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Truth Be Told

KQED

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Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told

KQED

2
Followers
1
Plays
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About Us

Truth Be Told, from KQED, is an advice show made by and for people of color. It’s like the friend you call after a long, exhausting day – the one who will laugh, cry, bitch and moan with you. The one who gets it. Through unfiltered advice, host Tonya Mosley takes on listener questions, digging into what it means to not just survive, but thrive, as a person of color in our country. If Miss Manners tells you how to blend in and behave, Truth Be Told explores how you can be authentically you in a world that doesn’t always want you to be.

Latest Episodes

You’re OK, I’m Not: Black Men and Therapy

We don’t discuss enough the emotional and mental health needs of black men. So in this week’s episode, we make space for it. Tonya Mosley sits down with three Wise Ones to answer our listener’s question: “Dear Truth Be Told, why is therapy so taboo in the black community, especially amongst black men?” In order to answer this question, we need to talk about what it means to be a black man in America. Poet and writer Prentice Powell kicks off the episode by performing a poem he wrote in 2014 after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Being a black man in America means being my brother’s keeper. Being a black man in America means being my brother’s keeper while keeping a distance from my brother because I don’t trust him further than I can see him. It’s believing the cops don’t care about you. It’s learning how not to doubt yourself because when you’re born everyone else already does. Being a black man in America is a gift, a blessing. A blessing God chose for me to receive because he believes I can handle it. It’s also a gamble. It’s knowing every time you step outside the world is a poker table and whether you like it or not your chips are all in. Being a black man in America is a full-time job you would never see a single penny for there are no brakes no time off no benefits. It is a lifelong commitment and an early death sentence to be a black man in America…and unless you are a black man in America you will never understand what it’s like to be a black man in America. But please do not pity us envy us. We are whole pieces of broken. Some too shattered to care and some of us, most of us, are just trying to put the pieces back together. This poem could have been written today with the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020, that attracted national attention almost two months later. Powell’s poem hones in on the lack of freedom and humanity black men experience. It’s a reality that Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political commentator, agrees with. He wrote about his lifelong struggle with anxiety, distress and depression in a recently published memoir called “My Vanishing Country.” “I vividly remember the hot summer evening when anxiety took hold of me and never released its grip. It was June 1996 and I was 11 years old riding my bike when my mother called me to come inside the house. It was nearly dark, but she was beckoning me because I had a telephone call. My friend Crystal was on the line. I heard her voice saying I called to let you know Al died. Everything went quiet except for a silent inner scream. Al is dead. Our friend Alfred McLennon was called Al. He was a year ahead of me in school. An upcoming ninth-grader at Orange or Wilkinson High School. Elena hooped together in middle school. We were not best friends, but his death changed my life.” Sellers traces the loss of feeling invincible as a child to this moment. It was the start of many panic attacks, having trouble breathing, and fearing death. He says theories about what it means to be black man are out of date and are no longer effective. “We all say we won’t cheat on two people — our wives and our barber. I love my barber, [but] we need more therapy than just our barber.” Sellers calls his anxiety his “superpower,” but says he understands mental health issues continue to be exacerbated by individuals who do not acknowledge the humanity of black men. So for Sellers, therapy is a must. Karamo Brown, host of Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” saved money in a jar on his desk to afford therapy. He says it was important for him to take care of hi...

39 MIN4 d ago
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You’re OK, I’m Not: Black Men and Therapy

Mom, We Need a Break

The global coronavirus pandemic is bringing mixed emotions to Mother’s Day this year. Many are grieving the loss of a mother and the inability to mourn or celebrate in person. Many are trying to reconnect after being estranged. And those who are estranged from their mothers or have strained relationships, the shelter-in-place mandate has not necessarily helped. On this week’s episode, Tonya Mosley sits down with comedian, actor and director Kulap Vilaysack to answer a listener question: “How can I honor the respect and love that I have for my mother while also acknowledging that the relationship isn’t healthy for me?” Vilaysack was embarking on her own journey of motherhood when she decided to revisit her past through her documentary, “Origin Story.” At age 14, Vilaysack found out her father was not her biological father, and 20 years later she traveled to Laos to meet him for the first time. In the process, she keeps coming back to the complex relationship she has with her mother. “A lot of us Southeast Asian kids, we have similar tales. We stand on the shoulders of some very hurt people and that is not easy,” Vilaysack says. In the episode, Vilaysack addresses the trauma immigrant and refugee families experience, which is passed on to children through culture and family environment. For both Vilaysack and our question asker, love from their mothers has existed amid addiction and abuse. Vilaysack says some hard lessons she has learned include the need to be a good mother to yourself, understanding parents are not the gatekeepers to culture and that mothers are flawed individuals. Therapy has been essential, Vilaysack says, in order to mourn the loss of the mother-daughter relationship she wished for but never really had. “It’s truly a rewiring that needs to occur and it has to do with dealing with your side of the fence first,” Vilaysack says. “Meaning, going to therapy, doing the hard work on yourself before you can get to a place where things don’t affect [you] like they did before. Where things don’t cut anymore. You have to help yourself first before you can help other people.” Vilaysack offers this mind exercise she’s done herself to start the process of mothering yourself and self-healing: 1. Revisit a difficult memory that you have with your mom and your younger self. 2. Picture that memory and series of events. 3. Enter that memory as your adult self. 4. Step in front of your younger self and protect that version of you. 5. Your adult self tells your mom to go away for a little bit. 6. You hold your younger self, console her and tell her, “It’s not your fault.” 7. Do not deny what happened but let your younger self know that it’s going to be OK. 8. Take your younger self into a room where she feels safe and hand her a stuffed animal she loved. 9. Take a picture of this image. Vilaysack says this mind exercise is not to erase the past but heal the open wounds that still exist with your own love for yourself. For more context, listen to Vilaysack talk about the exercise in the episode. In addition to therapy and self-mothering, Vilaysack says it’s important to be surrounded by people who can affirm and love you how you want to be loved. But, what if you get to all of this and your decision is not to have a relationship with your mother? Our Wise One affirms that’s OK – the decision is not final. “You are the architect of your life and what this relationship is going to be,” Vilaysack says. Episode transcript can be found here. Episode Guest:

