Aisha Harris

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Aisha Harris
OccupationWriter, editor, podcaster
NationalityUnited States
Alma materNorthwestern University
New York University

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Aisha Harris is an American writer, editor, and podcaster. She was a staff writer and editor at Slate before moving to the New York Times in 2018 as an editor. Since 2020, she has been a co-host of the NPR show Pop Culture Happy Hour.


Harris was born and raised in Connecticut.[1][2] Her father, Frank Harris III, is a professor and former journalist for the Hartford Courant.[3][4][5]

Harris earned a bachelor's degree in theater from Northwestern[6] and a master's degree in cinema studies from NYU.[7]


Harris was a staff writer and editor at Slate from 2012 through 2018.[8] She hosted the Slate podcast Represent from 2016-2018; the podcast covered media created by and/or about women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.[9][10][2]

In December 2013, Harris wrote a piece for Slate examining the cultural origins of Santa Claus and suggesting that the near-ubiquitous representation of Santa as white could be eschewed in favor of a wider symbol, such as an animal.[11] In response to Harris' piece, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded by asserting on her program The Kelly File that "Santa just is white", and stating that the same was true for Jesus Christ. Kelly's comments drew heavy criticism from a variety of news outlets;[12][13] in response, Kelly accused her criticizers of "race-baiting".[14][15][16] Harris appeared on CNN and criticized Kelly's response to the initial backlash, stating that Kelly's statements simultaneously playing the role of victim and then downplayed the comments as a joke after the fact.[17][18]

Harris moved to the New York Times in 2018; first working as an editor at the culture desk, and later as an editor and contributor to the Opinion section of the paper from 2019-2020.[19][20][21] While at the Times, she joined a number of her colleagues at both the NYT and the Philadephia Inquirer in a one-day walkout over issues in the newspapers' coverage of racial justice protests in 2020.[22]

Since 2020, Harris has been a co-host of the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour with Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson, and Glen Weldon.[23][24][25]


  1. "Aisha Harris".
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Aisha Harris Is A Writing Ass Chick We Love". The Root.
  3. Harris, Aisha (8 June 2018). "On Represent's Final Show, Two Generations of Journalists Discuss Covering Representation". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  4. "Frank Harris III | Southern Connecticut State University". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  5. Harris III, Frank. "Santa's Just The Way We Imagine". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  6. "Aisha Harris | Northwestern School of Communication". 14 September 2020. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  7. Radio, Southern California Public (31 May 2016). "The Black Film Canon: Slate picks 50 of the greatest films by black directors". Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  8. "Aisha Harris". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  9. "Represent". Slate Magazine. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  10. "Represent on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  11. Harris, Aisha (2013-12-10). "Santa Claus Should Not Be a White Man Anymore". Slate Magazine.
  12. options, Show more sharing; URLCopied!, Copy Link (2013-12-14). "Hey, Megyn Kelly, we deserve a Santa for the people, not just white folks". Los Angeles Times.
  13. Ikard, David (2017-10-19). Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-49277-3. Search this book on Logo.png
  14. Gold, Hadas. "Megyn Kelly: Santa reaction was race-baiting". POLITICO.
  15. "Megyn Kelly Says Her 'White Santa' Critics Are Race-Baiting". TheWrap. 2013-12-14.
  16. Hefner, Joseph McNamara (2020-10-01). "When Bad Journalists Rebrand". Medium.
  17. "Writer responds to 'White Santa' firestorm - CNN Video".
  18. "WATCH: Megyn Kelly Accused Of 'Playing The Victim'". HuffPost. 2013-12-16.
  19. "Aisha Harris - The New York Times". Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  20. Says, Gregory Johnson (16 August 2019). "Aisha Harris named op-ed culture editor at the New York Times". Talking Biz News. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  21. "Aisha Harris Named Culture Editor, Opinion". The New York Times Company. 2019-08-15.
  22. O'Hara, Mary Emily. "Why Journalists Are Walking Out of Newsrooms in Protest".
  23. "NPR Lightens Up Its Weekday Podcast Lineup As 'Pop Culture Happy Hour' Goes Daily".
  24. "Media Moves at NPR & CNN Digital, Chicago Sun-Times Names Chief Political Reporter". Cision.
  25. "'Pop Culture Happy Hour' Goes Daily, Welcomes Aisha Harris As Fourth Co-Host". Retrieved 30 December 2020.

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