Born out of the easy conversation that emerges when three childhood friends meet for coffee, The Black Helpline has turned into just what the title suggests—a helping place for anyone—“Black people, people of color, and the melanin-challenged,” to come in and listen for a fresh perspective, and a little help.
Tricky Miki, Malcolm Beck (who also happens to own and operate Ashy Larry’s Skincare, also mentioned in this article), and Jermar Arradondo all met as “punk rock kids.” They were Black teens looking for other outcasts, or just people who felt a little different and found them, and each other, in the punk music scene. Their friendship was forever sealed, and now that they are in their early 50s, they have endless things to talk about together. Those topics easily flowed into “We should start a podcast” territory, and now they’ve got more than a thousand loyal listeners tuning in to hear them discuss topics like: “Cancel Culture,” “Scarin Karen,” and other subjects affecting the Black community and beyond.
“If allies want to step up, you have to start by listening,” says Miki, a perfect reason for white people to tune in. Listening to the three hosts casually chatting about important Black concerns is like eavesdropping on a Black barbershop.
“You’ll hear something that you haven’t heard before,” says Beck. “When you’re Black, you see a lot that other people don’t see. You have to be on swivel all the time.”
The Black Helpline is a place you can go to get a fresh perspective, and even more specifically, a fresh perspective on Black Minneapolis, the place all three hosts proudly call home.“ A Minneapolis where we can't hear and respect each other is very foreign,” said Beck.
The Black Helpline is a place for respectful Black dialogue, and anyone who wants to listen, and respect it.
Tune in wherever you get your favorite podcasts.