37 MIN2 w ago
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Mom, We Need a Break

Deportation Wounds

Many of us are feeling isolated right now as we rely on Zoom and FaceTime to see our friends and family. When this will end exactly is unknown, but for some it will remain their reality. Households impacted by family separation and deportation see this long-distance digital relationship as “normal.” This week’s episode, “Deportation Wounds,” brings our host Tonya Mosley in conversation with Isabeth Mendoza, our producer and question asker. After 11 years, Isabeth is seeking help to begin healing from her father’s deportation and the traumatic experience. “I think that the pain and the tragedy of family separation is so deep and so unique that even if it happened to you a month ago or six months ago, or for myself, 11 years ago, the pain is very fresh. I don’t know how else to explain it aside from it’s very painful. I think the conversation ends with the person [being deported] or it’s kept alive by a legal proceeding. But life continues, the family keeps going, and I don’t see resources or places that I can go to learn about what to do after this. How does anybody move forward? What is the future for families like mine? And how do we get to live our future and not just imagine it?” Truth Be Told called upon Adriana Alejandre, licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and founder of Latinx Therapy podcast as a Wise One. Alejandre says that while struggle, resilience and survival dominate the immigrant narrative, healing does not. “… those are some of their pillars that help [immigrants] to keep going, to survive their day-to-day, hour-by-hour lives sometimes because of the lack of resources. I think healing is sometimes, understandably so, one of the last things that they have to think about, because most immigrant communities come from a collectivistic culture, and they’re taught to prioritize others versus themselves. It doesn’t come very naturally and so I think that’s one of the reasons why healing gets put on the backburner.” Family separation and deportation illicit pain, confusion and fear. Alejandre also points out that anger holds hands with these feelings. “We are taught that anger is a secondary emotion. But through my clients, my clients of color specifically, I’ve learned that that’s not true,” Alejandre says. “Anger is valid. If we can learn to expel it and release it in healthy ways when we’re aware of it, then I think that it translates into another emotion.” Alejandre suggests individual or group therapy but if therapy is not accessible, there are also self-help books, podcasts, diaphragmatic breathing exercises and friends who might be able to relate. Alejandre’s bottom line is “ask for help because I know that we’re taught to be independent, to be resilient, to blossom on our own. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.” If the process becomes overwhelming, pausing is essential. Alejandre says, “The only red flag is to just be aware of your avoiding tendencies … come back to your journey.” The episode ends with Isabeth speaks with her father about how he feels about their long-distance relationship, his processing of the deportation experience and how he imagines his future. It leads to Isabeth attempting to answer that for herself. “I think part of the dream is to just be together doing nothing — breathing a little easier because we’re together — and that is a privilege. I imagine laughing, and honestly, not living in fear. I realize what I imagine is us basically living together back in Los Angeles, that’s the ideal right? But no matter what happens, we’ll need to spend more time together, bridge our lives more intentionally and I’ll need to remind myself that this situation is hard, it’s shitty, but us laughing and having joy and sharing love will be my way of taking my power back.”

