19. Glenn Ligon
Ep. 19
Glenn Ligon
The Bronx

Glenn Ligon is a renowned artist who gives us new ways of seeing American history, literature, and society. How can we see him better through the lens of childhood? In this episode of Your Hometown, Glenn speaks with Kevin Burke about his experiences growing up in the South Bronx in the 1960s and 70s, including his hour-and-a-half commute each way to Walden, the private school he attended on the Upper West Side from the first grade on. His mother made going to Walden possible for Glenn and his brother, and it involved sacrifices and risks. A commute is one thing. Where it can lead, another.

17. Tiffany Cabán
Ep. 17
Tiffany Cabán

Tiffany Cabán captured national headlines when she came within a hair’s breadth of winning the primary for district attorney in her hometown of Queens, New York, in 2019. It was an audacious move: a young, out-of-nowhere candidate running in her home borough against the establishment on a platform calling for major changes to the system. Snatching a moral victory from the jaws of electoral defeat, Tiffany kept speaking out. Two years later, she’s just won a seat on the New York City Council, where she will have a voice in the debate about what kind of hometown New York wants to be.

18. Sewell Chan
Ep. 18
Sewell Chan

This is the story of an “inquiring mind” who happens to be a journalist. Sewell Chan is the new editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune. But before his move to Austin, and before his previous roles at the L.A. Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, he was a kid growing up in an immigrant family in the outer boroughs of New York City, where his father drove a taxicab. Both his parents had seen a lot in their lives – but said little. Their New York was the New York of work, of their community, and of striving for a quiet, peaceful place to live, which ended up being in Queens. Yet when you meet Sewell, it's surprising that he came from such a quiet place, because he’s so engaged with the world, with history, with how people live and how things work. In this episode, Kevin Burke talks with Sewell about his coming-of-age years in New York, the meaning of home, and what the windows and doors were from where his family lived out to the larger world.

16. David Johansen Part 2
Ep. 16
David Johansen Part 2
Staten Island

Part two of David Johansen’s Your Hometown episode is the portrait of an artist in the process of becoming. If Staten Island was the setting of David’s coming of age, Manhattan would him into his next act. Hear David talk with host Kevin Burke about living in the East Village, the early days of the New York Dolls, the birth of Buster Poindexter, and performing at the Café Carlyle. David’s hometown journey is an invitation to dive into what it means to be an artist and to find what in their origins stories is knowable and what remains enigmatic – even to them – as they continue looking around the corner, following their instincts and their muses.

15. David Johansen Part 1
Ep. 15
David Johansen Part 1
Staten Island

David Johansen is one of the all-time front men in music and an artist who keeps changing the game – not by degrees but by solar systems. In the 1980s, he had everyone feeling “Hot, Hot, Hot” as Buster Poindexter. Before all this, he was the glammed-up lead singer of The New York Dolls, the mythic rock band of the downtown NYC scene of the 1970s.

In part one of this epic two-part interview, David talks with host Kevin Burke about coming of age on Staten Island in the 1950s and ’60s, a kid riding bikes, buying and listening to records, going to Catholic School, joining a band, and graduating from high school at the height of the Vietnam War. How did he get from the house his grandfather built on the North Shore to the pulsating East Village at the dawn of an era he’d help define? This is the origin story of a true original.

s1ep14 Chef Priyanka Naik
Ep. 14
Chef Priyanka Naik
Staten Island

Chef Priyanka Naik is a self-taught vegan cook, Food Network champion, social media influencer, and author of the cookbook, The Modern Tiffin. In this episode, host Kevin Burke talks to Priyanka about her New York story. How did growing up on the South Shore of Staten Island as the daughter of immigrant parents shape her senses—and her sense of home and the world. What about being a kid on Staten Island drew Priyanka closer to her roots in India? What sparked her passion for taking her family’s traditional recipes and putting her own modern spin on them? And what is the deeper source of her creativity, drive, and sense of daring to put herself “out there” in print and on camera as a virtual one-woman show?

