About the show

We confront issues and their effects on Black people in the United States and around the world. From climate change to white supremacy, police violence to veganism, we face these highly charged topics with courage and curiosity. Our uncommon conversation is quick, engaging, and enlightening. Grab an espresso and join the convo!

About the Hosts

Robin Lofton

Robin Lofton


Robin is a social justice writer, historian, and human rights activist.  She holds an LL.M in European and International Law with a focus on international human rights. After receiving her degree, Robin served as Executive Director for the International Centre for Criminal Law & Human Rights, which focused on abolishing the death penalty. She writes about African American history and culture for rememberinghistory.com. Robin is a curious and active traveler, wellness enthusiast, a passionate writer, and a committed community volunteer. Robin lives in Brussels, Belgium.

Frederick Douglas Lofton

Frederick Douglas Lofton


Doug is a lawyer, historian, stock trader, author, and teacher. For more than 20 years, Doug was an Elder Law attorney who focused on Medicaid planning and protecting the rights of senior citizens and persons suffering from dementia. He writes the blog, Lawyer Explorer, which introduces people to the history and cultural traditions of indigenous and ancient peoples. Through his travels, he explores and uncovers the mysteries of the world.  Doug hails from Berkeley, California.

Hans Hyppolite

Hans Hyppolite

Senior Content Analyst

Hans is a political analyst who recently completed his Master’s Degree in International Relations in Brussels, Belgium. Having lived in the Caribbean, the United States and Europe, he brings a youthful and diverse perspective to the cast of Espresso Talk Today. Through his studies and experiences, he hopes to help develop policies that will better the lives of ordinary citizens. Hans currently lives in Albany, New York. 

Benjamin Koponen

Benjamin Koponen

Content Specialist

Ben is studying political science at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He founded and writes the blog, Telio-Possibilities, which presents ideas from the intersection of philosophy, literature, and politics.  His goal is to simplify a complicated world to ensure justice, equality, and peace for all. He holds both American and Swedish nationalities. Ben lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Marlene Slaughter

Marlene Slaughter

Media & Entertainment Specialist

Marlene began her career in the arts in high school when her drive for competition and performance led her to win the NAACP ACT-SO competition for Drama in 2015. She earned her BFA in Acting and Media Entertainment at the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign.  Before graduation, she secured professional representation with Gray Talent Group and her first two professional jobs, a commercial for Blue Cross Blue Shield and a cross country tour with the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks Theater company.  Since then she opened her own production company called POV Productions LLC. that produces commercials, logos, personal content videos. She has many worldly experiences and is excited to be a part of this podcast! Marlene is a Houston native currently living in Chicago, Illinois.

Start with these episodes

Terror at the U.S. Capitol Building

On January 6, 2021, the United States (and, indeed, the rest of the world) was shocked to witness the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol led by Trump …

Five Mind-blowing Events to African Americans in 2020

Espresso Talk Today Senior Content Analyst, Hans Hyppolite, provides us with a special report of the five most important events in 2020 for African …

Wellness Show: What's your Perspective?

What is your perspective? Choose wisely. Perspective is your window to the world. It determines your thoughts, behavior, and ultimately life …

Celebrating Kwanzaa Day 7: Imani (Faith)

Habari Gani! Imani!

Join Robin, Hans, Ben, Marlene, Mel, and Wayne--yes, the Espresso Talk Today Team!-- to celebrate the seventh and final day of Kwanzaa. Today, we focus on faith (Imani …

A Tolstoy Christmas Story Reading

In this special episode on Christmas Day, Ben reads a Christmas story by Leo Tolstoy. The story is called Papa Panov's Special Christmas. Why did we …

How the Media Affects Black Progress and Success

The media is one of the most powerful forces in a free and democratic country.  It can shape opinions, promote ideas, and influence how people …

A Black Christmas Story Reading

In this special and unique episode, Elder Mel reads a short story by Langston Hughes called, "One Christmas Eve."  This story is written in a genre that is not widely known: the African …

Why Interracial Relationships Still Face Difficulties

Interracial relationships are more common but still not fully accepted by society and families. Some people face violence, isolation, and scorn. Yet …

Wellness Show: Your Cultural Roots

This uncommon wellness show focuses on the importance of knowing and practicing your culture.  This can be very difficult during the COVID pandemic …

Espresso Talk Today Opening Trailer

Introducing Espresso Talk Today--an exciting place for an uncommon conversation! The sibling team of Doug and Robin Lofton--both historians, writers, …

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Start listening to Terror at the U.S. Capitol Building
Start listening to Terror at the U.S. Capitol Building