Code Switch

Code Switch

By NPR

What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story.

Episodes

An Immune System

While it's technically possible to win a civil lawsuit against police officers for wrongdoing, there's a reason it almost never happens: a legal technicality called qualified immunity. On this episode, we look at how a law meant to protect Black people from racist violence gave way to a legal doctrine that many people see as the biggest obstacle to police reform.
08/07/2021m 8s

We Aren't Who We Think We Are

Every family has a myth about who they are and where they came from. And there are a lot of reasons people tell these stories. Sometimes it's to make your family seem like they were part of an important historical event. Other times, it's to hide something that is too painful to talk about. That last point can be especially true for African American families.
01/07/2041m 43s

They Don't Say Our Names Enough

This year, Pride Month intersects with a surge of protests against racism and police brutality. So this week, courtesy of The Nod podcast, we're looking back at the life of Storme DeLarverie — a Black butch woman who didn't pull any punches when it came to protecting her community from violence.
27/06/2028m 41s

Author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio Talks 'The Undocumented Americans'

In her new book, The Undocumented Americans, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio writes about delivery men, housekeepers, and day laborers — the undocumented immigrants who are often ignored while the media focuses its attention on Dreamers. "I wanted to learn about them as the weirdos we all are outside of our jobs," she writes.
24/06/2023m 40s

DACA Decision: Check-In with Miriam Gonzalez

When the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that DACA could remain in place, recipient Miriam Gonzalez was relieved. As a plaintiff in the case, she's been fighting to keep the program alive since 2017 and we've been following her story. In this bonus episode — an update on Miriam, and why this decision is such a big deal.
19/06/2017m 30s

Why Now, White People?

The video is horrific, and the brutality is stark. But that was the case in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014 and Minnesota in 2016. This time, though, white people are out in the streets in big numbers, and books such as "So You Want to Talk About Race" and "How to Be an Antiracist" top the bestseller lists. So we asked some white people: What's different this time?
17/06/2028m 49s

Bonus Episode: 'Not Just Another Protest'

Suffice it to say, the past few weeks have been a lot to unpack. So today, we're bringing you a special bonus episode from our friends at It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders. The podcast explores how protests have changed over time, and how certain people's thoughts about race are evolving.
12/06/2042m 12s

Unmasking The 'Outside Agitator'

Whenever a protest boils up, it's a safe bet that public officials will quickly blame any violence or disruption on "outside agitators." But what, exactly, does it mean to be an agitator? And can these mysterious outsiders be a force for good?
10/06/2029m 7s

A Decade Of Watching Black People Die

The last few weeks have been filled with devastating news — stories about the police killing black people. At this point, these calamities feel familiar — so familiar, in fact, that their details have begun to echo each other.
31/05/2022m 37s

Songs Giving Us (Much Needed) Life

Talking about race can get real heavy, real fast. Listening to music is one way people have been lightening the mood and sorting through their feelings. So this week, we're sharing some of the songs that are giving all of us life during this especially taxing moment.
27/05/2023m 36s

COVID Diaries: Jessica And Sean Apply For A Loan

On March 1, two Los Angeles-based capoeira instructors realized a dream almost 15 years in the making — they opened up their very own gym. Two weeks later, California's stay-at-home order went into effect, and the gym shut its doors. This week, we follow the two of them as they navigate how to keep their dream alive in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
20/05/2034m 7s

Ask Code Switch: The Coronavirus Edition

We take on some of your questions about race, the coronavirus and social distancing. The questions are tricky, and as usual on Code Switch, the reality is even trickier.
13/05/2027m 0s

What Does 'Hood Feminism' Mean For A Pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated issues that disproportionately affect women. So on this episode, we're talking to Mikki Kendall — author of the new book, Hood Feminism — about what on-the-ground feminism practiced by women of color can teach us that the mainstream feminist movement has forgotten.
06/05/2023m 4s

When Poets Decide Who Counts

All month long, we've been answering versions of one giant question: Who counts in 2020? Well, April is poetry month, so we decided to end our series by asking some of our favorite poets who they think counts — and how all of that has changed in these strange, new times.
29/04/2027m 29s

Puerto Rico, Island Of Racial Harmony?

