Kai Wright is host and managing editor of The United States of Anxiety, a show about the unfinished business of our history and its grip on our future. The show airs live on WNYC, Sundays at 6p eastern.
The Atlantic hailed the show as one of the “The Best Podcasts of 2018,” declaring that it “has always been able to swiftly explain current events through the lens of the past.”
In addition, Wright was the host of WNYC Studios’ other limited edition podcasts with social justice themes: The Stakes, There Goes the Neighborhood, and Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice, which was honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. He also served as one of the hosts of Indivisible, a national live radio call-in show that WNYC convened during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration to invite Americans to come together across divides.
Wright’s journalism has focused on social, racial, and economic justice throughout his career. Formerly, he was an editor at The Nation and the editorial director of Colorlines. As a fellow of Type Investigations, he covered economic inequality, access to healthcare, and racial inequity. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Mother Jones, and Salon, among other outlets, and his broadcast appearances include MSNBC and NPR. Wright is the author of Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York, as well as two surveys of black American history.
Kai Wright appears in the following:
Monday, May 23, 2022
There are no “lone wolves” in the terrorist violence of white identity politics. So what’s that mean for white people who want to confront it?
Monday, May 16, 2022
An intergenerational meditation on Ntozake Shange’s iconic Broadway play, "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf."
Monday, May 09, 2022
His leaked opinion tells us more about a powerful minority’s view of the U.S. than it does about the Constitution or the history of abortion.
Thursday, May 05, 2022
A broken democracy. A Supreme Court showdown. And a group of Alabama women who continue to provide care despite it all.
Monday, May 02, 2022
Michigan State Sen. Mallory McMorrow and The Nation Magazine’s John Nichols explain how the Democrats can fight – and win – the culture wars.
Friday, April 29, 2022
Kai Wright talks with WNYC colleague Nancy Solomon about her new podcast: Dead End: A New Jersey Political Murder Mystery.
Monday, April 25, 2022
Plus, a follow up to our episode on names and identities: One trans woman’s story of finding her name, and fighting to have it respected.
Monday, April 18, 2022
We never resolved the core political debates that emerged from the Civil War. And they remain the fundamental debates of this year’s elections.
Monday, April 11, 2022
Asian American New Yorkers explain how Covid-era violence changed their lives, and what’s at stake for everybody when we fear each other. Then, rediscovering community through food.
Monday, April 04, 2022
A slap at the Oscars tarnished Will Smith’s legacy. What about him did Hollywood treasure? Is this institution just a screen for projecting our own social anxieties and cultural debate?
Monday, March 28, 2022
Plus, a National Geographic explorer’s story of diving for sunken slave ships.
Monday, March 21, 2022
What’s in a name? A lot. A listener's voicemail inspired us to explore the sometimes complicated relationship between our names and our racial and ethnic identities.
Monday, March 14, 2022
The social fabric is torn. People nationwide are scared, some going so far as to arm themselves. What can we learn from our history as we react to this fear?
Monday, March 07, 2022
Presidencies are rarely transformational, and neither Biden nor Trump have lived up to their supporters’ dreams. So what does it take to really change our politics?
Monday, February 28, 2022
Democracy won’t work if we can’t talk to each other. So how do we do have conversations across cultural and political divides?
Monday, February 21, 2022
The U.S. Census named “some other race” as the second-largest racial group in the U.S. Mona Chalabi talks us through the data, and the stakes, of that statistic.
Monday, February 14, 2022
Afrofuturism is an old idea that’s reaching new people. We travel from Seneca Village to Wakanda, from Sun Ra to Lil Nas X as we learn this cosmic vision of Black freedom.
Thursday, February 10, 2022
The former Talking Heads frontman explores the challenges – and beauties – of human connection while breaking down his hit Broadway show, American Utopia.
Monday, February 07, 2022
Biden vowed to finally put a Black woman to the Supreme Court. President and CEO of the National Women's Law Center Fatima Goss Graves, Court scholar Elie Mystal, and listeners react.
Monday, January 31, 2022
New science finds we’ve got less than a decade to avoid catastrophe. Activist and author Bill McKibben says the only solutions that can beat that deadline are collective.