The Breakdown with Shaun King

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A daily podcast from The North Star where Shaun King will analyze and break down the most pressing news stories of the day. Every Monday through Friday, Shaun will not only unpack stories of injustice, racism and corruption, but will also tell you who's fighting back and how we can support and join…

The North Star


    • Dec 6, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 19m AVG DURATION
    • 546 EPISODES

    Listeners of The Breakdown with Shaun King that love the show mention: thank you shaun, love shaun, shaun king, thanks shaun, northstar, action steps, north star, voice of the people, helpless, police brutality, injustices, love the action, calls to action, every white person, lucca, listening to shaun, news worthy, breakdown podcast, social justice issues, steps to take.



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    Latest episodes from The Breakdown with Shaun King

    Ep. 545 - Year-End Adult-ing Checklist

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 54:47

    I have to be out this week, so the staff is going to replay some of their favorite episodes from throughout the podcast network we have developed here at The North Star. Today, is a recent episode from The Momentum Advisors that we feel is right on time. Enjoy.  [From The Momentum Advisors] The end of the year always seems to sneak up on us. After Thanksgiving, the buzz of the holiday season keeps us busy through the New Year and all of our financial, health and tax planning become distant thoughts until 2022. Not this year! On this episode, we make your year-end adult-ing planning a priority; because when the year ends there's no going back.

    Ep. 544 - My first thoughts on the guilty verdict for the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 18:59

    Last week I never really had a chance to tell you all my thoughts and feelings on the guilty verdict for the 3 men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery. I'll break it all down here today.

    Ep. 543 - Reflecting on the life and death of Virgil Abloh

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 13:55

    Today I just wanted to freestyle and share some thoughts from my head and heart on the life and death of Virgil Abloh. What a loss.

    Ep. 542 - I'm a bit more nervous on Day 2 of jury deliberations

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 11:16

    Let me unpack and explain what's going on and why I'm a bit nervous today about the outcome of the trial of the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery

    Ep. - 541 - Can these 11 white jurors convict 3 white men of murdering Ahmaud Arbery?

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 13:46

    Closing arguments just wrapped up and the rest of this case is now in the hands of a nearly all-white jury. Today I'll share my hopes and expectations and also talk about why yesterday was a true low moment for the entire trial.

    Ep. 540 - You can literally be a black oppressor

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2021 19:35

    I'm still on the road. So for today, the team at The North Star will run one of their favorite throwback episodes. Though it references Joe Biden's first few days in office, the message is still relevant today. Please listen as I breakdown how one can literally be a black oppressor.  www.TheNorthStar.com

    Ep. 539 - Listen to these 4 clips of Malcolm X

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 20:14


    While I'm out on the road this week, the team at The North Star are replaying some of their favorite episodes of The Breakdown. With the news of the 2 men that were convicted of Killing Malcolm scheduled to be exonerated, we want to replay an episode that runs four of the most powerful clips from the speeches and interviews of Malcolm X. They are also painful because they shouldn't even be relevant anymore, but he literally could've said these things yesterday. Listen and learn.


    Ep. 538 - Why simply telling people to "vote" is just not specific enough

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2021 11:26

    While I'm out on the road this week, the team at The North Star are replaying some of their favorite episodes of The Breakdown. Did you hear the disturbing clip of Kenosha, Wisconsin Sheriff David Beth saying Black people need to be locked up, warehoused, and never let out again? He said this after a shoplifting incident. But listen, that man was VOTED into office. We have to start be very, very specific about who and what people should be voting for and against nationwide. Or we get him.

    Ep. 537 - Understanding the Inside/Outside Ways of Fighting for Change

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 25:13

    While I'm out on the road this week, the team at The North Star are replaying some of their favorite episodes of The Breakdown. In this episode, I share a painful, personal story about a lesson that I learned about organizing for change as an outsider and organizing for change as an insider. In the winter of 2014, I found myself in a deep funk after failing in so many fights for families fighting for justice. And I got a call from The White House that forever changed the way I saw my role in this movement. I wanted to speak like and lead like Malcolm, but have the access to rooms of power and privilege like Martin. It didn't work. Let me unpack and explain how that informs almost everything I do as a leader today.