32 MINAPR 23
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Deportation Wounds

White World, Black Body

This week we’re talking about diets, separating weight from health and navigating white spaces as a big woman of color. “White World, Black Body” brings our host, Tonya Mosley, in conversation with two Wise Ones, Virgie Tovar and Chloe Hilliard, who have each bridged personal journeys with body image and food with their professional work. Tovar is the host of the new podcast Rebel Eaters Club and author of the upcoming book, “The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color.” Hilliard is a journalist-turned-comedian, spinning her unique experiences into laughs and a new book called, “F*ck Your Diet: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me.” All three women come together to help a Truth Be Told listener with her quandary: Being both overweight and black makes me feel invisible. And that I’m occupying too much space at the same time. The goal, of course, is to lose weight. But, until then, how can I maneuver in the non-black world, in my body? This idea that body image and weight is a lifelong project is why this conversation transcends time. As we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, push-up challenges are being circulated alongside memes about gaining weight while physically distancing, dubbed the “Quarantine 15.” Amidst a global health crisis, we are still worrying about our bodies and weight. “It’s important to understand that diet culture primes us to accept discomfort, shame, self-denial, a sense of failure, gaslighting and financial exploitation,” said Tovar. “These are things that share characteristics with racism, sexism and misogyny.” Hilliard agrees. “Dieting — I don’t do that anymore,” she said. “It felt like I was suffering and punishing myself for something I didn’t know I did.” The Wise Ones suggest that instead of spending brainpower on worrying about the scale or meticulously planning meals, instead redirect that energy to activities that bring you joy or peace. They suggest writing, going outside, doing yoga in front of a mirror or simply drinking tea. It’s about finding your own happiness rather than trying to identify with other folks’ version of happiness. “I think it’s really hard trying to be a strong black woman and at every turn in society, someone’s attacking you because they feel that you are this impenetrable human being. It is taxing,” Hilliard said. “Because of that, you start to emotionally eat. And so it is a cycle [that] needs to be broken. I have stopped trying to appease a society that doesn’t acknowledge me.” The message both Tovar and Hilliard drive home is one that takes practice and constant reminding: Nothing is wrong with you and it’s not your responsibility to appease others’ insecurities. Episode transcript can be found here. Episode Guests: Chloe Hilliard, Author of

39 MINAPR 9
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White World, Black Body

'Rona and Racism: A Survival Guide

On this episode of Truth Be Told, we gathered your questions and lived experiences during the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. Tonya Mosley talks to Dr. Seema Yasmin, journalist, author and infectious disease detective. She’s seen what the migration of diseases like COVID-19 can do to communities and how racism rears its ugly head during times like these. “There’s a long history of scapegoating people of color as the carriers of disease,” Yasmin said. “This goes back hundreds of years, and so this isn’t anything new. We’ve even seen it during recent epidemics. Whether it’s Ebola or Zika, non-white people are blamed [for] introducing disease into places.” The uneasiness comes from a long history of racializing health in America. At this moment, the racialization of COVID-19 with Asians and Asian Americans is unfurling in front of us. Accompanying headlines of the spread of infection are also instances of discrimination, harassment and attacks on the Asian community. Mosley and Yasmin responded to concerns of increased power for law enforcement during the pandemic, and the current status of how the illness affects people who are homeless, incarcerated or detained. Yasmin also offered validation for the myriad feelings being experienced. “We have the right to feel whatever we feel,” Yasmin said. Yasmin was our Truth Be Told question asker for “Joy,” the very first episode our first season of the podcast. Her question was, “Is it OK to feel joy when the rest of the world is burning?” In this episode about how the coronavirus is impacting people of color, Mosley asked Yasmin if she is currently using any of the advice she was given. “You know, thinking back to that question, it was about joy, but I think it was also more broadly about the permission to feel things — anything. And so I think in a moment like this, where you feel so many emotions, including anxiety, fear, anger, that advice that I got, reminds me that it’s OK to feel whatever I feel. So I feel very honored right now. You’re having me on as a wise one, but truth be told, this wise one is struggling also … it’s a lot.” So, let’s revisit the sage guidance offered by two wise ones from our very first episode – adrienne maree brown and Tonya’s grandmother, Ernestine Mosley. 1. Faith/Spirituality: Set intentions, pray, worship, meditate. Reacquaint or deepen your relationship with nature. 2. Rituals: Care for your body (baths, exercise, adornment). Feed your soul (read, write, create, cook). Do anything that brings you joy. 3. Look for the helpers, and help the helpers: Find ways to be generous with each other or lift another’s spirit. Redirect your attention on the solution-makers in a crisis. Find ways to support those helpers for the collective good. 4. Connect with the self: Go on dates with yourself, take an inventory of yourself and your life, write down the spaces you feel in complete alignment with yourself in your life (i.e. my role as an auntie), or walk around your home naked while looking at your miraculous body. 5. Connect with those you love and who love you: Reach out to people who make you feel loved and check in on someone you’ve been thinking about. Also, try to laugh as much as you can. Laughter,

36 MINMAR 26
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'Rona and Racism: A Survival Guide

Healing for Black America

Listen to this week’s episode to hear our host Tonya Mosley and Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir, unpack the question: “How are black Americans expected to overcome and thrive in this country without the necessary mechanisms of healing?” This question comes from actor Boris Kodjoe, who you may have seen in shows like “Code Black,” “Station 19” and the movie “Brown Sugar.” Kodjoe was born and raised in Germany, and ever since he arrived in the United States he’s thought, “I never understood how African Americans were expected to thrive.” Laymon said he found the answer in Mississippi where he was born and raised. “I actually think that our healing mechanisms – and this is scary – are a little bit better than white folks,” he said. “At least down here in Mississippi.” Mosley and Laymon’s conversation flows through topics like mothers and children, isolation and protests. And, of course, it ends with therapy. “What I need to do is be able to accept ...

