In the recent year, members of the Black community have taken to social media and other outlets to express their disdain for the types of content created regarding the Black experience. While several figures in Hollywood have begun to shift the ways in which audience members view Black people, including writer and producer Issa Rae, director and writer Jordan Peele, and show-creating savant Shonda Rhimes, people are still yearning for more.
Recently Atlanta Black Star sat down with entertainment journalist Gia Peppers to talk about her latest endeavor and how she has been using her platform to tell the stories that matter to the Black community via her latest series, “More Than That with Gia Peppers.”
Peppers explained that “MTT” — a nine-part audio series created in collaboration with One Solution, a division of Urban One — aims to deliver “conversations that will inspire people but also be informative to the Black community.”
“They realized that we all have these incredible things that we’re doing in our community. We all have these great ways that we’re making moves and understanding how our different creativity has really moved everything in this world,” Peppers explained. “They also wanted to make sure that everybody understands how to live better. At this point, we have so much access to knowledge and information, why not start having these conversations on a show that is able to really bring together the different ways that different communities within our communities are living.”
Essentially described as a “sonic journey,” “MTT” covers an array of in-depth conversations on topics such as finance, mental health, the Black family, and even nutrition.
“We have conversations about why veganism has taken off and why it’s so important to grow your own food now. And why farming has become a major point of conversation in our lives now and why it’s important that we kind of go back to the land and really heal ourselves and really understand what it is that our ancestors built here,” Peppers explained. “Yes, it was a painful and horrible time that that happened within slavery, but also our ancestors built all of the fertility of this land in this whole country. So we also have to pay respect and go back there, and that’s one of the things that our guest Samantha Foxx [does]. She is the owner and founder of Mother’s Finest Urban Farms, and she is a Black woman farmer that came on and changed my whole thinking about why it’s important to grow your food.”
With the help of major brands, including Kroger, Procter & Gamble, and Charmin, Urban One curated engaging discussions that “align” with what those companies do as product and service businesses.
“We had conversations about the Black maternal mortality rate for our Charmin and Pampers episode,” the media personality revealed. “We had the conversation about why food fuels you and why it’s important to eat healthy and not just, you know, say, ‘I do this and that,’ but why certain foods are better for the nutrients in your body, and that was sponsored by the grocery store chain Kroger. It was a really cool way to have a conversation around Black wellness and understanding from our perspective, how we can really understand how to live better.”
While reflecting on her experience creating the show, Peppers shared some of her favorite moments, including being joined by her parents and siblings for a discussion surrounding the Black family and what that dynamic meant to them.
She revealed she also got a chance to talk to her father — who is also a journalist — during one episode about financial literacy and “how he understood finances as a young Black man in this country.” She added, “I’ve been having really awesome conversations with people who matter to me, but to have my family on an episode that is aired nationally means the world to me.”
With this show, the media personality hopes that listeners will be more inclined to question things and be less “ashamed for not knowing.” “I think it so unfortunate that part of our cancel culture is kind of shaming people who don’t know already the things that they need to know,” she added.
“MTT” promises to deliver elevating discussions that are important to the Black community in a manner unique to the medium, which seemingly comes at a time when the narrative of the Black experience is shifting in every aspect from the way it’s created, delivered and consumed by its audience — a movement Pepper sees already in full effect.
“Young Hollywood is very much aware of their power and their presence,” she explained. “They’re taking the power and the presence back to the Black community in order to inspire more storytellers to have the courage to tell their own stories.”
“More Than That with Gia Peppers” is available on all streaming platforms where podcasts are available.