    Ep. 536 - American Police Exist to Advance White Power

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2021 14:29

    The trial of white supremacist Kyle Rittenhouse who murdered two people at a Black Lives Matter protest is going on right now. I'm following it closely and I encourage all of you to do the same. Today we are rerunning the first Breakdown episode on the Kenosha shooting as we brace ourselves for what's next.

    Episode 535 - The lynching of Ahmaud Ahmaud Arbery.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 16:31

    This is one of the most important civil rights cases in the history of our country.As the trial of the McMichael's and Roddie Bryan begins, we're rerunning the first Breakdown episode examining the heinous murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

    Ep. 534 - Why I'm more encouraged today that the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery will be convicted

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 15:25

    Yesterday was an ESSENTIAL day in the trial of the bigots that murdered Ahmaud Arbery. The testimony was as important and as damning as anything we will hear during the entire trial. And for the first time in a few weeks, I'm feeling more hopeful about the possibility that these men will be convicted. Let me unpack and explain it.

    Ep. 533 - I am gravely concerned they might actually execute Julius Jones.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 11:22

    We are now just 9 days away from the scheduled execution of Julius Jones. I honestly never thought we'd get here. The Oklahoma Board of Pardon and Parole has now ruled TWICE that Julius Jones should be removed from death row and that his sentence should be commuted to life with parole. But Governor Stitt of Oklahoma is ignoring his own board. I've never seen it in my life. I need you to stop what you are doing and do 2 things for us please. Sign our super petition @ FreeJuliusJones.com - when you fill that out, it sends out emails to everybody involved in the case. Then, save this number in your phone as Julius Jones: 405-777-7840 and call it several times a day to demand that the Governor listen to his own board of pardon and parole. Our staff @GrassrootsLaw will be there to coach you through it.

    Ep. 532 - The Democratic Party is struggling at a time when they should be crushing it

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 20:05

    Democrats control the House, Senate, and the Presidency. Conservatives led a failed insurrection at the American Capitol earlier this year and are literally going to prison. This should be the time that Democrats step up to lead, but instead, they are throwing it all away.

    Ep. 531 - I am gravely concerned about the trial of the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 16:58

    Opening statements are now underway and the full trial of the three white supremacists who murdered Ahmaud Arbery is now underway. I am gravely concerned. The judge is OK. That's the good news. But the jury looks like a Trump rally. And the prosecutors really did bomb in the jury selection process.

    Ep. 530 - On the road today

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 2:17

    I'm on the road today and will be right back here tomorrow to unpack and explain the results from Election Day. Hope each of you are doing well.

    Ep. 529 - Frustrated Black Voters + An Update on Julius Jones

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 17:52

    It's Election Day across America. And while I'm still honored to have the right to vote, I see the growing frustration among Black voters with the Democratic Party as they continue to overpromise and underdeliver.Also, today I have some very good news on the Julius Jones case.

    Ep. 528 - Free Julius Jones!

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2021 19:52

    In 17 days Oklahoma is scheduled to execute an innocent young Black man for a crime he did not commit. The Oklahoma Board of Pardon & Parole already voted 3-1 to stop this execution and give Julius life in prison, but the Governor is ignoring his own board full of conservative appointees. That's why we need you. Please go now to FreeJuliusJones.com to learn all about the case and then call 405.777.7840. I am counting on you. Julius is counting on you. Together we are strong.

    Ep. 527 - The brutal, grotesque, barbaric execution of John Grant was quintessential America. And illegal.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 18:44


    Last night Oklahoma executed a man named John Grant. What happened was as gross as anything I've ever heard of. Let me unpack and explain to you why it was illegal. It's also more American than apple pie or baseball. Between me and you all - this was one of the worst things I've ever heard of in modern American history. And I cover and fight evil for a living.