36 MINMAR 12
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Healing for Black America

Truth Be Told is Back Y’all!

How many times have you paused and asked, Is it just me or — Yeah, us too. We all experience life in our unique bodies and skin. And yet, we’re alone in surviving, growing and thriving. The world we live in gaslights us into thinking anything to do with identity is in our imagination. Well, Truth Be Told is here to tell you it’s not. You are not the only one, you are not alone and guess what? There’s a podcast for that. Sometimes we are sitting with questions that we can’t even talk about with those closest to us. Truth Be Told is the friend you call after a long day to cry, bitch and moan. The one who gets it. So grab a seat on the couch, pull up the podcast and put your earbuds in. We got you. Truth Be Told explores your dilemmas, reaches out to Wise Ones for advice, and deliberately digs deep — because your questions, your story and your existence matters. In our first season, we talked about the guilt of feeling joy when the world is a mess, we interrogated who we grew up crushing on and who we ultimately ended up dating. We scrutinized being enough within our own communities, the complications of working and living with well-meaning white folks and handling family dynamics with estranged fathers or debating whether or not to become a mother. For the past two months I’ve waited patiently for each Thursday to come, knowing that the @TruthBeToldShow crew would spark a conversation I needed to hear. Thank you for making this space for me and all POC people to thrive ️ https://t.co/359T0ghdCX — bebé llora (@shaylynmartos) June 23, 2019 This week’s @TruthBeToldShow is essential listening for those of us who are white-passing or hold other kinds of passing privilege. It unpacks where, why & how we ask to belong, and the different places of marginalization or privilege that desire can come from. https://t.co/aBWiNXCZvL — Ariana Martinez (@MartinezAriana_) June 1, 2019 Now we’re back with season two! Our host, Tonya Mosley, will delve into your questions, unearth the layers of your quandaries and pull in a Wise One for advice. This season will be full of growing pains, joy, laughter and collective thriving. And don’t worry, we’re still the place where hard questions meet understanding ears. Where people of color can be candid with each other and work through the messy parts of life. Season two starts on March 12! Listen on Apple, Spotify, NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts. If you want to submit a question you can email us at truthbetold@kqed.org, call us at (415) 553-2802 or use the hashtag #AskTBT on social media.

1 MINFEB 26
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Truth Be Told is Back Y’all!

Community - Bonus Live Show

Truth be Told is all about building community and connecting people of color to find collective wisdom and joy in these dangerous and difficult times. We are also a podcast proudly made in the Bay Area, so we knew from the start that we HAD to do a live show and get our people together. On June 13th in downtown Oakland, over a hundred people gathered to share the love and seek advice from wise ones Ashara Ekundayo and Bari Williams, in conversation with TBT’s Tonya Mosely. (Slight problem? It was the same night as the Warriors final game. But people still came out y’all — to laugh, cry, and listen). Take a listen to our live, bonus episode. It’s what community sounds like! Why the Three of Cups tarot Card? The Three of Cups tarot card signifies the joy of community, sisterhood, and collaboration. We couldn’t think of a better card to represent our live show, which brought so many people from all over the Bay Area to heal, talk, and connect with one another.

-1 s2019 AUG 17
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Community - Bonus Live Show

Family Ties – Episode 6

We’ve all had that one big question in our lives that looms over us and keeps us up at night. Maybe you are making a life altering decision about a relationship; whether to get into one, get out of one — or stay in one. Maybe you’re one step away from leaving a job, or taking a new one. Or maybe, like our host Tonya Mosley, you are trying to figure out if you should start a relationship with your estranged father’s family. What should you do when faced with a big “what do I do” moment? In this final episode of Truth Be Told, we get personal with author Casey Gerald who teaches us that no matter the question, the answer can be found by asking yourself: “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” Why the Death tarot Card? If you are new to tarot the Death card can seem really scary, but fear not – it’s actually not a bad omen. The Death card signifies rebirth, transformation, and the ability to leave behind that which is not serving you. These changes won’t be easy or painless, but as we learn in the final episode of Truth Be Told, the decisions we make and the dreams we chose to follow have a cost, but if we forge on, that costs are worth it.

35 MIN2019 JUN 20
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Family Ties – Episode 6

Motherhood – Episode 5

Before we even know who we are and what we want out of life, women are expected to mother, to ultimately be mothers. And for women of color? There are added financial and cultural pressures as well as legacies of historical trauma and present-day racism that we are often up against. How do all these forces impact the choice to be a mother? And how might we reimagine what it even means to be a mother? In this episode of Truth Be Told, we talk with Audrey Galo, founder of AG Voiced, Tanya Menendez, entrepreneur, and Jennifer Devere Brody, scholar– all women at various stages of life– about the choice to have children. Why The World tarot card? The World card signifies the feeling of success and achievement after working hard to create something. This sense of celebratory completion can manifest in the birth of a child, a major career achievement or creative project– it isn’t prescriptive, it’s just joyous. Since this episode on motherhood explores the different ways we can choose to nurture and create, we couldn’t think of a more fitting card to represent “Motherhood” than The World.

