By Brittany Logan
Special to the AFRO
The market for podcasts is vast. With a quick google search, you can find a podcast on every topic stemming from financial advice to family planning to hair care but rarely is there a podcast that addresses how to stay calm in the face of social and racial injustice, until now.
Multi-hyphenate artist, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) influencer Bri Hall launched her “Count to Ten” podcast presented by RedCircle on Jan. 18 with new episodes airing weekly through March.
Raised in the D.C. Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area to a mother who immigrated from Jamaica, Hall was born in New York but moved to Maryland when she was five. She began drawing portraits at a young age; which she partly attributes to an urge to connect with her absent father. By the time she was in fifth grade, Hall had one of her poetry pieces published in a national poetry journal.
During her junior year in high school, she began exploring social media by kicking off a weekly Facebook feature in which she created time-lapse videos documenting her work as she drew or painted a portrait based on subject requests submitted by her followers.
In 2011 Hall launched a YouTube channel to showcase her increasingly in-demand speed portraits.
While majoring in animation and game design at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Hall continued to post her art videos and began appearing on camera which lead to her YouTube channel ‘Smartista Beauty,’ that serves as a hub for hair and beauty tutorials which quickly solidified her as a beauty guru who viewers tuned in for her view on self-love and Black feminism.
In 2018, Hall hosted a TEDx Talk, detailing her journey in following her festive dreams to incredible success.
Now based in Los Angeles, Hall has achieved over 1.1 million followers across social media plus 50 million views and counting on YouTube as a content creator and through her various work, has partnered with brands such as Fenty Beauty, Calvin Klein, Facebook and Google.
Piggybacking off of the success of her YouTube channels and social media platforms, Hall knew this was the perfect time to launch a podcast.
“I’m excited to share a huge part of myself that supporters don’t always get to see from an Instagram photo or a makeup tutorial. Between filming for videos and creating content, I’m deeply engaged in conversations with colleagues, friends and family about social justice, personal struggles, and marginalized identity. It feels like such an organic step to use my platform to further delve into these stories on a larger scale. I hope that people will learn more about marginalized identities and themselves through this podcast. Oftentimes, the gap between empathy and apathy is a lack of understanding and a fear of asking the wrong questions. By having a first person, fly-on-the-wall invitation into these conversations, I hope a deep feeling of connection between diverse communities will emerge for my fans and new listeners,” Hall said.
“Count to Ten” is a statement of defiance against the notion of “staying calm,” something individuals in marginalized groups are told, to undermine their experiences when facing complex issues around social and racial injustices, gender or identity inequality, mental health and more.
Taking ownership of the phrase “count to ten,” the podcast is Hall’s way of breaking that silence and creating a safe, educational yet entertaining space where listeners can feel seen and heard.
Throughout the podcast, Hall will tap a special guest to provide their unique insight and expertise on select themes. In the first episode, Hall and Keziah Dhamma (aka Swirly Curly) unpack The CROWN Act (Creating A Respectful and Open World for Naturals), a law that forbids race-based hair discrimination which many miniorities face in academic and professional settings. Upcoming guests in the first season also include Brittany Lackey and Germani Manning (Black Bravado), Bukola Odeosun, Darian Harvin, Aliza Kelly, Kristopher Head, Charlotte Nguyen, Helya Mohammadian (Slick Chicks) and Marta Elena Cortez-Neaval (Abilitee), MANNYWELLZ, and Jen Winston (The Greedy Bisexual).
With the “Count To Ten” podcast, Hal hopes to open an honest dialogue around delicate and indispensable topics such as rac or /racism, intersectionality, feminism, the model minority, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Dreamers, invisible disabilities, and mental health.
The full rundown of “Count To Ten” has been released and is as follows:
January 18th: Do I Seem Relaxed with Keziah Dhamma (Swirly Curly)
January 25th: Race & Royalty with Brittany Lackey & Germani Manning of Black Girl Bravado
February 1st: Being First Gen with Bukola Odeosun
February 8th: Do the Write Thing with Darian Harvin
February 15th: Hex and the City with Aliza Kelly
February 22nd: The Truth of Invisible Disabilities with Kris Head
March 1st: Excluded? The Model Minority Myth with Charlotte Nguyên
March 8th: Ableism in Fashion with Helya Mohammadian (Slick Chicks) and Marta Elena Cortez-Neaval (Abilitee)
March 15th: Show Dates: How DACA has Impacted Artists with MANNYWELLZ
March 22nd: The Greedy Bisexual with Jen Winston
Bri Hall can be found on all social media platforms under BriHallOfficial and “Count To Ten” is on all major platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Podcast.
Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members! Join here!