Ossa Featured Podcasters: Angelica Monk and Ryanne Bennett, Hosts of Black Girl Nerds
Angelica Monk and Ryanne Bennett are co-hosts of the Black Girl Nerds podcast. The show celebrates the intersection of black and nerd culture (self-proclaimed blerds) by discussing the latest in sci-fi, superheroes, and so much more. The hosts’ unique perspectives create a fun, entertaining atmosphere where listeners feel like part of the conversation.
Read on for more from Angelica Monk and Ryanne Bennett, and listen to their show at the links below (leave a review, too!):
Angelica Monk and Ryanne Bennett
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
AM: The Black Girl Nerds podcast is a melting pot of pop culture, current events, and all things nerdy. Whether you’re looking to discuss the last season of “Game of Thrones,” the political climate of our country, your favorite comic book characters, the hottest musical acts, or simple girl talk, this podcast encompasses it all.
RB: Black Girl Nerds serves as a space where black girls can let their inner nerd shine while being entertained and informed with girl chat, show recaps, and social issue awareness.
AM: Newark, DE
RB: Charlotte, NC
AM: Philadelphia, PA
RB: Charlotte, NC
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
AM: “In all things, let reason be your guide.”
RB: “Nothing in life worth having is easy” and “Never let them see you sweat”
AM: I’m a great talker and story teller. I’m very relatable and candid.
RB: Listening/good at starting natural, relaxed conversation.
One thing on your bucket list:
AM: To visit every continent.
RB: Getting a behind the scenes tour on the set of a major Black superhero movie.
AM: “I Like That” by Janelle Monae
RB: “Independent Women” by Destiny’s Child
Last text message you sent:
AM: “How was that 6 am?”
RB: “okay [thinking face emoji]”
What was your first job?
AM: Old Navy
RB: Freelance producer for WBT Charlotte’s News Talk Radio
Any unusual hobbies?
AM: I love solo karaoke.
RB: Collecting movie tickets.
Biggest Pet Peeve:
AM: Inconsiderate people.
RB: Poor communication.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
AM: The Black Girl Nerds Podcast was already established and I recently joined the team as a social media curator. I wanted to expand beyond writing and managing the social media handle. I wanted to do something different, so I pitched doing a “Game of Thrones” recap for the final season. It really took off with our audience and the podcast became my passion project. I began cultivating new content and reached out to Ryanne who was a guest from a previous GOT recap. We ended up having really great chemistry and it all came together organically.
RB: I wanted to join the Black Girl Nerds team because it was a group of nerds with basically the same culture and lingo as me. I had never heard an episode of Game Of Thrones reviewed the way the BGN ladies did it, and I was instantly hooked.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
AM: I am in finance as an analyst, managing a large portfolio of clients. I’m also a full time mommy and I’m current pursuing a degree in Human Resources. I am definitely someone that loves to stay busy.
RB: When I am not podcasting, you can find me mixing music for live news broadcasts as an audio engineer.
What is your show’s USP?
AM: Nowhere else will you get the full spectrum of black culture and Blerd culture in the same place.
RB: It is rare in media to have a group of black girls just geeking out/girl chatting about the latest sci-fi movie or video game.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
AM: The greatest challenge was balancing it all – when the podcast started to become more than just a fun project and it became something with high stakes and expectations. I had to manage my career with my passion.
RB: Time management is a big challenge since I am both podcasting and working a full-time job.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
AM: I interviewed Teamarrr who is the first artist signed to Issa Rae’s label Raedio. We had a really great discussion, almost as if we were friends and knew each other for years. I came out of that interview as a huge fan.
RB: Our #ThronesYall Recap Show, episode 5. I’m a little biased because it was my first episode with BGN. But I remember ending the episode feeling like I had found my tribe so to speak. There were other nerds like me.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
RB: Parade Magazine did an article called “24 Podcasts Every Woman Should Be Listening to for Inspiration, Information, and Intrigue” and Black Girl Nerds was mentioned at number 4!
AM: Yes, to be recognized by a mainstream magazine was incredible.
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
AM: I would love for podcast to pushed into the mainstream. I want people to recognize us as the hub for black culture.
RB: I hope to continue to increase fan involvement and hopefully my co-host and I will be able to do a live show!
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
RB: I foresee multiple podcasts being adapted into TV show series, and/or more celebrities getting into podcasting to serve as their personal diaries, where they can share their stories through a more candid platform.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
AM: To be myself, unfiltered.
RB: To create outlines because it helps to maintain organization and serves as a guideline for the flow of each episode.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
RB: To refine my personality and not be so goofy.
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts?
AM: The Read
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
AM: This podcast, I had zero experience and it took off. To put myself out there was a huge risk and I’m just happy that I was well received.
RB: It hasn’t happened yet, but fingers crossed that it does soon!
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
RB: Zencastr.com – a great resource for recording podcast episodes, especially when you and your co-hosts record from different locations
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
AM: We are are bringing awareness to a sect of the population that’s often unseen and underrepresented. Black Girl Nerds is a safe space for all women of color to let their nerd flag fly.
RB: There is such a variety of interviews that I get to be a part of that allow listeners to learn about different career paths they might’ve not known about, or ways they can get out and make a difference in their communities.