30 MIN2019 JUN 13
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Motherhood – Episode 5

Latest Episodes

You’re OK, I’m Not: Black Men and Therapy

We don’t discuss enough the emotional and mental health needs of black men. So in this week’s episode, we make space for it. Tonya Mosley sits down with three Wise Ones to answer our listener’s question: “Dear Truth Be Told, why is therapy so taboo in the black community, especially amongst black men?” In order to answer this question, we need to talk about what it means to be a black man in America. Poet and writer Prentice Powell kicks off the episode by performing a poem he wrote in 2014 after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Being a black man in America means being my brother’s keeper. Being a black man in America means being my brother’s keeper while keeping a distance from my brother because I don’t trust him further than I can see him. It’s believing the cops don’t care about you. It’s learning how not to doubt yourself because when you’re born everyone else already does. Being a black man in America is a gift, a blessing. A blessing God chose for me to receive because he believes I can handle it. It’s also a gamble. It’s knowing every time you step outside the world is a poker table and whether you like it or not your chips are all in. Being a black man in America is a full-time job you would never see a single penny for there are no brakes no time off no benefits. It is a lifelong commitment and an early death sentence to be a black man in America…and unless you are a black man in America you will never understand what it’s like to be a black man in America. But please do not pity us envy us. We are whole pieces of broken. Some too shattered to care and some of us, most of us, are just trying to put the pieces back together. This poem could have been written today with the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020, that attracted national attention almost two months later. Powell’s poem hones in on the lack of freedom and humanity black men experience. It’s a reality that Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political commentator, agrees with. He wrote about his lifelong struggle with anxiety, distress and depression in a recently published memoir called “My Vanishing Country.” “I vividly remember the hot summer evening when anxiety took hold of me and never released its grip. It was June 1996 and I was 11 years old riding my bike when my mother called me to come inside the house. It was nearly dark, but she was beckoning me because I had a telephone call. My friend Crystal was on the line. I heard her voice saying I called to let you know Al died. Everything went quiet except for a silent inner scream. Al is dead. Our friend Alfred McLennon was called Al. He was a year ahead of me in school. An upcoming ninth-grader at Orange or Wilkinson High School. Elena hooped together in middle school. We were not best friends, but his death changed my life.” Sellers traces the loss of feeling invincible as a child to this moment. It was the start of many panic attacks, having trouble breathing, and fearing death. He says theories about what it means to be black man are out of date and are no longer effective. “We all say we won’t cheat on two people — our wives and our barber. I love my barber, [but] we need more therapy than just our barber.” Sellers calls his anxiety his “superpower,” but says he understands mental health issues continue to be exacerbated by individuals who do not acknowledge the humanity of black men. So for Sellers, therapy is a must. Karamo Brown, host of Netflix’s “Queer Eye,” saved money in a jar on his desk to afford therapy. He says it was important for him to take care of hi...

39 MIN4 d ago
Comments
You’re OK, I’m Not: Black Men and Therapy

Mom, We Need a Break

The global coronavirus pandemic is bringing mixed emotions to Mother’s Day this year. Many are grieving the loss of a mother and the inability to mourn or celebrate in person. Many are trying to reconnect after being estranged. And those who are estranged from their mothers or have strained relationships, the shelter-in-place mandate has not necessarily helped. On this week’s episode, Tonya Mosley sits down with comedian, actor and director Kulap Vilaysack to answer a listener question: “How can I honor the respect and love that I have for my mother while also acknowledging that the relationship isn’t healthy for me?” Vilaysack was embarking on her own journey of motherhood when she decided to revisit her past through her documentary, “Origin Story.” At age 14, Vilaysack found out her father was not her biological father, and 20 years later she traveled to Laos to meet him for the first time. In the process, she keeps coming back to the complex relationship she has with her mother. “A lot of us Southeast Asian kids, we have similar tales. We stand on the shoulders of some very hurt people and that is not easy,” Vilaysack says. In the episode, Vilaysack addresses the trauma immigrant and refugee families experience, which is passed on to children through culture and family environment. For both Vilaysack and our question asker, love from their mothers has existed amid addiction and abuse. Vilaysack says some hard lessons she has learned include the need to be a good mother to yourself, understanding parents are not the gatekeepers to culture and that mothers are flawed individuals. Therapy has been essential, Vilaysack says, in order to mourn the loss of the mother-daughter relationship she wished for but never really had. “It’s truly a rewiring that needs to occur and it has to do with dealing with your side of the fence first,” Vilaysack says. “Meaning, going to therapy, doing the hard work on yourself before you can get to a place where things don’t affect [you] like they did before. Where things don’t cut anymore. You have to help yourself first before you can help other people.” Vilaysack offers this mind exercise she’s done herself to start the process of mothering yourself and self-healing: 1. Revisit a difficult memory that you have with your mom and your younger self. 2. Picture that memory and series of events. 3. Enter that memory as your adult self. 4. Step in front of your younger self and protect that version of you. 5. Your adult self tells your mom to go away for a little bit. 6. You hold your younger self, console her and tell her, “It’s not your fault.” 7. Do not deny what happened but let your younger self know that it’s going to be OK. 8. Take your younger self into a room where she feels safe and hand her a stuffed animal she loved. 9. Take a picture of this image. Vilaysack says this mind exercise is not to erase the past but heal the open wounds that still exist with your own love for yourself. For more context, listen to Vilaysack talk about the exercise in the episode. In addition to therapy and self-mothering, Vilaysack says it’s important to be surrounded by people who can affirm and love you how you want to be loved. But, what if you get to all of this and your decision is not to have a relationship with your mother? Our Wise One affirms that’s OK – the decision is not final. “You are the architect of your life and what this relationship is going to be,” Vilaysack says. Episode transcript can be found here. Episode Guest:

37 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Mom, We Need a Break

Deportation Wounds

Many of us are feeling isolated right now as we rely on Zoom and FaceTime to see our friends and family. When this will end exactly is unknown, but for some it will remain their reality. Households impacted by family separation and deportation see this long-distance digital relationship as “normal.” This week’s episode, “Deportation Wounds,” brings our host Tonya Mosley in conversation with Isabeth Mendoza, our producer and question asker. After 11 years, Isabeth is seeking help to begin healing from her father’s deportation and the traumatic experience. “I think that the pain and the tragedy of family separation is so deep and so unique that even if it happened to you a month ago or six months ago, or for myself, 11 years ago, the pain is very fresh. I don’t know how else to explain it aside from it’s very painful. I think the conversation ends with the person [being deported] or it’s kept alive by a legal proceeding. But life continues, the family keeps going, and I don’t see resources or places that I can go to learn about what to do after this. How does anybody move forward? What is the future for families like mine? And how do we get to live our future and not just imagine it?” Truth Be Told called upon Adriana Alejandre, licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and founder of Latinx Therapy podcast as a Wise One. Alejandre says that while struggle, resilience and survival dominate the immigrant narrative, healing does not. “… those are some of their pillars that help [immigrants] to keep going, to survive their day-to-day, hour-by-hour lives sometimes because of the lack of resources. I think healing is sometimes, understandably so, one of the last things that they have to think about, because most immigrant communities come from a collectivistic culture, and they’re taught to prioritize others versus themselves. It doesn’t come very naturally and so I think that’s one of the reasons why healing gets put on the backburner.” Family separation and deportation illicit pain, confusion and fear. Alejandre also points out that anger holds hands with these feelings. “We are taught that anger is a secondary emotion. But through my clients, my clients of color specifically, I’ve learned that that’s not true,” Alejandre says. “Anger is valid. If we can learn to expel it and release it in healthy ways when we’re aware of it, then I think that it translates into another emotion.” Alejandre suggests individual or group therapy but if therapy is not accessible, there are also self-help books, podcasts, diaphragmatic breathing exercises and friends who might be able to relate. Alejandre’s bottom line is “ask for help because I know that we’re taught to be independent, to be resilient, to blossom on our own. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.” If the process becomes overwhelming, pausing is essential. Alejandre says, “The only red flag is to just be aware of your avoiding tendencies … come back to your journey.” The episode ends with Isabeth speaks with her father about how he feels about their long-distance relationship, his processing of the deportation experience and how he imagines his future. It leads to Isabeth attempting to answer that for herself. “I think part of the dream is to just be together doing nothing — breathing a little easier because we’re together — and that is a privilege. I imagine laughing, and honestly, not living in fear. I realize what I imagine is us basically living together back in Los Angeles, that’s the ideal right? But no matter what happens, we’ll need to spend more time together, bridge our lives more intentionally and I’ll need to remind myself that this situation is hard, it’s shitty, but us laughing and having joy and sharing love will be my way of taking my power back.”

