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Saladin Ambar is author of a new book, Stars and Shadows: The Politics of Interracial Friendship from Jefferson to Obama. He’s also a political science professor at Rutgers and host of The Eagleton Podcast: This Moment in Democracy. Ambar talks with Ben and Khalil about the complex stakes of interracial friendships throughout US history. Ambar’s ten case studies include the famous bond between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe and the relationship between former president Barack Obama and his VP Joe Biden. We hear a frank conversation about the political challenges, and political purposes, of interracial friendship in a fraught society.

The Hosts

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Khalil Gibran Muhammad is one of the nation’s leading experts on the history and present of race and racism, having led the oldest Black archive and teaching at Harvard’s leading policy school.…

Ben Austen

Ben Austen is a journalist and the author of High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing, which was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction and named…