Many Puerto Ricans grow up being taught that they're a mixture of three races: black, white and indigenous. But on the U.S. census, a majority of Puerto Ricans choose "white" as their only race. On this episode, we're looking into why that is, and the group of people trying to change it.
24/04/2032m 55s

The News Beyond The COVID Numbers

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, numbers have been flying at us about the spread of the illness—and then the next minute those same numbers are refuted. This week, we're talking to Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic about why the data is so all over the place, and why that matters, especially for people of color.
22/04/2018m 30s

Black Like Who?

It's one of the thorniest questions in any theoretical plan for reparations for black people: Who should get them? On this episode, we dig into some ideas about which black people should and shouldn't receive a payout — which one expert estimates would cost at least $10 trillion.
15/04/2035m 0s

Why The Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Communities Hardest

Many have referred to COVID-19 as a "great equalizer." But the virus has actually exacerbated all sorts of disparities. When it comes to race, black Americans account for a disproportionate number of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. In this bonus episode from Slate's "What Next" podcast, reporter Akilah Johnson talks about the many reasons why.
11/04/2024m 52s

A Treacherous Choice And A Treaty Right

The Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation told his people to stay strong during this pandemic, and to remember how much they've endured over a long history that includes the Trail of Tears. This episode takes a look at the treaty, signed almost 200 years ago, that caused that suffering, and how it's being used now as a call to action.
08/04/2031m 30s

Mother, Should I Trust The Census Bureau?

Right now, the U.S. Census Bureau is trying to count every single person living in the country. It's a complex undertaking with enormous stakes. But some people are very afraid of how that information will be used by the government — especially given how it's been misused in the past. The first in our series about who counts in 2020.
01/04/2038m 48s

Code Switch: Race. In Your Face.

Code Switch is a weekly podcast that explores how race intersects with every aspect of our lives. Hosts Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby bring honesty, empathy and nuance to challenging conversations.
25/03/201m 58s

Sex, Friendship And Aging: 'It's Not All Downhill From Here'

This week, senior correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates talks with the best-selling author Terry McMillan, famous for her novels Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. The two longtime friends chat about McMillan's latest novel, It's Not All Downhill From Here, and the topics the book tackles: aging, friendship, race and sex.
25/03/2022m 36s

The All-Women Mariachi Group That's Lifting Our Spirits

With all this pandemic anxiety swirling, we thought you might need some music to take your mind off things. So this week, we've got an episode from our friends over at Latino USA. It's about Flor de Toloache, an all-women mariachi group that's making history by bucking tradition and playing a style of music that's usually performed by men.
18/03/2017m 58s

The Limits Of Empathy

In matters of race and justice, empathy is often held up as a goal unto itself. But what comes after understanding? In this episode, we're teaming up with Radio Diaries to look at the career of a white writer who put herself in someone else's skin — by disguising herself as a black woman — to find out what she learned, and what she couldn't.
11/03/2036m 41s

When Fear Of The Coronavirus Turns Into Racism And Xenophobia

As international health agencies warn that COVID-19 could become a pandemic, fears over the new coronavirus' spread have activated old, racist suspicions toward Asians and Asian Americans. It's part of a longer history in the United States, in which xenophobia has often been camouflaged as a concern for public health and hygiene.
04/03/2025m 16s

Claude Neal: A Strange And Bitter Crop

Eighty-five years ago, a crowd of several thousand white people gathered in Jackson County, Florida, to participate in the lynching of a man named Claude Neal. The poet L. Lamar Wilson grew up there, but didn't learn about Claude Neal until he was in high school. When he heard the story, he knew he had to do something. Our final story about black resistance this month is about resisting the urge to forget history, even when remembering is incredibly painful.
26/02/2026m 28s

Blexodus: The Black Exodus From The GOP

How did the party of the Ku Klux Klan became the party of choice for black voters? And how did the party of Abraham Lincoln become 90 percent white? It's a messy story, exemplified by the doomed friendship between Richard Nixon and his fellow Republican, Jackie Robinson.
19/02/2032m 28s

Pt. 2: Black Parents Take Control, Teachers Strike Back

This is Part II of the story about the 1968 teachers' strike that happened in New York city after Black and Puerto Rican parents demanded more say over their kids' education. We'll tell you why some people who lived through it remember it as a strike over antisemitism.
12/02/2051m 7s