32 MINAPR 23
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Deportation Wounds

White World, Black Body

This week we’re talking about diets, separating weight from health and navigating white spaces as a big woman of color. “White World, Black Body” brings our host, Tonya Mosley, in conversation with two Wise Ones, Virgie Tovar and Chloe Hilliard, who have each bridged personal journeys with body image and food with their professional work. Tovar is the host of the new podcast Rebel Eaters Club and author of the upcoming book, “The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color.” Hilliard is a journalist-turned-comedian, spinning her unique experiences into laughs and a new book called, “F*ck Your Diet: And Other Things My Thighs Tell Me.” All three women come together to help a Truth Be Told listener with her quandary: Being both overweight and black makes me feel invisible. And that I’m occupying too much space at the same time. The goal, of course, is to lose weight. But, until then, how can I maneuver in the non-black world, in my body? This idea that body image and weight is a lifelong project is why this conversation transcends time. As we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, push-up challenges are being circulated alongside memes about gaining weight while physically distancing, dubbed the “Quarantine 15.” Amidst a global health crisis, we are still worrying about our bodies and weight. “It’s important to understand that diet culture primes us to accept discomfort, shame, self-denial, a sense of failure, gaslighting and financial exploitation,” said Tovar. “These are things that share characteristics with racism, sexism and misogyny.” Hilliard agrees. “Dieting — I don’t do that anymore,” she said. “It felt like I was suffering and punishing myself for something I didn’t know I did.” The Wise Ones suggest that instead of spending brainpower on worrying about the scale or meticulously planning meals, instead redirect that energy to activities that bring you joy or peace. They suggest writing, going outside, doing yoga in front of a mirror or simply drinking tea. It’s about finding your own happiness rather than trying to identify with other folks’ version of happiness. “I think it’s really hard trying to be a strong black woman and at every turn in society, someone’s attacking you because they feel that you are this impenetrable human being. It is taxing,” Hilliard said. “Because of that, you start to emotionally eat. And so it is a cycle [that] needs to be broken. I have stopped trying to appease a society that doesn’t acknowledge me.” The message both Tovar and Hilliard drive home is one that takes practice and constant reminding: Nothing is wrong with you and it’s not your responsibility to appease others’ insecurities. Episode transcript can be found here. Episode Guests: Chloe Hilliard, Author of

39 MINAPR 9
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White World, Black Body

'Rona and Racism: A Survival Guide

On this episode of Truth Be Told, we gathered your questions and lived experiences during the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. Tonya Mosley talks to Dr. Seema Yasmin, journalist, author and infectious disease detective. She’s seen what the migration of diseases like COVID-19 can do to communities and how racism rears its ugly head during times like these. “There’s a long history of scapegoating people of color as the carriers of disease,” Yasmin said. “This goes back hundreds of years, and so this isn’t anything new. We’ve even seen it during recent epidemics. Whether it’s Ebola or Zika, non-white people are blamed [for] introducing disease into places.” The uneasiness comes from a long history of racializing health in America. At this moment, the racialization of COVID-19 with Asians and Asian Americans is unfurling in front of us. Accompanying headlines of the spread of infection are also instances of discrimination, harassment and attacks on the Asian community. Mosley and Yasmin responded to concerns of increased power for law enforcement during the pandemic, and the current status of how the illness affects people who are homeless, incarcerated or detained. Yasmin also offered validation for the myriad feelings being experienced. “We have the right to feel whatever we feel,” Yasmin said. Yasmin was our Truth Be Told question asker for “Joy,” the very first episode our first season of the podcast. Her question was, “Is it OK to feel joy when the rest of the world is burning?” In this episode about how the coronavirus is impacting people of color, Mosley asked Yasmin if she is currently using any of the advice she was given. “You know, thinking back to that question, it was about joy, but I think it was also more broadly about the permission to feel things — anything. And so I think in a moment like this, where you feel so many emotions, including anxiety, fear, anger, that advice that I got, reminds me that it’s OK to feel whatever I feel. So I feel very honored right now. You’re having me on as a wise one, but truth be told, this wise one is struggling also … it’s a lot.” So, let’s revisit the sage guidance offered by two wise ones from our very first episode – adrienne maree brown and Tonya’s grandmother, Ernestine Mosley. 1. Faith/Spirituality: Set intentions, pray, worship, meditate. Reacquaint or deepen your relationship with nature. 2. Rituals: Care for your body (baths, exercise, adornment). Feed your soul (read, write, create, cook). Do anything that brings you joy. 3. Look for the helpers, and help the helpers: Find ways to be generous with each other or lift another’s spirit. Redirect your attention on the solution-makers in a crisis. Find ways to support those helpers for the collective good. 4. Connect with the self: Go on dates with yourself, take an inventory of yourself and your life, write down the spaces you feel in complete alignment with yourself in your life (i.e. my role as an auntie), or walk around your home naked while looking at your miraculous body. 5. Connect with those you love and who love you: Reach out to people who make you feel loved and check in on someone you’ve been thinking about. Also, try to laugh as much as you can. Laughter,

36 MINMAR 26
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'Rona and Racism: A Survival Guide

Healing for Black America

Listen to this week’s episode to hear our host Tonya Mosley and Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy: An American Memoir, unpack the question: “How are black Americans expected to overcome and thrive in this country without the necessary mechanisms of healing?” This question comes from actor Boris Kodjoe, who you may have seen in shows like “Code Black,” “Station 19” and the movie “Brown Sugar.” Kodjoe was born and raised in Germany, and ever since he arrived in the United States he’s thought, “I never understood how African Americans were expected to thrive.” Laymon said he found the answer in Mississippi where he was born and raised. “I actually think that our healing mechanisms – and this is scary – are a little bit better than white folks,” he said. “At least down here in Mississippi.” Mosley and Laymon’s conversation flows through topics like mothers and children, isolation and protests. And, of course, it ends with therapy. “What I need to do is be able to accept ...

36 MINMAR 12
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Healing for Black America

Truth Be Told is Back Y’all!

