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Parker Edison and KPBS announce “The Parker Edison Project” Podcast

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New podcast looks at the tenets of American culture through the unique lens of Black America

What comes to mind when you think of American culture? “The Parker Edison Project,” a new podcast by San Diego musician and artist Parker Edison and KPBS, works to expand the cliché answer to that question. It's a podcast that zooms way in on what really makes a culture — food, music, style, sex, fashion and more. Episodes will be released every two weeks on Wednesdays beginning February 10, 2021.

In each of its 10 episodes, host and co-creator Parker Edison leads insightful conversations about creativity and community, all through the lens of Black America.

"I’m a big believer in the American dream, but I think it has an outdated image. The American dream is happening daily and we need shows - like this one - to document those stories so they’re included in retellings," says Parker.

Parker is a member of the award winning art-rap group Parker Meridien, a TedX alumni, and winner of the Local Peacemaker Award from the National Conflict Resolution Center. As an executive producer for the Reclaiming the Community Music Project, he helped bring the community together, and shine a light on the gifted storytellers of Southeast San Diego.

"There’s a social rift in the U.S. but one thing that we all have in common is the struggle to survive. The people who’ve made it forget how hard it was and the people who are struggling now don’t see themselves in their elders. I hope this series reminds people that we’re all having the same experiences. I hope the listeners relate to the people they hear and feel like they know someone they’ve never met," says Parker.

The podcast trailer is available here.

There are 10 episodes in the inaugural season of “The Parker Edison Project.” Each one explores a cultural tenet and includes musical artist performances.

Episode Descriptions:

Episode 1: Womxn on Film

Despite its tongue in cheek title, this episode isn't about video vixens. Latanya Lockett and Parker discuss the secret meaning of hoop earrings and photographer Alanna Airitam tells us how art helped her escape the 9-to-5. Music performance by Tres 'Sojourn' Hodgens.

Episode 2: .. ‘the Southeast’

Parker looks at the Underground Improv, a venue crucial in the development of San Diego's illustrious rap history. We then fast-forward 20 years to see what’s happening in that space today.

Episode 3: Customs

We examine how seemingly unimportant interactions can become traditions future generations pass forward for years. We talk to Robert Lee about a team of volunteers in City Heights that are using education to foster inclusion into the community. Music performance by Oranje Space.

Episode 4: Fashion

Leon St. Heron and stylist Sandra Veum weigh in on fashion, self-confidence and society’s perception of men. Music performance from the Invisible Ponchos.

Episode 5: Sex in the Transplant City

Librarian, rapper and local historian Robert ‘Stuntdouble’ Surratt stops in to discuss how San Diego’s lusty history affects today's dating scene, making us the perfect Tinder-town.

Episode 6: Money

We sit with Skyler McCurine for insights on wage inequality. We also get with Inland Empire rapper King Dice for a segment called MMSM (Movies Millennials Should Movie).

Episode 7: Religion

We speak with Dr. Roy Whitaker whose hip hop and religion class at SDSU shows the scholastic and spiritual roots of rap. Music performance from 1019 & the Numbermen.

Episode 8: Music

In an homage to Fox TV's real-time series “24,” we take our sound guy (producer/artist Chris Reyes) out to record exactly 24 minutes of Parker’s real-life to use for this week’s show. Come along for a mini-adventure of odd questions with strange answers.

Episode 9: Movies

Rapper King Dice stops by for another MMSM (Movies Millennials Should Movie) segment and Parker takes Ferris Bueller to Movie Court.

Episode 10: Media

We look at the effects of the 24 hour media cycle and discuss how Facebook and Instagram have begun to "Walmart" the internet.

The schedule is subject to change.

“The Parker Edison Project” is funded in part by the KPBS Explore Local Program Fund, a programming initiative to give voice to the many diverse stories of San Diego.

You can subscribe to the series now by visiting www.kpbs.org/parkeredison, or search “Parker Edison Project" on your favorite podcast app.

KPBS Media Contact

Heather Milne Barger, hmilne@kpbs.org