    Ep. 526 - I'm betting on myself.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2021 22:58

    I'm a writer. I'm a lot of things, but a writer will always be high on  that list. After a few months of working to get out of all of my contracts with my book publisher and literary agent and talent agent, who were good to me by the way, I'm breaking out on my own. I'm betting on myself. My last book was a New York Times Bestseller, but I don't desire or ever plan to be on that list again. I'm going in a very different direction with my next 4-5 books. I need the space to be able to say and write what I need to say and write without fear that some corporation that pays me might not like it. This was the last boss I had. But now I'm free. And I'm about to dial it up a few notches.

    Ep. 525 - Police FINALLY indicted for the murder of Jamarion Robinson

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 15:30

    His name should be a household name that we say alongside so many other victims of police violence. Over 5 years ago police fired  hundreds of shots at Jamarion Robinson - shooting him 76 times and killing him. Today I'll speak about the case and the peculiar nature of why some cases go viral, but most never do.

    Ep. 524 - Black leaders are starting to build mass incarceration 2.0 in cities across the country

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 19:44

    When you truly fail to understand and appreciate the past, and  learn from it, you are doomed to repeat it. And all over the country right now, Black mayors are trying to incarcerate their way out of their worst problems. This is literally the same thing we saw in the late 80s and early 90s and we are repeating it again. And Atlanta is the epicenter of it all.

    Ep. 523 - Police shot and killed this 8 year old girl. And her family needs our support.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 15:29

    This past August, as she walked with her family from a high school  football game, police in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania shot and killed 8 year old Fanta Bility, shot her sister, and injured other bystanders and families. I spoke to the family this week. Let me unpack and explain what I know.

    Ep. 522 - I had low expectations for Joe Biden. Somehow, he's failed to even meet those.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2021 23:18

    I saw something on social media this week that surprised and spooked me. And it should damn sure spook Joe Biden. Let me unpack and explain it.

    Ep. 521 - Here's what happens when Black police speak out against injustice in their own departments

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 16:55

    Louisiana State Trooper Carl Cavalier, a young Black man, did the right thing and spoke out on the horrible police murder of Ronald Greene by his department. He called out their lies covering it up and called out their murder of an innocent, unarmed Black man. And now the Louisiana State Police have filed papers to fire this man - not for murder or a coverup, but for speaking up. It's a damn shame and he needs our support.

    Ep. 520 - Here's what happens when Black police speak out against injustice in their own departments

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 17:10

    Louisiana State Trooper Carl Cavalier, a young Black man, did the right thing and spoke out on the horrible police murder of Ronald Greene by his department. He called out their lies covering it up and called out their murder of an innocent, unarmed Black man. And now the Louisiana State Police have filed papers to fire this man - not for murder or a coverup, but for speaking up. It's a damn shame and he needs our support.

    Ep. 519 - My biggest concern about jury selection for the men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 26:12


    Jury selection is currently underway in the trial of the 3 men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery. I have several concerns, but one troubles me more than most. Today I'll unpack that and also discuss the death of Colin Powell.


    Ep. 518 - Go now to FreeJuliusJones.com & call 405-777-7840

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 19:56

    In 33 days Oklahoma is scheduled to execute an innocent young Black man for a crime he did not commit. The Oklahoma Board of Pardon & Parole already voted 3-1 to stop this execution and give Julius life in prison, but the Governor is ignoring his own board full of conservative appointees. That's why we need you. Please go now to FreeJuliusJones.com to learn all about the case and then call 405.777.7840. I am counting on you. Julius is counting on you. Together we are strong.

    Ep. 517 - Why I think Kyrie should be able to play

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 18:43

    Make this make sense. In a city where 16,700 NYPD officers refuse to get vaccinated, but aren't mandated to get it, in spite of 61 of them dying from it, and them spreading it all over New York, this same city is requiring Kyrie to get it if he wants to play. While also not requiring the opposing  team to have it. Scientifically, that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Ep. 516 - Let's talk a little more about the Dave Chappelle special

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 15:33

    This will probably be the last time I talk about it, but I had just a few more lingering thoughts I wanted to share and clarify. Feel free to push back. We can do that here.

