Southlake, Texas, seems to have it all: stately homes, intense civic pride, and above all, terrific schools. So when a video surfaced in 2018 showing Southlake high school students chanting the N-word—and when Black residents came forward to share stories of racist harassment and bullying—the school board vowed to make changes. But the unveiling of the Cultural Competence Action Plan set off a backlash that’s consumed Southlake, fueled by a growing national crusade against critical race theory. Hosted by NBC News national reporter Mike Hixenbaugh (host of the hit podcast Do No Harm) and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton...
Mara Davis • Paste Magazine • Dec 31, 2021
"The storytelling takes you there in real time. Some of the actual audio footage is so shocking you just can’t believe what is happening. Southlake should be a required listen for backstory on what is happening at schools across the country."
Sarah Larson • New Yorker • Dec 13, 2021
"One of the most devastating podcasts that I listened to this year...The series—produced by Frannie Kelley, with expert sound design by Seth Samuel and original music by Ali Shaheed Muhammad—treats an overheated scenario with patience and care...as a conversation between a queer, nonbinary teen and their school principal about a bullying incident-are as powerful as its loud ones."
Ian Dille • Texas Monthly • Oct 20, 2021
"NBC News reporters Mike Hixenbaugh (a former investigative reporter at the Houston Chronicle) and Antonia Hylton uncovered this incident during their research for the riveting, disturbing new NBC News podcast...The podcast also helped start long-overdue conversations with my family and friends. As so many Texans grapple with these painful issues, Southlake is a must-listen. Listening to Maryland and Cornish speak up and describe their efforts to help Southlake do better, I felt inspired. It was also incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking to listen to them recount the vitriolic opposition to the diversity plan that they and others had worked so hard on."
Kristina Nohe • Bearing Drift • Sep 20, 2021
"The series is well balanced politically in its use of clips from meetings and interviews; this is a multi-faceted issue and the podcasters do a good job of giving voice to people on both sides of the issue. Another strength of the series is in its explanation of CRT and how this term that was not used at all just over a year ago has suddenly become a catch-all buzzword in fighting against culturally relevant teaching...No matter what side of the issue you come down on, I would highly recommend Southlake. It is a valuable entry into some rather difficult conversations that we should be having at this time."
Ryan Fan • Publishous • Sep 18, 2021
"...gripping and fascinating. Southlake is a harrowing and sobering depiction of how people see two completely different realities of America, especially on the most salient of culture war issues: race. It is well worth the listen."