Black Parents Take Control, Teachers Strike Back

In 1968, a vicious battle went down between white teachers and black and Puerto Rican parents in a Brooklyn school district. Many say the conflict brought up issues that have yet to be resolved more than fifty years later.
05/02/2058m 49s

Books For Your Mind, Belly And Soul

Books help teach us about the world, our communities and ourselves. So this week, the Code Switch team is chatting it up with the authors of some of our favorite recent (and not-so-recent) books by and/or about people of color.
29/01/2032m 49s

Bonus Episode: 'Between Friends' From WNYC

A text message gone wrong. A bachelorette party exclusion. A racist comment during the 2016 debates. When our friends at WNYC's Death, Sex and Money asked about the moments when race became a flashpoint in your friendships, they heard about awkward, funny, and deeply painful moments.
23/01/2046m 8s

Ask Code Switch: What About Your Friends?

We help our listeners understand how race and its evil play cousin, racism, affect our friendships. And we're doing it with help from WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast. Be a good friend and listen.
22/01/2050m 15s

Is The Door To Iran Closed Forever?

In light of all the news coming out of Iran, we're talking with Jason Rezaian — an Iranian-American author and journalist who has experienced Iran's contradictions up close.
15/01/2031m 22s

Carmen Maria Machado Takes Us 'In The Dream House'

When Carmen Maria Machado started searching for stories about intimate partner violence in queer relationships, there wasn't much out there. But in her new memoir, she says that type of abuse can still be "common as dirt."
08/01/2027m 53s

Beautiful Lies

So many people's New Year's resolutions are centered around getting in shape, updating their skincare routine, and generally being more attractive. But beauty ideals have a funny way of reinforcing society's ideas of who matters and why. Once you start to unpack them, things get real ugly real quick.
01/01/2046m 59s

The Birth Of A 'New Negro'

Can travel change your identity? It certainly did for one man. Alain Locke, nicknamed the 'Dean of the Harlem Renaissance,' traveled back and forth between Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany. In doing so, he was able to completely reimagine what it meant to be black and gay in the 1920s.
25/12/1937m 24s

Slow Burn

The shootings of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in the late 1990s are widely thought to be connected, but have never been officially solved. On the latest season of the Slow Burn podcast, Joel Anderson has been examining the rappers' meteoric rises, untimely deaths, and what they illustrate about race, violence, and policing in the United States, then and now.
18/12/1945m 19s

The Reverse Freedom Rides

Many people have heard of the Freedom Rides of 1961, when black and white civil rights activists rode buses together to the South to protest segregation. But most people have never heard of what happened the very next summer, when Southern segregationists decided to strike back, using unsuspecting black families as pawns.
11/12/1943m 0s

Death Of A Blood Sport

Later this month, a Congressional ban will make cockfighting illegal in U.S. territories. Animal rights activists argue that the sport is cruel and inhumane. But in Puerto Rico, many people plan to defy the ban. They say cockfighting has been ingrained in the culture for centuries, and that the ban is an attempt to wipe out an integral part of Puerto Rican identity.
04/12/1934m 14s

Sometimes Explain, Always Complain

It's Thanksgiving week, so we wanted to give y'all a question to fight about: How much context should you have to give when talking about race and culture? Is it better to explain every reference, or let people go along for the ride? Comedian Hari Kondabolu joins us to hash it out.
27/11/1929m 29s

Sex, Lies And Audio Tape

Sometimes, in order to understand yourself, you fumble through a tough conversation with your mom. Other times, you roll up to a sex club with your best friend. In his new fiction podcast "Moonface," producer James Kim explores all the messy, scandalous, cringe-worthy ways that different parts of our identities collide.
20/11/1955m 44s

Status Update

Nearly 9 million people in the U.S. are part of a "mixed-status" family: some may be U.S. citizens; some may have green cards; others may face the constant specter of deportation. As the Supreme Court gets ready to decide the fate of DACA — a program that protects some undocumented people from being removed from the country — we check in with three siblings who all have different statuses, and whose fates may hinge on the outcome of this case.
13/11/1926m 51s

Is This What It Means To Be White?

