These must-listen podcasts are raising marginalized voices

(CNN)'Listen.' It's more than a directive or a sassy retort. It's an imperative.

As the nation contends with its racist history and how best to heal, curious ears are turning toward new voices.
Voices that for centuries have cried out and were met with silence, violence or both. Voices from communities that did not have the privilege of securing justice for themselves.
Voices that, in a digital age, are now widely accessible to anyone who is ready to listen -- through podcasts.
    Here are a few podcasts you should listen to; shows that will take you on a journey you may not have been on or understood.
    "Adult ISH" podcast hosts Nygel Turner and Merk Nguyen
    As "Adult ISH" co-host Merk Nguyen explains, show hosts are "pointing out new signs or buildings you've never noticed before. It's a completely new experience. You're learning together."
    A quick reminder, though: The shows and subjects included in this guide are simply a drop in a larger bucket of podcasts to open your eyes and minds to the world in which we live.

    Podcasts that celebrate racial identity

    "Adult ISH" co-host Nygel Turner got started in podcasts because he didn't see anyone like him in the space.
    "Adult ISH" from YR Media and Radiotopia
    "It felt like I didn't belong and that's something that I still struggle with," Turner, who identifies as Black, said.
    So, he and Nguyen created a show for young adults.
    "You're listening to the journals of two young people of color just trying to navigate a world that wasn't designed for us," Turner told CNN.
    Turner recommends the following:
    • "The Nod" where hosts Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings take you on a storytelling journey. The best friends started their independently produced show "For Colored Nerds" serving up funny and frank conversations. Not long after, the duo pivoted to "The Nod." Now, they have their own streaming show on Quibi.
    "The Stoop" podcast
    • "The Stoop" amplifies Black stories that are told, "just not out in the open." Hosts Hana Baba and Leila Day weave storytelling into the conversations they have about blackness and what it means to be Black.
    • "Flyest Fables" offers fictional stories from the perspective of a Black kid. "Morgan Givens is a transgender man who tells these fictional stories that are fairy tales," Turner says. "The storytelling, the songs, the tricks that Morgan does with the audio and sound design is something I've never seen before."
    For Nguyen, who identifies as Vietnamese American, one particular program has been an invaluable teacher of the Asian American experience.
    • "Asian Americana": "It helps me expand what being Asian American means. It reminds me that Asian American is not a monolith -- there's so much I have to learn in my own 'demographic.'"
    Besides Turner and Nguyen's recommendations, here are some other noteworthy shows that center primarily on matters of race and racial identity:
    "Yo, Is This Racist?" from Earwolf
    • "Yo, Is This Racist?" is a blog-turned-podcast that answers listener-submitted questions about whether a specific situation is, in fact, racist. Spoiler alert: if you have to ask, it probably is.
    • "Still Processing" is hosted by two New York Times culture writers and friends, Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris, who unpack each other's worlds while addressing current events from the perspective of Black Americans.
    "Asian Enough" from the L.A. Times
    • "Asian Enough" takes a deep dive into what it means to be an Asian American. Hosts Jen Yamato and Frank Shyong reflect with celebrity guests on identity and the duality of being "enough" in the eyes of each culture and background.
    • "Tamarindo" brings Latinx voices to the forefront as hosts Ana Sheila Victorino and Brenda Gonzalez delve into the latest through lighthearted yet fearless conversations on gender, representation and balancing it all.
    • "Minority Korner" serves up a tongue-in-cheek intersectional look at current events with "queer, political comedian, and self-proclaimed sexy blerd" (that's Black nerd) host James Arthur. The weekly show encourages listeners to "learn, laugh and play" as Arthur is joined by a minority guest.
    • "Silence is Not an Option," hosted by CNN's Don Lemon, does not back down from tough conversations about life as a person of color in America. With activists and notable thinkers, Lemon examines what meaningful and lasting solutions to the nation's racial terrors look like.

    Podcasts that revisit history

    "Latino USA" host Maria Hinojosa has been listening to investigative podcasts that delve into America's checkered history.