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

Why & How to Buy Black First

How can you support Black economic empowerment? The easiest yet most powerful way is to buy from Black businesses. Invest in Black businesses. …

The Struggle & Reality of Black Economic Empowerment in America

Black Wall Street. Madame C.J. Walker. BET. OWN. Vista Equity Partners. Black Americans have always worked for economic power and independence. There have been notable successes--and many …

Deliberations of a Black American: March Edition

An "uncommon" monthly news perspective show that reflects on  events and their effects in the Black community. Join March host, Ben Koponen, in this show about March news events. From the …

King Kong to Black-ish: 90 Years of Black Stereotypes

The ETT Team has a lively inter-generational discussion on the existence and effects of Black stereotyping in the media. Whew! From King Kong through YouTube, we discuss the differing …

Yes, Black Stereotypes still Exist in the Movies

Stereotypes exist in every part of society. Modern movies and television shows are not immune to this problem.  It's frustrating. It's persistent. It's inexcusable. And today we call it …

Why Everyone needs a Financial Education

Do you understand compound interest? What is the Rule of 72? When should I start saving and investing? Great questions. A good financial education …

The Persistent Problem of Black Stereotyping

Thugs. Criminals. Angry. Dangerous. These are common stereotypes of African Americans.Stereotypes are pervasive in  society. Everyone harbours stereotypes about other groups. Are they all …

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 Why & How to Buy Black First
Start listening to Why & How to Buy Black First