In 1965, a white minister and civil rights organizer, James Reeb, was killed by a group of white men in Selma, Ala. Reeb's death drew national outrage, but no one was ever held accountable. We spoke to two reporters — white Southerners of a younger generation — about the lies that kept this murder from being solved.
06/11/1925m 39s

Fear In An Age Of Real-Life Horror

It's Halloween, and people are leaning into all things scary. But sometimes those celebrations of the macabre hit a little too close to home, brushing up against our country's very dark past. So how do you navigate fake-horror in the midst of so much that's actually terrifying?
30/10/1929m 17s

A Strange And Bitter Crop

Eighty-five years ago, a crowd of several thousand white people gathered in Jackson County, Florida, to participate in the lynching of a man named Claude Neal. The poet L. Lamar Wilson grew up there, but didn't learn about Claude Neal until he was working on a research paper in high school. When he heard the story, he knew he had to do something.
23/10/1926m 22s

President Trump's (Anti-)Social Media

The President's Twitter feed has become the White House's primary mechanism for communicating with the world. Ayesha Rascoe of NPR Politics took a deep dive into Trump's combative social media universe and found that he does not go after all of the objects of his ire in the same way.
16/10/1931m 54s

That's The Anthem, Get Your [Dang] Hands Up!

On this episode, we look closer at hit songs that have taken on broader resonances: from a wistful ode to Puerto Rico to a disco classic about outlasting and thriving to an enduring bop about pushy, unfortunate men — i.e., scrubs.
09/10/1936m 0s

Political Prisoners?

In "Prison City," Wisconsin, white elected officials are representing voting districts made up mostly of prisoners. Those prisoners are disproportionately black and brown. Oh, and they can't actually vote.
02/10/1930m 20s

The Original Blexit

How is it that the party of Lincoln became anathema to black voters? It's a messy story, exemplified in the doomed friendship between Richard Nixon and his fellow Republican, Jackie Robinson.
25/09/1935m 39s

The Black Table In The Big Tent

Black Republicans are basically unicorns — they might just be the biggest outliers in American two-party politics. So who are these folks who've found a home in the GOP's lily-white big tent? And what can they teach us about the ways we all cast our ballots?
18/09/191h 0m

A Tale Of Two School Districts

In many parts of the U.S., public school districts are just minutes apart, but have vastly different racial demographics — and receive vastly different funding. That's in part due to Milliken v. Bradley, a 1974 Supreme Court case that limited a powerful tool for school integration.
11/09/1930m 7s

Searching For Punks

Once upon a time, Kai Wright saw a movie called "Punks." A romantic comedy about black gay men, it was like nothing he'd ever seen before. But then it disappeared.
04/09/1925m 2s

'20 And Odd. Negroes'

In August of 1619, a British ship landed near Jamestown, Virginia with dozens of enslaved Africans — the first black people in the colonies that would be come the United States. Four hundred years later, some African Americans are still looking to Jamestown in search of home and a lost history.
28/08/1936m 9s

All That Glisters Is Not Gold

It's a widely accepted truth: reading Shakespeare is good for you. But what should we do with all of the bigoted themes in his work? We talk to a group of high schoolers who put on the Merchant Of Venice as a way to interrogate anti-Semitism, and then we ask an expert if that's a good idea.
21/08/1932m 35s

Dora's Lasting Magic

Nickelodeon's Dora The Explorer helped usher in a wave of multicultural children's programming in the U.S. Our friends at Latino USA tell the story of how the show pushed back against anti-immigrant rhetoric — and why Dora's character still matters.
14/08/1938m 48s

After The Cameras Leave

Five years ago, the death of an unarmed black teenager brought the town of Ferguson, Mo. to the center of a national conversation about policing in black communities. Since then, what's changed, if anything, in Ferguson?
07/08/1927m 46s

Puerto Ricans Stand Up

It took less than two weeks for Puerto Ricans to topple their governor following the publication of unsavory private text messages. We tell the story of how small protests evolved into a political uprising unlike anything the island had ever seen.
31/07/1925m 38s

Chicago's Red Summer

Almost exactly 100 years ago, race riots broke out all across the United States. The Red Summer, as it came to be known, occurred in more than two dozen cities across the nation, including Chicago, where black soldiers returning home from World War I refused to be treated as second class citizens.
24/07/1919m 22s

Oh So Now It's Racist?

This week, an argument about what to call President Trump's rhetoric. NPR editors Mark Memmott and Keith Woods offer different ideas for how news organizations should try to stay credible.
17/07/1925m 29s

The Return Of Race Science

In the 19th century it was mainstream science to believe in a racial hierarchy. But after WWII, the scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. We speak to author Angela Saini, who says that race science is back.
10/07/1922m 14s

America's Concentration Camps?

