Named in honor of Afro-Brazilian Freedom Fighter Zumbi dos Palmares, ZUMBI brings you interviews with community members whose work informs and impacts the beauty and richness of Black life throughout the diaspora.
ZUMBI host, Stephanie L. Lang, is a multi-generational Austin resident and community curator working to preserve the history and legacy of Black people throughout the diaspora with a special focus on Austin, Texas and the surrounding areas. As host of ZUMBI for over a decade, Ms. Lang is committed to bringing listeners access to a myriad of guests whose work is about and for the Black community.
What is ZUMBI? How was it started?
Zumbi is an interview show on community radio station KAZI 88.7, with support from the John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies at UT-Austin and the Center for Community Engagement at UT-Austin. It is named after Afro-Brazilian Freedom fighter Zumbi Dos Palmares. It was started under the then Center for African American Studies (now the John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies) which is part of Black Studies at UT-Austin, under the leadership of Dr. Omi Jones who at the time was the Associate Director of the Center. Dr. Ted Gordon was the Director. Dr. Jones created Zumbi with the full of support of KAZI to highlight the work being done by scholars in Black Studies and the richness of Black life in Austin and abroad. I should also mention that one of the founders of KAZI is the former director and namesake of the Warfield Center, Dr. John L. Warfield. Zumbi’s first host was Dr. Shirley Thompson, Associate Professor in American Studies and Black Studies at UT-Austin.
What kind of guests do you host on ZUMBI? What do you usually discuss with these guests?
Zumbi guests are scholars, educators, artist, community organizers, mental health professionals, and healers, Basically our guest are people whose work centers around people, cultures and communities through-out the Black Diaspora. We discuss their journey to their work, and how their work is often inspired by, for and informed by the community.
What’s a recent conversation you’ve had on ZUMBI that impacted you in some way?
It is hard to pick just one. They all have impacted me in one way or another. As each guest shares what brought them to their work and how they’ve created a pathway to often times address an issue that has impacted them directly is inspiring.
Why is it important to have a show like this on air?
I think it is important for several reasons. It creates a platform for listeners to learn about all of the amazing work, art, research, programming, and more– being done not only in Austin but around the world centered around the Black community.