s1ep13 Sonia Manzano Part 2
Ep. 13
Sonia Manzano Part 2
The South Bronx

Sonia Manzano is one of the most influential voices in the history of public television. For more than 40 years, she was our neighbor, Maria, on Sesame Street, and she continues to connect her experiences and imagination through her new show for PBS Kids, Alma’s Way. In Part Two of her Your Hometown episode, she talks with host Kevin Burke about how she made her way from her coming of age in the South Bronx to Sesame Street and how the real and fictional maps of those neighborhoods – one real, one imaginary – overlapped inside of her and in the TV worlds she created for us. As a magical storyteller, Sonia knows just where to go in her memories for that powerful combination of laughter amid pathos – the funny in the sad, the lessons in the every-day.

s1ep12 Sonia Manzano Part 1
Ep. 12
Sonia Manzano Part 1
The South Bronx

Emmy-winning writer and actress Sonia Manzano, who played “Maria” on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, talks to host Kevin Burke about growing up in the South Bronx and how she draws on the “love and chaos” of her childhood to teach children—something she’s still doing through her new animated series for PBS Kids, Alma’s Way.

This is a two-part episode. In the first part, Sonia takes us from the world of Sesame Street—actually, her audition—back to her beginnings in the South Bronx. And in part two, she explains how she got from the Bronx to Sesame Street and lived a second childhood as an adult with experiences to share. So, “come and play” and “sweep the clouds away” – by listening to one of the truest teachers you’ll find in New York or any hometown.

s1ep11 Susanne Vega
Ep. 11
Suzanne Vega
East Harlem / Upper West Side, Manhattan

Suzanne Vega is that rare singer-songwriter whose work becomes part of the soundtrack of their hometown -- in her case, New York City. In this episode, Suzanne illuminates her childhood in East Harlem in the 1970s and how her experiences of the city, inside and out, flow through her work, even as she embraces the freedom to write from different perspectives. Suzanne's latest album is "An Evening of New York Songs and Stories," and as she discusses such songs as "Luka," "Gypsy," "Tom's Diner," and "Zephyr & I," we meet an artist fully alive to the truths of her coming of age and to the souls that linger in an urban landscape layered by time and memory.

s1ep10 Sherrilyn Ifill
Ep. 10
Sherrilyn Ifill
Jamaica, Queens

Sherrilyn Ifill walks into court with history behind her as president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund. It’s the legal arm of the civil rights movement, and Sherrilyn is in its vanguard. Her hometown is Jamaica, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City where she grew up in the 1960s and '70s. That’s what Kevin Burke explores with her in this conversation, starting with the first question Sherrilyn asks whenever she takes on a new legal case: “Tell me about the history of this place.” That’s because she knows every town has one: the layers of time, buried and built over, that reveal why things are the way they are, from the bulldozing of Black neighborhoods to make way for highways to brutal acts of violence like lynchings, erased from the public square and, over time, memory. Sherrilyn wants us to see these scars of history all around us and how they impact the struggle for equal justice in America. Once you see the past in the present, you can’t unsee it. What is the connection between Sherrilyn’s civil rights work and her powerful personal story and all she experienced in her New York?

s1ep9 Rev. Al Sharpton
Ep. 9
Rev. Al Sharpton
Brownsville, Brooklyn / Hollis, Queens

Our guest is the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose activism has made him a fixture in the press for decades in his hometown of New York City. Lately, though, we often see him as the eulogist at funeral after funeral of those taken too soon through violence. He does it with enormous grace and power, including after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020. And there’s a reason for that. As Rev. Sharpton explains to Kevin Burke in this rare interview, there’s a traumatic incident that happened to him a long time ago, when he was 9 years old, that gives him the ability to speak to children who are in pain, because there is a pain deep inside of him that permanently shaped the arc of his formation as a preacher and future civil rights leader. It’s a story he doesn’t tell often, because it’s so surprising and unexpected, but in this episode, you’ll hear him share it in the most personal way. In listening, you’ll also gain an understanding that may forever alter the way you see this icon of our times.

s1e8 Maria Bartiromo
Ep. 8
Maria Bartiromo
Dyker Heights / Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Maria Bartiromo anchors three different television shows and was the first TV reporter to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She doesn’t come from the world of CEOs, however. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s, she was a kid growing up in Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where she worked the coat check at her father’s restaurant and catering hall, The Rex Manor. In that world of hard work, family, and sacrifice, what did Maria learn that would help her break through the doors of the Stock Exchange? What lessons she absorbed from her family and hometown remain with the Maria we see in the world of cable news today?