There's a debate over what to call the facilities holding migrant asylum seekers at the southern border. We revisit an earlier controversy to help make sense of it.
03/07/1927m 50s

Some Of The People Knew Magic

Fifty years after the Stonewall Uprising, queer and trans folks are uncovering hidden parts of LGBTQ+ history. A new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, "Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall," features works from from queer artists of color who were born in the years after Stonewall. We talked to four of them.
26/06/1927m 31s

Code Switch Book Club: Summer 2019

Our listeners suggestions include American history, compelling fiction, a few memoirs—and Jane Austen, re-imagined with brown people.
19/06/1926m 12s

E Ola Ka 'Olelo Hawai'i

Every two weeks a language dies with its last speaker. That was the fate of Hawaiian, until a group of second-language learners put up a fight and declared, "E Ola Ka 'Olelo Hawai'i" (The Hawaiian Language Shall Live!!!)
12/06/1926m 44s

The Original 'Welfare Queen'

It's a pernicious stereotype, but it was coined in reference to a real woman named Linda Taylor. But her misdeeds were far more numerous and darker than welfare fraud. This week: how politicians used one outlier's story to turn the public against government programs for the poor.
05/06/1932m 1s

Salt Fat Acid Race

Samin Nosrat is an award-winning chef, cookbook author, and star of the Netflix series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. She's also an Iranian American woman trying to represent two cultures that are often perceived as being at odds with each other.
29/05/1924m 33s

Dispatches From The Schoolyard

In middle school and high school, we're figuring out how to fit in and realizing that there are things about ourselves that we can't change — whether or not we want to. This week, we're turning the mic over to student podcasters, who told us about the big issues shaping their nascent identities.
22/05/1930m 41s

Anger: The Black Woman's 'Superpower'

A Sapphire isn't only a jewel—it's also cultural shorthand for an angry black woman. In this episode, we look at where Sapphire was born, and how the stereotype continues to haunt black women, even successful, powerful ones.
15/05/1919m 59s

We Don't Say That

France is the place where for decades you weren't supposed to talk about someone's blackness, unless you said it in English. Today, we're going to meet the people who took a very French approach to change that. (Note: This story contains strong language in English and French.)
08/05/1944m 35s

You Say Chicano, I Say...

When members of the nation's oldest Mexican-American student organization voted to change its name, it revealed generational tensions around the past, present, and future of the Chicano movement.
01/05/1921m 23s

Poets, The Life Boats

April is National Poetry Month, so on this episode, we're passing the mic to a handful of talented poets — the people who narrate our lives and help us better understand our own experiences.
24/04/1935m 38s

Can the Go-Go Go On?

For more than two decades, a cellphone store in Washington, D.C. has blasted go-go music right outside of its front door. But a recent noise complaint from a resident of a new, upscale apartment building in the area brought the music to a halt — highlighting the tensions over gentrification in the nation's capital.
17/04/1929m 10s

Love & Walkouts

In 1968, thousands of students participated in a series of protests for equity in education that sparked the Chicano Movement. But for two of the students at one struggling high school, that civil unrest — which became known as East L.A. Walkouts — also marked the beginning of a 50-year romance. This week, Code Switch is cosigning that love story, brought to us by our play-cousins at Latino USA.
10/04/1933m 9s

Why Is It So Hard To Talk About Israel?

Support for Israel has long been the rare bipartisan position among lawmakers in Washington. But recently, several younger, brown members of Congress have vocally questioned the U.S.'s relationship with Israel — and were met with fierce condemnation, including charges that their criticism was anti-Semitic. On this episode: We're talking about why it remains so hard to have nuanced conversations about Israel.
05/04/1938m 49s

Ask Code Switch: You Are What You Eat

This week, we tackle reader questions on vegetarianism, the specter of grocery store Columbuses, and the quiet opprobrium directed at "smelly ethnic foods" in the workplace.
27/03/1932m 29s

"On Strike! Blow It Up!"

