Aug 04, 2020
John Lewis’s Funeral and How Bill Clinton Alienated Himself From the Culture
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss Bill Clinton’s problematic comments at John Lewis’s funeral (10:41), the viral video featuring Stella Immanuel (26:29), an important listener question about dealing with family members who might not understand you (49:20), and the Dascha Polanco situation (1:00:02), before giving out their unexpected allies of the week awards (1:25:37).
Jul 31, 2020
Forget Chris Brown, Usher vs. Justin Timberlake Is the Verzuz Battle We Need
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s recent characterization of slavery as a “necessary evil” in American history (10:02); how they’re feeling about the election with less than 100 days to go (30:20); the debate over whether Chris Brown or Justin Timberlake would make for better competition in a Verzuz Battle with Usher (45:18); and the recent situation on Twitter with Talib Kweli (1:04:17).
Jul 28, 2020
The Situation in Portland Is a Defining Moment in American History
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss the sit-down between former vice president Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama (4:05), the Trump administration sending in unmarked troops to quell protests in Portland (18:02), Draya Michele’s comments about Tory Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion (34:51), and the rap battle between DMX and Snoop Dogg (53:32), before giving their Unexpected Ally of the Week awards (1:13:11).And in case you didn’t know, you can now watch video of every 'Higher Learning' episode directly on Spotify.
Jul 24, 2020
RIP John Lewis and Breaking Down Kanye's Presidential Campaign With GLC | Higher Learning
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss the life of John Lewis and why he’s such an important figure in the fight for social justice (2:58). Then they do one final deep dive on Kanye West’s presidential campaign with the rapper GLC, a longtime friend and colleague of West’s (13:19).
Jul 21, 2020
Reacting to the Washington Football Team Harassment Story and the Response to Nick Cannon
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss Nick Cannon’s anti-Semitic comments and the reactions to them (1:20), the Washington Post story on the sexual harassment within the Washington football organization (35:42), the news that Tory Lanez allegedly shot Megan Thee Stallion (49:53), and Tucker Carlson’s head writer being outed as a racist (1:03:20).
Jul 17, 2020
Jada Pinkett and Will Smith's Bizarre Red Table Talk
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay dive into the Red Table Talk between Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith (9:48), Chance the Rapper’s tweets about Kanye West’s presidential bid (34:04), the Washington NFL team changing their name (46:24), President Trump finally wearing a mask (58:47), and the myth of "Black-on-Black crime" (1:10:50).
Jul 14, 2020
DeSean Jackson's Anti-Semitic Post and Kanye West Doubling Down
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss DeSean Jackson’s anti-Semitic Instagram post and the controversy surrounding Stephen Jackson defending DeSean (5:09). Then they go into Van’s review of 'Hamilton' (25:56), Lady Antebellum trying to change their name to Lady A (35:23), Kanye West's unexpected interview in Forbes (48:10), and Rachel’s appearance on Emmanuel Acho’s show, 'Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man' (1:10:49).
Jul 10, 2020
Is Kanye West Really Running for President in 2020?
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss the recent COVID-19 spike and how President Trump’s comments about the virus are dangerous (5:39), President Trump’s remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement (20:35), Kanye West’s apparent bid for the 2020 presidency (37:46), Makur Maker committing to an HBCU to play college basketball (47:02), and the 'Hamilton' craze (1:15:38), before diving into Marcellus Wiley’s recent comments about the Black Lives Matter movement in the NBA (1:28:23).
Jul 07, 2020
Is Van Jones Working With the White House? Plus Trump's Vile Retweet
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss President Trump retweeting a video that included a “white power” chant (4:58), the Daily Beast article revealing Van Jones worked with the White House on the police reform bill (23:53), Cam Newton signing with the Patriots (58:09), and the death of Elijah McClain (1:11:45).
Jun 30, 2020
The Latest in NASCAR's Noose Incident Shows We Have a Long Way to Go
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay address the recent New York Times piece about The Ringer (5:04), the latest on the incident involving the noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage (14:05), what to make of the Justice in Policing Act (34:29), Russell Simmons being on Tidal’s Black Lives Matter panel (46:29), and removing historic statues (1:01:08) before presenting their Unexpected Allies of the Week (1:16:59).
