The 21st Show

Writing About Black Food In Chicago; Conspiracy Theories And Politics; Kid-Friendly Podcasts


Beans and rice, greens and cornbread at Majani located in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood. (Louisa Chu/Chicago Tribune)

For the month of June the Chicago Tribune is putting the spotlight on Black food and culture on the city’s South Side. Plus, conspiracy theories have been part of our politics for a long time. These days, belief in those theories are part of why our country is so divided. And, are you a parent traveling with kids over the summer? We’ll hear about two podcasts that are fun for both kids and adults.

American politics has had no shortage of its conspiracy theories. Think about questions about Who Shot JFK? Or Area 51.

But in the past few years, it’s easy to name so many more: pizzagate, birthers, the death of Vince Foster. At the same time, our politics have become so much more polarized.

So, University of Chicago Political Scientist Eric Oliver has asked, could the force driving conspiracy theories also be the same one that’s dividing our country? He joined us on the line to talk about his research.


All this week we’ve been offering some summer podcast recommendations. We’ve compiled all of them here, in case you’ve missed the other ones. But we didn’t want to forget all the parents — and kids — who are out there traveling this summer.

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a Peabody award-winning podcast from a company called Gen-Z Media. It’s a scripted mystery series read by kids, for kids, but it’s meant to keep parents equally entertained as family’s listen together.  

David Kreizman is the head writer for The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, and he joined us to tell us more about this mystery series.

If you’re looking for a non-fiction podcast for kids, one that delves into some big questions, we have another podcast recommendation for you. It’s called Brains On, a science podcast from American Public Media that even curious adults will find interesting. Molly Bloom co-hosts the show with a young guest host each week.


Chicago is one of the top dining destinations in the entire country. But, when it comes to how we write about and talk about food there, which restaurants get the recognition?

All this month, the Chicago Tribune is putting the spotlight on Black food and culture, specifically on Chicago’s South Side. They’re featuring more than a dozen South Side establishments — new and old — and sharing all of their favorites.

But, the series is tackling more than just food. It’s also taking a look at the history, traditions and culture that has shaped the people and places they visit.

Sadé Carpenter is the deputy food and dining editor for the Chicago Tribune.

Story source: WILL