    Ep. 515 - Jon Gruden just proved Dave Chappelle's main idea

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 12:49

    Last week it was discovered that Jon Gruden, head coach of the NFL's Las Vegas Raiders said about as ugly and anti-Black a remark as someone could  make.  And he kept his job. His team defended him. Then it was just discovered that he said some homophobic stuff as well. And that was just too much. This was the main idea of Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix special. Let's talk about it.

    Ep. 514 - My Mental Health…and Yours.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 19:12

    For the first time in my life, I am attempting to take my mental health seriously. I want to unpack what that means for me and what it might mean for you.

    Ep. 513 - Something just happened in Georgia that almost NEVER happens when we fight for justice

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 3, 2021 15:00

    Yesterday Jackie Johnson, the longtime DA of Glynn County, deep in Georgia, was charged with multiple crimes for her role in the murder and coverup of Ahmaud Arbery. Let me tell you why this matters so much

    Ep. 512 - Climate change is real and it's impacting us right here, right now.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2021 17:57

    After Hurricane Ida devastated Louisiana, it just hit us hard here in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania - with entire communities flooded, tornadoes everywhere, roads and trains shut down, and more. Nearly a dozen people died overnight. Let me unpack and explain what's really going on.

    Ep. 511 - GoFundMe publicly confirms I've never stolen from anyone on their website

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2021 20:41

    It's foolish that it came to this, but it was necessary nonetheless. Let me unpack and explain it.

    Ep. 510 - Free Marvin Guy

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2021 14:28

    Since before the Black Lives Matter Movement started, an innocent Black man named Marvin Guy has been languishing in the local county jail without every going to trial and without ever being convicted of a crime. It's almost been 8 years. This is an abomination. Today, on Marvin's behalf, I am asking for your help.

    Ep. 509 - Tomorrow we are launching a campaign to save a Black man's life

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 8:32

    I need your help, but most of all, he's going to need your help. And together we can do some of the most important work of our lives.

    Ep. 508 - Now that they have power, will the Democrats do right by us?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 15:08

    While I'm on the road this week, the staff at The North Star will be playing re-run episodes of The Breakdown as well as some of our favorite episodes from some of our other podcast series. Thanks for tuning in!  Democrats narrowly control the House, Senate, and Presidency - the real question I have now is this - what will they do with it? Because it already looks like Republicans are going to play hardball as usual. Will Democrats fold and get nothing done, or will they muster up the moral courage to fight for real meaningful change? Most of my close friends think that Democrats will squander this moment. Call me foolish, but I still have some hope.

    Ep. 507 - How much has our country truly changed since Rodney King was beaten 30 years ago?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 16:21

    While I'm on the road this week, the staff at The North Star will be playing re-run episodes of The Breakdown as well as some of our favorite episodes from some of our other podcast series. Thanks for tuning in!  30 years ago the LAPD brutally beat a Black man named Rodney King and a man with a camcorder a few blocks away just happened to catch it all on film. It was obviously a crime, but not a single officer was held responsible. The question today is this - as we try the men who murdered George Floyd, who clearly committed multiple crimes, will they be held responsible? Clearly police in our nation are still causing harm 30 years later, but will a jury in this country finally say enough is enough?

    Ep. 506 - Police don't make us safe

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2021 11:46

    While I'm on the road this week, the staff at The North Star will be playing re-run episodes of The Breakdown as well as some of our favorite episodes from some of our other podcast series. Thanks for tuning in!  Across the country, as certain types of crime have increased, people are defaulting to the same tired answer we've seen before... more police and more money for the police. But this actually doesn't work. At all. And for Black communities, it can actually make things much worse.

    Ep. 506 - In the Black: Economic Wellness & The Pressures of Money

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 43:58

    While I'm on the road this week, the staff at The North Star will be playing some of our favorite episodes from some of our other podcast series. Today, here's one of our favorites from Sick Empire.  On this episode of Sick Empire we explore the health of Black wealth. Host Branden Janese interviews two brilliant financial pundits, Tiffany Hawkins and Allan Boomer of The Momentum Advisors. You'll hear candid conversations surrounding Black finances. We dive into topics surrounding the health of the Black dollar. You'll hear how Black folks have overcome the history of trauma surrounding finances and what the future looks like for Black economics.