Jun 26, 2020
Trump's Rally Flop and a Noose in Bubba Wallace's Garage
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss the surprising lack of attendance at President Trump’s rally in Tulsa (7:57), a noose being found in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega (27:29), whether or not it’s fair to make college athletes play during the COVID-19 era (1:06:27), and the Eminem vs. Revolt beef (1:13:07).
Jun 23, 2020
Breaking Down Trump’s Executive Order and the J. Cole–Noname Rap Beef
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay break down President Trump’s executive order on police reform (6:49), Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben being removed from their respective food items for racial insensitivity (29:28), the rap beef between J. Cole and Noname (38:17), and Mike Gundy’s racist T-shirt (1:07:52) before presenting the Unexpected Allies of the Week (1:17:29).
Jun 19, 2020
Dave Chappelle’s ‘8:46’ Special and The Bachelor’s Black Lead
 Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss ‘The Bachelor’ finally naming a black, male lead and what the next steps need to be for the franchise (4:23). Then they explain why they liked Dave Chappelle’s ‘8:46’ special so much and address some of the criticisms against it (21:16). They also address the Rayshard Brooks incident in Atlanta and how it relates to the Higher Learning Buzzword of the Week (35:40). Finally, they touch on the recent NBA drama with players such as Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard advocating for not playing the end of the season (1:01:04)
Jun 16, 2020
What to Make of ‘On the Record,’ Trump Co-opting Juneteenth, and NASCAR Removing the Confederate Flag
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay have a discussion about the recently released documentary ‘On the Record’, the accusations of rape brought against Russell Simmons, as well as his appearance on The Breakfast Club (6:26). Then they debate why President Donald Trump is choosing to have his first campaign rally in months on Juneteenth (38:52), discuss the removal of the confederate flag from NASCAR (56:56), and give props to LeBron James for his new voting initiative (1:07:31). Finally, Van takes a moment to discuss a recently passed friend (1:25:44).
Jun 12, 2020
Analyzing Roger Goodell's Statement About Black Lives Matter
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay dissect Roger Goodell’s statement about the Black Lives Matter movement and explain why it rings hollow until Colin Kaepernick gets signed by an NFL team (7:10). They then discuss the problematic responses to the movement from Candace Owens (23:30), Terry Crews (27:55), Mark Wahlberg, and how to react to Congress taking a knee and wearing kente cloth (47:53). Finally they discuss the differences between defunding the police compared to reforming the police (57:35) and introduce a new segment called Unexpected Ally of the Week (1:25:15).
Jun 09, 2020
Drew Brees, Trump, and Obama: Discussing the Responses to the Protests
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss President Trump’s response to this week’s protests and the stark contrast to former president Obama’s remarks (1:32). Then they cover the responses of professional sports figures, including Tiger Woods (18:45), Drew Brees (26:25), and James Dolan (35:24) before covering #BlackoutTuesday (46:58).
Jun 04, 2020
The Importance of the Nationwide Protests Over George Floyd's Death
Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay discuss the scope and importance of this weekend’s protests after the death of George Floyd while in police custody. They talk about their own experiences with the protests in Los Angeles and Miami (0:21), explain why these protests feel different than past actions (17:12), and give a call to action on how to move forward (26:12). Then they dive into President Donald Trump’s response (34:48), Joe Biden (43:43), Amy Klobuchar, and why it’s OK for politicians to admit they don’t have all the answers. Finally, they discuss how they’d like to see police reform and why it’s important for celebrities with a platform to speak out right now.
May 31, 2020
George Floyd, Doja Cat's Apology, and Joe Biden's Remarks
Van and Rachel address the death of George Floyd and what it means for society broadly (00:45). They also discuss the latest drama with Doja Cat and the struggle with self-acceptance (23:50), racism inside Bachelor Nation, and Joe Biden's 'Breakfast Club' gaffe (52:11). Finally, they take some heat to Azealia Banks. Hosts: Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay
May 28, 2020
Introducing 'Higher Learning With Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay'
The first episode of Higher Learning drops on Thursday, May 28. Listen to a clip to get a taste of what Rachel and Van will be covering. No topic is off limits. In this clip, they discuss whether Justin Timberlake is still invited to the barbecue.
May 26, 2020