Hosts of Black Girl Podcast open up about the struggles and joys of being a black woman today

Simone Arrington

The year is 2019 (at least for a few more days). It’s undisputedly the “golden age of podcasts,” and there are over 800,000 different shows in rotation at any given time. However, there’s one show in particular that flawlessly caters to the lives of black women with their raw and relatable content: Black Girl Podcast.

Black Girl Podcast was started in December 2016 by five incredibly dope women who formed a sisterly bond while working at Hot 97. Gia Peppers, Sapphira Martin, Alysha Pamphile, Deanii “Scottie Beam” Scott and Rebecca “Bex” Francois came together to curate meaningful dialogue around everyday struggles, sisterhood, pop culture, love, growth and the pursuit of their dreams to their highly engaged listening audience. And with collectively over 200,000 followers each, empathizing with at least one of the five hosts is effortless.

Photo credit: Denzel Golatt, @denzelgolatt
Photo credit: Denzel Golatt, @denzelgolatt

In their latest episode, #10YearChallenge, the ladies focused on what their dreams were 10 years ago and how they were able to manifest those aspirations to date. From hosting live podcasts at music festivals and conferences to producing video segments, Black Girl Podcast has attained its success by exemplifying what sisterhood looks like, and touching upon every pressing matter that has affected the black community this year.

“None of this feels surprising, but all of this feels right,” Gia shared. The 29-year-old DC native established a powerful presence in the media industry by cementing her place as the “go-to-girl” for publications and major brands as a media correspondent. This summer, she hosted Black Coffee, a daily show on BET Digital with Marc Lamont Hill and Jameer Pond. Guests on the hit show included notable politicians such as 2020 presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar.

“We’ve created a lot of opportunities that we have,” Sapphira admitted. The Queens, N.Y. native has a proven track record of building social media brands from the ground up. To date, Sapphira is the curator and founder of SassBoxx, a women’s lifestyle subscription box, and co-owner of The Brown Barre, an event space and dance studio. The entrepreneur is continuing to pour her branding expertise into companies as Senior Social Media Manager for Flip The Senate.

When Scottie posed a year-in-review reflective question to the group, Alysha admitted, “I think I grew because of this podcast.” Alysha’s self-discovery began in 2006 after the sudden passing of her father. At 23, the New Jersey native decided to focus on herself and regain control of her life in hopes of finding her purpose. Her journey in video production led her to Complex Networks where she currently works as a coordinating producer. She plans to begin producing her own creative work going into the new year.

Regarding new year’s resolutions, Alysha asked the group what’s one goal they all want to achieve in 2020.

“[I want to do] a workshop for black women who struggle with suicide ideations,” Scottie shared. “I didn’t know how serious it was until I said it on Twitter and a few people pulled me aside at CultureCon and they cried.” The radio and television personality born and bred in New York and New Jersey isn’t afraid to shy away from having difficult conversations. Scottie was previously co-host on the Revolt TV talk show, State Of The Culture, where she unapologetically expressed her viewpoints on trending cultural topics. She amassed a huge social following of over 149,000 users on Instagram alone and her presence has landed her partnership deals with Nike, Netflix and Gimlet Media.

Francois, who wasn’t present for this episode, is BGP’s fifth cast member. Born to two Haitian immigrant parents, the New Yorker dominated the digital production space. Francois’ passion is fearlessly capturing black stories and has successfully done so this year as a video producer for the Sen. Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign — which is also why she was absent from this episode recording. Although she wasn’t there for the tapping, Francois noted that she hopes BlackGirlPod listeners will “grow through what you go through. Life is beautiful if you let it be.”

As Black Girl Podcast continues to diversify the conversation in the podcasting realm and expand its brand in 2020, the cast has made it their mission to be the change they wish to see by encouraging and uplifting black women and advocating on behalf of their community every chance they get.

Black Girl Podcast is on all podcast streaming platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

This episode was recorded at Gotham Studios in New York City.