NBC News launches ‘Southlake’ podcast, telling the story of a suburb torn apart by politics

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NBC News’ podcast unit is launching a new original series, “Southlake.”

The 6-episode podcast offers a rare look inside a racial and cultural fight, intensified by national politics, that tore a wealthy Texas suburb apart.  

From the team that created the award-winning podcast “Do No Harm,” “Southlake” tells the story of a town that seemed almost too good to be true, until a video emerged of white high school students chanting the N-word.

The video unleashed a flood of complaints from Black students and their parents about racist harassment and bullying. But it was the school district’s plan to confront these issues that really put residents on a collision course. “Southlake” takes listeners from a homecoming dance in 2018 to a mud-slinging election this past spring, chronicling the backlash to a diversity plan that consumed the town. 

Hosted by NBC News national investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton, the podcast features exclusive interviews with students, parents and school officials as their seemingly idyllic city becomes the center of a national reckoning over race and education. Composer and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, of A Tribe Called Quest, Jazz Is Dead, and the podcast “Microphone Check,” wrote and performed the series’ original music.

The first two episodes will be available beginning Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, with a new episode released every Monday.

“Southlake” is launching in conjunction with NBCU News Group’s weeklong series, Kids Under Pressure, examining the many challenges students and families are facing on the eve of return to school.