Colored: Crack Cocaine, the War on Drugs, and the Making of Post-Civil Rights America, is an in-depth look at the War on Drugs and the crack cocaine scare that draws from the perspective of Black Americans in Boston


We started working on this podcast in February. At the time, we had a number of assumptions about the 1980s - specifically about crack cocaine and all that came with it. As we learned more about the era, some of our assumptions proved not only to be false, but potentially dangerous. The thing is, we didn't come up with them on our own. As a society, we've adopted many myths as conventional wisdom.

Throughout this seven week series, we try to question everything we think we know about crack cocaine, the War on Drugs, and their relationship with race in America. Our conclusions come from a mixture of interviews with people in communities of color and researchers who have studied and written on these issues. We've learned a bunch. We think you will too.


Hey! We're Prasanna Rajasekaran (left) and Joe Tache (right). We're going into our fourth year as students at Northeastern University up here in Boston. We spent our first three years of college absorbing all we could from activists, organizers, and advocates - this past summer, we decided we were ready to try to give something back to this sphere. This project is our baby. Working on it has made our summer unforgettable, and we hope some of you find it as personally impactful as we have. 


To the Northeastern University Scholars Program - Dr. Jonna Iacono, Dr. Andrew Karas, and Kate Chandley - Colored would not have been possible without your backing. The funding was, of course, huge. But beyond that, you've been in our corner for the last 5 months, from giving us full creative freedom to believing in us even when this was nothing more than a half-baked idea. We're incredibly luck to be part of this program.

To our mentor, Dr. Sarah Jackson, thank you for tolerating us. We’ve hounded you with emails for the better part of three months after we had the audacity to ask you to be our mentor on just days notice. You’ve reminded us to always ask questions and be weary of our assumptions.

To our friend Joey Powell, thanks for making such a resonating and diverse soundtrack.

To our friend Alyson del Castillo, thanks for helping our ideas come to life through your art (check out more of her work at alyson.del-castillo.net).

And finally, to all of our interviewees, thank you for inviting us into your lives and so generously sharing such personal experiences with us. The wealth of knowledge you’ve poured into this project is something we never could have expected - and it’s what gives the podcast meaning.