Table of contents
Table of contents
Podcast S7 E1 | 34 min

Black Influencers Beyond the Screens

1 May 2024
Meet Anuli Akanegbu, the host of the BLK IRL podcast and a doctoral candidate researching Black creatives who are contract workers in Atlanta, Georgia.

Anuli Akanegbu is the host of BLK IRL, an audio docuseries. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at New York University, conducting research on Black creatives who are contract workers in Atlanta, Georgia. In conversation with SAPIENS’ podcast host, Dr. Eshe Lewis, Anuli delves into the historical and current successes and struggles of Black influencers, content creators, and artists for labor rights and recognition.

Through in-depth ethnographic interviews, Akanegbu’s work emphasizes the importance of acknowledging people’s humanity behind their digital personas. It reveals the complex realities of Black professionals in creative industries. And as a result, her research challenges us to rethink our assumptions about the online/offline dichotomy—and the possibility of a joyous and unified “life ecosystem.”

Anuli Akanegbu is an Atlanta-based writer, researcher, and podcast producer with doctoral-level training in cultural anthropology and professional experience in marketing research. Anuli is most attracted to projects that examine the complexities of Black creative work and Black contemporary life in the United States. She is a Ph.D. candidate in New York University’s sociocultural anthropology program and is completing a dissertation titled, “The South Got Something to Share: A Behind-the-Screens Look at the Work/Lives of Black Creative Contract Workers in Atlanta.”

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SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is produced by House of Pod. The executive producers were Cat Jaffee and Chip Colwell. This season’s host was Eshe Lewis, who is the director of the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship program. Dennis Funk was the audio editor and sound designer. Christine Weeber was the copy editor.

SAPIENS is an editorially independent magazine of the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the University of Chicago Press. SAPIENS: A Podcast for Everything Human is part of the American Anthropological Association Podcast Library.

This episode is part of the SAPIENS Public Scholars Training Fellowship program, which provides in-depth training for anthropologists in the craft of science communication and public scholarship, funded with the support of a three-year grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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