    Ep. 504 - The Wealth Gap of the Middle Class

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 59:55

    While I'm on the road this week, the staff at The North Star will be playing some of our favorite episodes from some of our other podcast series. Today, here's the latest episode of The Momentum Advisors Show where they are breaking down the absurd wealth gap that exists within our modern middle class. I'm sure many of us will relate! It's a great one! Be sure to subscribe to them on your favorite podcasting platform! Keeping liquid savings on hand in case of an emergency is one area where Americans of all income brackets are falling short--especially the "middle class." But what is this middle class? Is it defined by a salary range, household income or aspirational possessions? And is being in the "middle class" all it's chalked up to be? On this episode we answer all these questions while addressing the wealth gap of the middle class and how to thrive in it.

    Ep. 503 - California town evacuates but plans to leave incarcerated people behind

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2021 19:30

    Wildfires are raging in California right now and one town, Susanville, which only exists because of the two prisons that support the local economy, is now in the direct line of the fire. As people begin making plans to leave, local officials are demanding that they make everybody that's locked up stay behind and suffer.

    Ep. 502 - Why everybody must stop comparing the coronavirus vaccine to the Tuskegee Experiment

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2021 19:06

    Let me teach you a little bit about what the Tuskegee Experiment - because I see thousands of people completely spreading misinformation about what it actually was.  In many ways, it was the exact opposite of where we are right now in the coronavirus pandemic. Let me unpack and explain it.

    Ep. 501 - The US was right to leave Afghanistan, but did an utterly horrible job exiting.

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2021 22:39

    What a mess. After a trillion dollars from taxpayers was spent in Afghanistan, the United States left a government and military behind that clearly had no willingness or ability to defend itself. The whole thing was a failure. Let me unpack and explain it.

    Ep. 500 - The State of Florida is Stealing Black Babies

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 25:31

    I planned to do a celebration episode for Episode #500 today, but this story is so infuriating that we had to interrupt that to get to this outrageous story. It's painful, but I need you to hear it. And I'll give you some action steps as well.

    Ep. 499 - 99 US Senators just came together for the most cowardly vote of 2021

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2021 11:36

    When I first saw this, I thought it was fake news. I thought it was a fake headline from The Onion, but no, it's real. And even your favorite Senators voted for it.

    Ep. 498 - I'm so glad that Cuomo will soon be gone as New York's governor. He was always this terrible.

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2021 18:26

    Soon to be former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has always been a horrible human being. I hoped he would be impeached, but I'll settle for his resignation. In addition to his mistreatment of women, he was horrible on so many policies that matter to us. And what's wild is that his nursing home scandal is as bad as anything he's ever done and that's not even what took him out.

    Ep. 498 - Let's talk about Covid...again.

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2021 16:33

    Let me share where I think we are as a country right now in this pandemic - as the cases and deaths begin to spiral out of control...again. It's a painful sign of what's ahead for our country. I'll also make a few predictions on what's next.

    Ep. 496 - Thank You. Checking In.

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 18:00

    If you are still here, thank you. Today I am just checking in.

    Ep. 495 - Hood Eats: How Black Diets Influence Our Social Wellness

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2021 49:38

    While I'm away, the staff at The North Star will be playing some of our favorite episodes from some of our other podcast series.  This re-run episode of Sick Empire features two very different food educators who purposefully planted themselves in environments where they teach their passion for food and gardening by promoting access and knowledge in overlooked and all but forgotten Black neighborhoods. You'll hear the host Branden Janese interview Kurt Evans, a chef who curates dinners to end mass incarceration, teaches culinary arts to kids on Rikers, and employs a staff of returning citizens at his pizza shop in Philly. Branden also interviews Yemi Amu, an aquaponic educator who talks about the power of healing in the garden, and shares her experiences teaching her non-gentrified Brooklyn community how to grow produce, herbs and proteins from recycled water.

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