Fifty years ago a multi-racial coalition of students at a commuter college in San Francisco went on strike. And while their bloody, bitter standoff has been largely forgotten, it forever changed higher education in the United States.
20/03/1937m 24s

Respect Yourself

What does "civility" look like and who gets to define it? What about "respectable" behavior? This week, we're looking at how behavior gets policed in public.
13/03/1932m 13s

When Disaster Strikes

A deadly tornado ripped through Lee County Alabama this past Sunday. An NPR investigation found that white Americans and those with safety nets often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than people of color and Americans with less wealth.
06/03/1922m 23s

On The Shoulders Of Giants

When Colin Kaepernick stopped standing for the national anthem at NFL games it sparked a nationwide conversation about patriotism and police brutality. Black athletes using their platform to protest injustice has long been a tradition in American history. In this episode we tap in our friends at Throughline to explore three stories of protest that are rarely told but essential to understanding the current debate: the heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, the sprinter Wilma Rudolph, and the basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
27/02/1940m 41s

Getting A Foot In the Door

Anali, a young woman from Los Angeles, wants to break into the film industry. A local program taught her the skills of the trade and the language, but will any of that that matter in an industry that runs mostly on connections?
21/02/1923m 51s

From Blackface To Blackfishing

Okay, news cycle: you win. We're talking about blackface. This week, we delve into the hidden history of "blackening up" in popular culture — from a certain iconic cartoon mouse's minstrel past to Instagram models trying to pass as black.
13/02/1928m 18s

We're Going To Start A Dialogue...Again.

Another week of racial controversies, another week of calls to "start a dialogue on race." What does that even mean? We talk to two veterans of one high-profile attempt at a national conversation on race, who have different views of its effectiveness.
07/02/1927m 3s

Pretty Hurts

Some may think of beauty as frivolous and fun, but on this episode, we're examining a few of the ugly ways that its been used to project power.
30/01/1947m 32s

Intrigue At The Census Bureau

Another day, another drama: Last week, a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census. But if the Justice Department has any say, the fight will go on...all the way to the Supreme Court.
24/01/1929m 55s

Perfect Son

Jason Kim and his father were once very close, but drifted apart after the family came to the United States from Korea. They drifted even further after Jason came out to his parents as gay. But after a health crisis, Jason and his father try to reckon with the silence between them. This week, a story about a family's hopes, dreams, and obligations, brought to us by the dope folks at WNYC's Nancy podcast.
16/01/1938m 9s

The Return

Meet one of the people caught up in the Trump Administration's hard-line stance on immigration: Javier Zamora. He was living in the US legally under Temporary Protected Status but when the White House threatened to take it away, Javier went back to El Salvador to apply for a new visa. He didn't know if he'd ever return to the US, his home of nearly twenty years.
09/01/1934m 51s

America's Other Anthems

This week, we're uncovering the stories behind three American Anthems. First, we hear from two musical greats about their respective versions of "Fight the Power." Next, we learned about the transformation of the children's choir staple, "This Little Light of Mine." Finally, we took a trip down "Whittier Blvd."
02/01/1930m 32s

Race Underneath The Skin

Spit into a tube and get in touch with your ancestors! Or not. This week we're revisiting a conversation about DNA, and what it tells us about who we are.
26/12/1831m 37s

Code Switch Goes To College

A professor at the University of Texas San Antonio designed a college course based around episodes of the Code Switch podcast! In it, her students learned how to have tough conversations about race and identity, using Shereen and Gene as an example. But after an incident on campus involving the police made national news, their theoretical classroom discussions stopped being polite and started getting real.
19/12/1826m 16s

Code Switch Book Club

We checked in with authors, poets and great literary minds to see what books they think everyone should read this holiday season.
12/12/1830m 31s

The Story Of Mine Mill

Reporter Julia Simon tells us about a radical miners' union in Birmingham, Alabama. It laid the foundation for civil rights organizers in the South, and holds lessons for the future of labor.
05/12/1827m 36s

Dog Show!

On this episode, we're hanging out with pups. First, is Kat's anxious dog Samson really just a little beagle bigot? Then, the author Bronwen Dickey and the political scientist Michael Tesler explain how the pitbull transformed from America's most beloved sidekick to a doggo non grata.
28/11/1839m 15s

Live From The Apollo...It's Code Switch!

