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Processing: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ and America’s Whiteness

When “Hillbilly Elegy” appeared on Netflix last November, it was just the latest in a series of media outlets trying to explain whiteness to its audiences. We’re revisiting a better (but not perfect) example: the “S-Town” podcast. Check out our 2017 episode as we prepare for a new season of Still Processing.

If you’re new to the series, Still Processing is all about culture in the broadest sense. It means TV, movies, books, music – but also race, work culture, dating, the internet and how it all comes together. Join Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham as they practice on Thursdays.

This episode was originally produced in 2017 by Jenna Weiss-Berman, Henry Molofsky, Rikki Novetsky and Max Linksy of Pineapple Street Media, under the editorial supervision of Sasha Weiss, Samantha Henig, Lisa Tobin and Jake Silverstein. It was updated in 2021 by producer Diana Nyugen, editor Sara Sarasohn, and engineer Marion Lozano. Our musical theme is Kindness. It’s called “World Restart”, taken from the album “Otherness”.

Wesley Morris is a critic as a whole. He received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his reviews at the Boston Globe. He has also worked at Grantland, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The San Francisco Examiner. Follow Wesley on Twitter: @wesley_morris

Jenna Wortham is a writer for The Times Magazine and co-editor of the book “Black Futures” with Kimberly Drew. Follow Jenna on Twitter: @jennydeluxe

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