How many times have you paused and asked, Is it just me or — Yeah, us too. We all experience life in our unique bodies and skin. And yet, we’re alone in surviving, growing and thriving. The world we live in gaslights us into thinking anything to do with identity is in our imagination. Well, Truth Be Told is here to tell you it’s not. You are not the only one, you are not alone and guess what? There’s a podcast for that. Sometimes we are sitting with questions that we can’t even talk about with those closest to us. Truth Be Told is the friend you call after a long day to cry, bitch and moan. The one who gets it. So grab a seat on the couch, pull up the podcast and put your earbuds in. We got you. Truth Be Told explores your dilemmas, reaches out to Wise Ones for advice, and deliberately digs deep — because your questions, your story and your existence matters. In our first season, we talked about the guilt of feeling joy when the world is a mess, we interrogated who we grew up crushing on and who we ultimately ended up dating. We scrutinized being enough within our own communities, the complications of working and living with well-meaning white folks and handling family dynamics with estranged fathers or debating whether or not to become a mother. For the past two months I’ve waited patiently for each Thursday to come, knowing that the @TruthBeToldShow crew would spark a conversation I needed to hear. Thank you for making this space for me and all POC people to thrive ️ https://t.co/359T0ghdCX — bebé llora (@shaylynmartos) June 23, 2019 This week’s @TruthBeToldShow is essential listening for those of us who are white-passing or hold other kinds of passing privilege. It unpacks where, why & how we ask to belong, and the different places of marginalization or privilege that desire can come from. https://t.co/aBWiNXCZvL — Ariana Martinez (@MartinezAriana_) June 1, 2019 Now we’re back with season two! Our host, Tonya Mosley, will delve into your questions, unearth the layers of your quandaries and pull in a Wise One for advice. This season will be full of growing pains, joy, laughter and collective thriving. And don’t worry, we’re still the place where hard questions meet understanding ears. Where people of color can be candid with each other and work through the messy parts of life. Season two starts on March 12! Listen on Apple, Spotify, NPR One or wherever you get your podcasts. If you want to submit a question you can email us at truthbetold@kqed.org, call us at (415) 553-2802 or use the hashtag #AskTBT on social media.

1 MINFEB 26
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Truth Be Told is Back Y’all!

Community - Bonus Live Show

Truth be Told is all about building community and connecting people of color to find collective wisdom and joy in these dangerous and difficult times. We are also a podcast proudly made in the Bay Area, so we knew from the start that we HAD to do a live show and get our people together. On June 13th in downtown Oakland, over a hundred people gathered to share the love and seek advice from wise ones Ashara Ekundayo and Bari Williams, in conversation with TBT’s Tonya Mosely. (Slight problem? It was the same night as the Warriors final game. But people still came out y’all — to laugh, cry, and listen). Take a listen to our live, bonus episode. It’s what community sounds like! Why the Three of Cups tarot Card? The Three of Cups tarot card signifies the joy of community, sisterhood, and collaboration. We couldn’t think of a better card to represent our live show, which brought so many people from all over the Bay Area to heal, talk, and connect with one another.

-1 s2019 AUG 17
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Community - Bonus Live Show

Family Ties – Episode 6

We’ve all had that one big question in our lives that looms over us and keeps us up at night. Maybe you are making a life altering decision about a relationship; whether to get into one, get out of one — or stay in one. Maybe you’re one step away from leaving a job, or taking a new one. Or maybe, like our host Tonya Mosley, you are trying to figure out if you should start a relationship with your estranged father’s family. What should you do when faced with a big “what do I do” moment? In this final episode of Truth Be Told, we get personal with author Casey Gerald who teaches us that no matter the question, the answer can be found by asking yourself: “What would I do if I weren’t afraid?” Why the Death tarot Card? If you are new to tarot the Death card can seem really scary, but fear not – it’s actually not a bad omen. The Death card signifies rebirth, transformation, and the ability to leave behind that which is not serving you. These changes won’t be easy or painless, but as we learn in the final episode of Truth Be Told, the decisions we make and the dreams we chose to follow have a cost, but if we forge on, that costs are worth it.

35 MIN2019 JUN 20
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Family Ties – Episode 6

Motherhood – Episode 5

Before we even know who we are and what we want out of life, women are expected to mother, to ultimately be mothers. And for women of color? There are added financial and cultural pressures as well as legacies of historical trauma and present-day racism that we are often up against. How do all these forces impact the choice to be a mother? And how might we reimagine what it even means to be a mother? In this episode of Truth Be Told, we talk with Audrey Galo, founder of AG Voiced, Tanya Menendez, entrepreneur, and Jennifer Devere Brody, scholar– all women at various stages of life– about the choice to have children. Why The World tarot card? The World card signifies the feeling of success and achievement after working hard to create something. This sense of celebratory completion can manifest in the birth of a child, a major career achievement or creative project– it isn’t prescriptive, it’s just joyous. Since this episode on motherhood explores the different ways we can choose to nurture and create, we couldn’t think of a more fitting card to represent “Motherhood” than The World.

30 MIN2019 JUN 13
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Motherhood – Episode 5
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