Gene and Shereen talk to poet Denice Frohman, percussionist Bobby Sanabria, chef Marcus Samuelsson and comedian Ashley Nicole Black at Harlem's World Famous Apollo Theater in New York City.
21/11/181h 2m

The House On The Corner

The news item about the shooting was bare: one man shot another 17 times in a dispute over drugs. The actual story — of a family that feared for its safety but who couldn't rely on the police for help — was far more complicated.
14/11/1835m 48s

Politics Podcast Pop Up

We know where your mind's going to be this week: midterm election results!!! So, we're handing the reins over to our play cousins from NPR's Politics Podcast. They'll tell you what happened and what it all means.
07/11/1828m 42s

Is Ron Brown High School Working?

Ron Brown High School was built on a novel notion: a school for boys of color, based on a model of restorative justice. We visited the school last year for several episodes to follow its first-ever freshman class. This week, we're going back to see whether the school's unique approach to education is bearing fruit.
31/10/1838m 8s

The Cost To Cast A Ballot

This week: why people don't vote, why people can't vote, and two state races that might have national implications for 2020.
24/10/1835m 53s

What So Proudly We Hail

So "The Star-Spangled Banner" is kind of a mess: notoriously tough to sing and with some weird stanzas about slavery. This week, we're looking at two of the country's other anthems with their own messy histories to find out what those songs tell us about American ideals.
17/10/1823m 26s

Our Homeland Is Each Other

This week, we're handing the mic over to transracial adoptees. They told us what they think is missing from mainstream narratives about adoption, and how being an adoptee is an identity unto itself.
10/10/1828m 51s

Deja Vu All Over Again

Decades before Christine Blasey-Ford testified before lawmakers, the country had another reckoning with sexual misconduct set against the backdrop of a Supreme Court nomination. This week: what we have — and haven't — learned in the years since the Anita Hill hearings about identity politics, sexual harassment and power.
03/10/1824m 34s

#CriticsSoWhite

The reckoning that is reshaping Hollywood is finally making its way to the critic's perch. Bilal Qureshi joins us to talk about exciting movies coming this fall, and who gets to judge.
26/09/1832m 31s

Puerto Rico's Other Storm

Long before Hurricane Maria devastated the territory, the threat of financial disaster loomed over Puerto Rico. Now, an old, bitter struggle over who gets to chart the islands' economic future is upending life for everyday Puerto Ricans trying to pick up the pieces.
19/09/1830m 42s

Ask Code Switch: School Daze

For better or worse, classrooms have always been a site where our country's racial issues get worked out — whether its integration, busing, learning about this country's sordid racial history. On today's Ask Code Switch, we're talking about fitting in, standing out, and standing up for what you believe in.
12/09/1842m 35s

Update: Looking For Marriage In All The Wrong Places

In a unanimous decision, India's Supreme Court struck down a long-standing ban on gay sex. In light of this, we're revisiting an episode about same-sex love and dating apps for South Asians.
06/09/1833m 8s

Stuck Off The Realness

Prodigy made up half of the hugely influential hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, but spent his life in excruciating pain due to a debilitating disease called sickle cell anemia. On this episode, the hosts of WNYC's The Realness podcast chronicle Prodigy's struggle with the disease, share the story of how the disease was discovered, and explain how black revolutionaries pressed their communities (and the President of the United States) to do something about it.
05/09/1832m 25s

So What If He Said It?

In recent weeks, rumors of a recording of President Trump using the N-Word have resurfaced. But critics have been describing Trump as racist for years. So, if this tape were to exist, would it even matter?
29/08/1820m 50s

Live From Birmingham...It's Code Switch!

Shereen and Gene head to Alabama to talk about race in the American South. Mayor Randall Woodfin of Birmingham talks about growing up in the shadow of his city's history. The poet Ashley M. Jones shares how she learned to love her hometown. And Gigi Douban of WBHM takes on some tough listener questions about race in the Magic City.
22/08/1843m 22s

Behind The Lies My Teacher Told Me

It's a battle that's endured throughout so much of American history: what gets written into our textbooks. Today we tag in NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz, and hear from author James Loewen about the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.
15/08/1818m 14s

Talk American

What is the "Standard American Accent"? Where is it from? And what does it mean if you don't have it? Code Switch goes on a trip to the Midwest to find out.
08/08/1826m 23s

