Creative Tension

Creative Tension
Creative Tension gives a voice to people and periods of struggle, forgotten by history. Rev. Elliott Robinson, JD, MDiv guides listeners on the first stop on this journey, “The Jim Crow Years.” With a mixture of interviews, archival audio and group discussions, Creative Tension takes an in-depth look into the messiness of American History and the search for social justice. Creative Tension is made possible thru the support of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University and their Behind the Veil Oral History Project.

Reclaiming Rest - Part 1
Jun 21 • 41 min
We talk to Tricia Hersey aka “The Nap Bishop” about The Nap Ministry and their movement to reclaim rest as a form of resistance. (Part 1 of 2)
Watermelon: The Forbidden Fruit
May 31 • 30 min
We examine the history and current day impact of the stereotype that African-Americans have an obsession with watermelon. We get insight from a roundtable discussion and learn a way to address the watermelon stereotype from the late DC media legend, Petey…
The Coon
May 17 • 39 min
We discuss the Coon caricature from slavery to Stepin Fetchit to JJ from Good Times to modern urban radio. How the Coon caricature continues to shape the way AA men are viewed in the workplace, school and society.
Black Men Smile
May 3 • 36 min
We have an in-depth conversation with Carlton Mackey, Founder of the “Black Men Smile” movement. What started as a counter-narrative to the tropes surrounding images of Black men, has turned into a platform of both liberation and resistance with over 30k…
Remembering the Dead
Apr 19 • 31 min
Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative has undertaken a massive soil collection process to honor the lives of victims of racial violence. We talk to Allison Bantimba, who heads their Fulton County (GA) Remembrance Coalition, & explore the importance &…
The Black Brute
Apr 4 • 33 min
We explore the Brute caricature w/ Pellom McDaniels, PhD. We discuss the origins of the caricature, as well as how it’s been shaped and formed by the sport of boxing and the world of sports. For a visual companion to this episode and links to episode…
Banished from Sumter
Mar 15 • 25 min
We speak w/ Jim Crow survivors Elliott Robinson, Jr. and Allen Cromer to explore what it meant to be “banished” from your hometown. We also learn about the random nature of Jim Crow era racial violence and its rigid system of written and unwritten rules.…
S. 2 Ep. 1 Mammy, Movies and Madea
Feb 28 • 37 min
We are joined by Dr. Kimberly Wallace Sanders form Emory University as we explore the mammy caricature in film. We examine Hattie McDaniels’ role as “Mammy,” as well as the movie “The Imitation of Life” and contemporary views regarding the mammy…
Bonus Ep. - Exploring Blackface
Feb 21 • 39 min
On the heels of a Blackface resurgence in fashion and revelations in the lives of prominent politicians, Creative Tension Host Rev. Elliott Robinson, JD, MDiv and guest Pellom McDaniels, PhD explore the history and legacy of Blackface in America. For a…
Creative Tension Returns March 1st!!!
Jan 23 • 2 min
Season 2 of Creative Tension launches on March 1st!! Listen to Season 1 so you’re up-to-date and ready for an informative and enlightening ride!! Visit us at!! Creative Tension can be found wherever you find your favorite podcasts, so…
Ep. 9 - Aunt Jemima and Monetizing Mammy
Mar 20, 2018 • 31 min
We connect with Dr. Kimberly Wallace Sanders to discuss “Aunt Jemima and Monetizing Mammy.” This is part 3 in our 4-part series on the Mammy caricature. For a visual companion to this episode, visit Follow us on Twitter and FB at:…
Ep. 8 - The Mammification of a Nation
Jan 31, 2018 • 36 min
We connect with Dr. Kimberly Wallace Sanders to discuss the “Mammification of a Nation.” Thanks to the Duke Univ. Behind the Veil Project, we also hear 1st hand accounts from women who worked as domestics during Jim Crow. This is part 2 in our 4-part…
Bonus Ep. - Oprah, #MeToo and Jim Crow Sexual Violence
Jan 16, 2018 • 36 min
During Oprah Winfrey’s speech as the recipient of the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes, she mentioned the horrific rape and lack of justice for the late Recy Taylor. Oprah placed the legacy of Jim Crow sexual violence into the #metoo…
Ep. 7 - The Myth of the Merry Mammy
Jan 8, 2018 • 30 min
Dr. Kimberly Wallace Sanders, Emory Professor and author of “Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender” helps us begin our 4-part look into the Black Mammy Caricature. Dr. Wallace Sanders provides insight into the history and characteristics of the Mammy…
Ep. 6 - Exploring Black Caricatures and Stereotypes
Dec 15, 2017 • 25 min
Dr. Kimberly Wallace Sanders, Emory Professor and author of “Mammy: A Century of Race, Gender and Southern Memory” helps us begin our exploration into the long and sordid history of Black caricatures and stereotypes. Thanks to Duke Univ.’s Behind the Veil…
Major Announcement - is HERE!!
Nov 17, 2017 • 1 min
The Creative Tension website is HERE!! is the perfect companion to the Creative Tension podcast. It adds a wonderful visual partner to our audio experience. We’ve also launched our social media platforms: Facebook…
Ep. 5 The Talk: The Fellas’ Perspective
Oct 26, 2017 • 58 min
As African American men, how do we live with the legacy of racial etiquette?” I sat down with Dr. Gregory Ellison, Rev. Marvin Bailey and Min. Tavares Stephens to talk about the place of racial etiquette in our lives and how that legacy has been passed on…
Ep. 4 - Roundtable on P&G’s “The Talk” and Racial Etiquette - The Jim Crow Years
Oct 10, 2017 • 54 min
I have a cathartic and insightful roundtable discussion with guests Rev. Jennifer Watley Maxell and Rev. Dr. Dominique A. Robinson to discuss P&G’s commercial “The Talk” and the legacy of racial etiquette.
Ep. 3 - The Jim Crow Years: Jim Crow’s Gift…The Talk
Sep 22, 2017 • 31 min
Inspired by the Proctor and Gamble commercial, “The Talk,” we explore the tradition in the African-American community, its roots in Jim Crow segregation and how the past continues to inform the present.
Ep. 2: - The Jim Crow Years: Confederate Monuments: Heritage, History or Hate?
Sep 9, 2017 • 35 min
Confederate Monuments: Are they heritage, history or hate? We get guidance from Dr. Nichole Phillips, Dr. William Cossen and Sara Patenaude. We get guidance from Dr. Nichole Phillips, Dr. William Cossen and Sara Patenaude. #jimcrow #confederate…
Ep. 1 - The Jim Crow Years: Beautiful Statues and Monuments?
Aug 24, 2017 • 26 min
Are Confederate Monuments and Statues Beautiful or sites of terror? The Charlottesville tragedy has forced us to re-examine their place in modern culture. Elliott Robinson explores the reasons for the Civil War and whether these monuments and statues can…
Introducing Creative Tension: The Jim Crow Years
Aug 10, 2017 • 4 min
Rev. Elliott S. Robinson, JD, MDiv will take us on a journey through “The Jim Crow Years.” The first full episode airs on Sept. 5th. Subscribe today!!