Back in February, Wednesday host Ali Muldrow sat down with poet Tiana Clark to discuss Black burnout. This was pre-pandemic in the U.S., pre-summer protests, and pre-election season, but we think the conversation is just as relevant as ever, so we present it today as a special rebroadcast.
This episode originally aired on February 19, 2020.
The internet has been abuzz about the concept of burnout since the publication of journalist Anne Helen Petersen’s viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.” In response, poet Tiana Clark wrote “This is What Black Burnout Feels Like” to highlight the ways in which racism and inherited trauma exacerbate the anxiety of 21st-century life and make the American dream even less accessible to Black folks in the rising generation.
For today’s episode, Ali spends the hour with Tiana Clark to talk about Black burnout, including topics like overwork and hustling in a precarious job market, emotional labor, navigating generational differences, the expenses of self-care, coping with an increasing lack of communal care in our society, and the healing that comes through poetry.
You can read Tiana Clark’s poem “My Therapist Wants to Know about My Relationship to Work” here.
Tiana Clark is the author of the poetry collection I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018). Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.