s1e7 Neil deGrasse Tyson
Ep. 7
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Riverdale, the Bronx

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most well-known scientists on the planet. In addition to authoring numerous books, he hosts the wildly popular podcast, StarTalk, and has helped revive the epic TV series Cosmos that originated with Carl Sagan, whom he met when he was in high school. Neil is also the director of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium, part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space that he helped launch at the American Museum of Natural History in his hometown of New York City.

s1e6 Danielle Guizio
Ep. 6
Danielle Guizio
New Jersey / Manhattan

In an industry where most startups go up, down, and disappear, Danielle Guizio is a New York-based fashion designer on Forbes’s 30 under 30 list. If you think of the biggest celebrities on the style pages today, you’re likely to find a photo of them wearing her designs. She describes the line – which shares her name, Danielle Guizio – as “celebrating the modern-day woman who aims to deviate from the traditional and push boundaries in all aspects of life.”

s1e5 Lynn Nottage
Ep. 5
Lynn Nottage
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Lynn Nottage is the first woman ever to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, and she’s one of the most important voices writing for the stage and screen today, with works that include Infinite Apparel, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Ruined, Sweat, and MJ: The Musical, an upcoming show on the life of Michael Jackson. She often writes about characters in private, intimate spaces, where and how real people really talk. It’s a process that began in her hometown of New York City, where she was a girl growing up in the Boerum Hill section of pre-gentrified Brooklyn.

S1E4 Sigourney Weaver
Ep. 4
Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver is one of the greatest movie stars of all time, and many of us think of her as the tough, no-nonsense screen heroines she has played in films from Alien to Avatar. But that’s not how she saw herself as a girl growing up in Manhattan, where she was Susan, the shy, bookish daughter of a dynamic set of parents in that whirling scene of trailblazers in television’s first golden age. In this revealing episode, hear how she found empowerment roaming the streets of New York and attending an all-girls high school where she discovered her name.

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S1E3 Richard Price
Ep. 3
Richard Price
Parkside Houses, The Bronx

Richard Price is a writer’s writer, with novels that include The Wanderers, Clockers, Freedomland, and Lush Life. He’s also collaborated on such landmark television series as HBO’s The Wire, The Night Of, The Deuce, and The Outsider.

S1E2 Darryl McDaniels
Ep. 2
Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels
Hollis, Queens

Part two of our interview with Darryl “DMC” McDaniels. Hear DMC talk about his childhood passion for comic books, how they introduced him to his hometown of NYC and inspired his creativity as a rapper, and how they ultimately informed his search for meaning and identity.

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S1E1 Darryl McDaniels
Ep. 1
Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels
Hollis, Queens

In the first of a two-part interview, Kevin Burke speaks with Darryl McDaniels, the legendary hip-hop artist from Hollis, where he and his two friends formed one of the truly pioneering groups in American music: Run-DMC.

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About the award-winning PODCAST

Our hometowns – and the years we spend there growing up – loom large and cast long shadows. Whether we stay, move away, or eventually come back, they mark a permanent geography within our very beings. Our experiences there are foundational, our memories of them visceral – their needle ready to drop – and, in the rearview … they’re almost mythic. In this series, I want to discover where we’re from and when we’re from and how that unique crossroads in our coming of age years shapes us forever. One guest. One interview. One hometown at a time.

Check out the NYC Series Trailer

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Series one

New York City

Local engagement is vital to the mission of Your Hometown, with the series aspiring to visit a variety of iconic cities and towns for a deeper dive on each place as a hometown. This model is being launched through a first-season focus on New York City, and is a co-presentation with the Museum of the City of New York. Many think of New York as a place where people move to in order to realize their dreams, but it is critical to remember that it is also a place where young people grow up – a series of hometowns within the larger metropolis that shape rising generations through the day-to-day texture and details of family, neighborhoods, schools, and boroughs that will become the origin stories of their lives, creativity, work, and contributions to society as a whole. That is the New York this series seeks to illuminate and reveal.

© Museum of the City of New York, 2021


Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo highlights spending time with host Kevin Burke discussing her coming-of-age years on the Your Hometown podcast series.

