Slow Burn

Clarence Thomas is one of the most powerful figures in America today. Nearly every issue of national consequence has his fingerprints all over it, from voting rights to gun rights and from abortion access to affirmative action. But nothing about his journey from rural Georgia to the Supreme Court was inevitable.In the eighth season of Slate’s Slow Burn, host Joel Anderson traces Justice Thomas’ surprising path from youthful radical to conservative icon. You’ll hear about why he came to despise the race-based admission policies that personally benefitted him, how he credited his political rise to the Black self-sufficiency preached by Malcolm X, and what the American people didn’t hear during his explosive confirmation hearings.

One Year - 1986: Herschel vs. the Blubber Busters
How a cute story about a hungry sea lion became a fight over targeted animal killing.
46 min
One Year - 1986: A Boycott in Mississippi
The civil rights battle that divided a small Southern town, and captivated the nation.
54 min
One Year - 1986: The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults
How a live television special became a legendary American fiasco.
58 min
One Year - 1986: The Ultimate Field Trip
They competed for a spot on the Space Shuttle Challenger. Then they watched it explode.
55 min
Slow Burn presents: One Year - 1986: No Crime Day
Would Isiah Thomas’ vision of a crime-free world set Detroit on a new path, or was it a recipe for failure?
50 min
Decoder Ring: The “Sex” Scandal That Made Mae West
Before she hit the big-screen, the sultry actress starred in a 1927 tabloid trial.
41 min
Decoder Ring: The First Alien Abductees
The alien abduction narrative started right here on Earth.
36 min
Decoder Ring: The Most Famous Poet No One Remem...
Searching for Rod McKuen.
43 min
Slow Burn presents: Decoder Ring - The Mall is ...
For a supposedly dying place, the mall keeps hanging around.
44 min
S7 Ep. 4: Roe Against Wade
How Justice Harry Blackmun became an accidental abortion rights hero.
58 min
S7 Ep. 3: Women vs. Connecticut
What it took to strike down one of the oldest abortion laws in the country.
47 min
S7 Ep. 2: Life or Death
How a doctor and nurse from Cincinnati irrevocably changed the debate over abortion in America.
50 min
S7 Ep. 1: Get Married or Go Home
In 1971, Shirley Wheeler became the public face of the fight for abortion rights.
51 min
S6 Ep. 8: Damages
How Rodney King and the city of Los Angeles tried to reckon with everything they’d suffered.
47 min
S6 Ep. 7: Into Ashes
April 30 felt like the calm after the storm. Then the fires started burning again.
37 min
S6 Ep. 6: No Peace
After the verdicts, Los Angeles erupted into fire and chaos.
39 min
S6 Ep. 5: The System
The officers who beat Rodney King had been caught in the act. Why wasn’t that enough to secure a conviction?
39 min
SB6 Extra: Leading Up to the Riots
A few excerpts from Season 6's Slate Plus interviews.
16 min
S6 Ep. 4: Glen
Rodney King woke up in a prison hospital to find himself at the center of the biggest story in the world.
32 min
S6 Ep. 3: The Chief
In the aftermath of the Rodney King beating, the city wanted Daryl Gates out. Gates had other plans.
43 min
S6 Ep. 2: No Justice
With the beating of Rodney King still on America’s TV screens, the killing of a teenager in South Central further inflamed the tension in Los Angeles’ Black neighborhoods.
44 min
S6 Ep. 1: The Tape
In 1991, a 68-second video set off a chain of events that would change Los Angeles forever.
38 min
Season 6 Trailer: The L.A. Riots
Coming November 3rd
2 min
One Year: Jesus on a Tortilla
How a burn mark in the shape of Christ changed a family.
50 min
One Year: Roots: The Saga of Alex Haley
The author who changed America—and ignited a controversy about fact and fiction.
51 min