Things That Fed Me in 2020


I love podcasts. They teach me so much about myself, others and any other nook and cranny of society and life that interests me at any given time. But as things go in the content world, my discovery of one podcast is often a function of having listened to another. I always find myself sharing an episode here or there and I can rarely do so without wanting to go into how and why I came across it.

Podcasts uniquely capture my essence in a way that I appreciate. My television, book and music preferences combined do that also, but for some reason, podcasts seem to encapsulate it more concisely... if that makes any sense? I think it is the depth and style with which you can explore a topic, combined with the intimacy of the human voice.

The most satisfying way for me to do my listening some justice and adequately describe how I came to listen to the things that I do is to visualize it!

Hear to Slay

I consider Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom my fairy pod aunties — these are some of my favorite Black lady thinkers in the world.

This pod consistently nourishes my brain and soul with its depth and range of guests and topics. Roxane and Tressie leave no identity behind, while still unapologetically centering Black women. I always leave this pod feeling like I’ve learned something new, cool and important from a brilliant person that I will continue to follow. The conversations on this show push my thinking on so many issues and keep me open-minded and introspective. The bonus is being able witness to Tressie and Roxane’s on-air friendship and partnership.

The Luminary subscription is worth it for this pod alone.

Keep It

Keep It hits all the right pop culture notes for me. Ira, Aida and Louis are such a great team, and they all happen to be queer people from the Midwest (two of whom are Black). This podcast is basically the sound of my inner pop culturista’s id. I get takes on all the politics and pop that I want, in the ways I enjoy it most - be it funny, petty, thoughtful, incisive and all that is in between. Also, these folks get killer guests.

Bitch Sesh

I’m among the Housewives faithful and have no apologies for it. As Miranda in Sex and the City once said about her TV choices: “It’s my thing. Let it go.”

Casey and Danielle make me feel like I’m not alone in the level of analysis that I apply to any given Housewives cast, location or event. I will forever stand by the fact that Housewives is a damn good window into the lives of women and the relationships they find themselves in — romantically, platonically and with themselves.

The third chair guests can be a crap shoot, but otherwise, I love Casey and Danielle’s exuberance about every element of the shows and the perspective they lend as people in the business of entertainment.

About Me

Siera. One r.

I am a mommy, wife, Black woman, and alumna of Cornell University and UCLA. I am also a (perhaps unusually) proud native of Ithaca, New York.

My career spans hospitality, real estate, finance, entertainment, technology and affordable housing & economic development. However, in the tried and true tradition of Black womanhood, I am an educator and source of positivity, advocacy, support, and knowledge in any space you find me in.

While I lead a pretty invigorating professional life these days, that was not always the case. It is in part thanks to my unquenchable thirst for knowledge, enjoyment of the truly frivolous and random, and straight up curiosity and earnestness, that helped me arrive at this place.

My journey is largely sponsored by tons of content consumption -- podcasts, books, TV, The Culture, sometimes movies, Twitter for sure, radio, among other things.

This the space for me to sort, share, celebrate and play with all the things.