NBCLX’s Tabitha Lipkin welcomes Host Kevin Burke to discuss the Your Hometown podcast series. 

NY1’s Justine Re highlights the Your Hometown podcast series during the “Around the Boroughs” segment.

Museum of The City of New York and Historian / Producer Kevin Burke Launch ‘Your Hometown’ Podcast… Read More


A series of virtual conversations in partnership with the Museum of the City of New York.

Recorded November 21, 2021

Tiffany Cabán is a 33-year-old public defender, organizer, activist, and queer Latina City Council Member working to ensure New York reaches its full progressive potential. A Queens native, Tiffany was born in Richmond Hill, Queens to Puerto Rican parents who grew up in Woodside Houses. 

Recorded June 22, 2021

Celebrated singer-songwriter and Grammy award-winning musician Suzanne Vega talks to host Kevin Burke about her role as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s New York City.

Recorded April 8, 2021

Fashion designer Danielle Guizio started her label in 2014 with just $400. Her clients now include Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, Rosalia, and Lady Gaga, and Danielle was featured in the 2019 Forbes List of 30 Under 30. Guizio joins Kevin Burke to discuss how she built her fashion label and how growing up near New York City shaped her career.

Recorded March 7, 2021

Lynn Nottage is the first, and remains the only, woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Lynn talks to host Kevin Burke about growing up in Brooklyn in the late 1960s and ’70s. 

Recorded April 8, 2021

Fashion designer Danielle Guizio started her label in 2014 with just $400. Her clients now include Kylie Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, Rosalia, and Lady Gaga, and Danielle was featured in the 2019 Forbes List of 30 Under 30. Guizio joins Kevin Burke to discuss how she built her fashion label and how growing up near New York City shaped her career.

Recorded Feb 2, 2021

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is a musical icon and one of the founders—along with Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons and the late, great Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell—of the groundbreaking rap group Run-DMC. Darryl joins host Kevin Burke to discuss growing up in Queens in the 1960s and ’70s. 

Your Hometown Host

Creator & Host / Executive Producer

Kevin Burke

Hometown: Newburgh, NY

Kevin Burke is a historian, journalist, and documentary film producer who has developed the podcast series “Your Hometown,” which he also hosts and produces. In addition to serving as the director of research at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, he is the founder and CEO of Kevin Burke Productions, Inc., a New-York based company. His film credits include working as a producer on the popular genealogy series “Finding Your Roots”, now in its seventh season on PBS, “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This is Our Song” (PBS, 2021), and “Reconstruction: America after the Civil War” (PBS, 2019), winner of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award. With Henry Louis Gates Jr., Burke is the coauthor of And Still I Rise: Black America since MLK (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2015) and co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir, Twelve Years a Slave (W. W. Norton & Co., 2016). Burke graduated from Harvard College in 1998 and from Harvard Law School in 2003. He received his master’s degree in History and Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard in 2004 and 2006, respectively. A member of the New York State Bar, Burke serves on several boards, including as chair of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Conservancy and president of the Downing Film Center in Newburgh, New York, his hometown. He and his wife live with their two children in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter @Kevin_M_Burke.

Your Hometown Crew

Executive Producer


Hometown: New York, NY

Editor/Sound Design

Otis Streeter

Hometown: New York, NY



Hometown: Austin, TX

Musical Consultant

Henry Pearson

Hometown: Rye, New York


Shakila Khan

Hometown: Astoria, Queens, NY


Janmaris Perez

Hometown: Miramar, Florida

Art Director

Hometown: Austin, TX


Charlotte Yiu

Hometown: Hong Kong


Tunshore Longe

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Social Media Manager

Mackela Watkins

Hometown: Nevis, West Indies

Brand and Web Management

Michael Tama

Hometown: Mahopac, NY


The award-winning Your Hometown podcast is made possible in part with support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support provided by Joan K. Davidson (The J.M. Kaplan Fund), Rudolph Rauch/Lanegate Foundation, Lori and John Berisford, Claudette Mayer, Paul Sperry, Victoria F. Morris, Peter M. Wolf, Kenneth J. Halpern, the Newburgh Institute, David Phelps Hamar, and an anonymous donor.