Word Watch, The Sequel: 2Watch 2Wordiest

We're back this week with the grand finale of the Word Watch Game Show! First, we'll uncover the messy history of the term "white trash." Then we'll get into a ditty that signals ... anything "Asian." Come play with us!
01/08/1829m 50s

Word Watch: A Code Switch Game Show

English is full of words and phrases with hidden racial backstories. Can you guess their histories? On part one of this two-part episode, we're unpacking the meaning behind "guru" and "boy."
25/07/1826m 33s

Rap On Trial

Olutosin Oduwole was a college student and aspiring hip hop star when he was charged with "attempting to make a terrorist threat." Did public perceptions of rap music play a role? This week we're tagging in our friends at Hidden Brain to tell this story.
18/07/1851m 22s

Word Up

Since 1992, the study known as "The 30 Million Word Gap" has, with unusual power, shaped the way educators, parents and policymakers think about educating poor children. NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz joins us to talk about what it gets right, and what it misses.
11/07/1822m 39s

Code Switch's Summer Vacation

We're going on a trip, and we're taking you with us! From the peak of Mount Denali to the beaches of Queens, we're talking camp, suntans and our favorite summer jams.
04/07/1835m 40s

Immigration Nation

Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise, and the prospect of mass deportation is in the news. But as much as this seems like a unique moment in history, in many ways, it's history repeating itself.
27/06/1833m 14s

Looking For Marriage In All The Wrong Places

Online matchmaking sites are making it easier than ever for couples seeking an arranged marriage to meet. Well...not all couples.
20/06/1832m 16s

Twenty-First Century Blackface

We have one story of how blackface was alive and well on network television in Colombia until 2015.
13/06/1831m 14s

What We Inherit

On this episode, the story of one family's struggle to end a toxic cycle of inter-generational trauma from forced assimilation. Getting back to their Native Alaskan cultural traditions is key.
06/06/1826m 38s

A Thousand Ways To Kneel And Kiss The Ground

Last week, the NFL announced a new policy to penalize players who kneel during the national anthem. The announcement drew fresh attention to the century-old tightrope that outspoken black athletes — from Floyd Patterson to Rose Robinson to Colin Kaepernick – have had to walk in order to compete and live by their principles.
30/05/1824m 29s

Of Bloodlines and Conquistadors

Hispanos have lived side by side the Pueblo people for centuries—mixing cultures, identities and even bloodlines. But recently, tensions have risen among the two populations over Santa Fe's annual conquistador pageant, known as La Entrada, which celebrates the arrival of the Spanish.
23/05/1833m 13s

What's Black And Gray And Inked All Over?

Black-and-gray tattoos have become increasingly popular over the last four decades. But many people don't realize that the style has its roots in Chicano art, Catholic imagery and "prison ingenuity." (Yes, they were called Prison-Style tattoos for a reason.) Freddy Negrete, a pioneer in the industry, started tattooing fellow inmates in the early 1970s. And while he's no longer tatting people up with guitar strings and ballpoint pens, he's still using some of the same techniques he mastered back in the day.
16/05/1823m 55s

Tough Questions For The World's Toughest Job

Mother's Day is coming up, so we're taking on your most difficult questions around parenting. We'll talk about choosing a school, raising bilingual children, modeling gender identity, and what to do if your kid's afraid of black people.
09/05/1831m 17s

Code Switch Census Watch 2020

We've said it before: The U.S. Census is way more than cold, hard data. It informs what we call ourselves and how we're represented. On this episode, we explore the controversial citizenship question that the Trump administration added to the 2020 census. We also talk about how the U.S. Census helped create the 'Hispanic' label.
02/05/1828m 51s

It's Bigger Than The Ban

Muslims make up a little over one percent of the U.S. population, but they seem to take up an outsized space in the American imagination. On this episode we explore why that is.
25/04/1842m 9s

Members of Whose Tribe?

Today, Americans tend to think of Jewish people as white folks, but it wasn't always that way. On this episode, we dig into the complex role Jewish identity has played in America's racial story — especially now, when anti-Semitism is on the rise.
18/04/1831m 45s

Location! Location! Location!

It's the force that animates so much of what we cover on Code Switch. And on the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, we take a look at some ways residential segregation is still shaping the ways we live. We head to a border with an ironic name , before dropping in on a movement to remap parts of the South.
11/04/1835m 19s

The Road To The Promised Land, 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Memphis, Tenn. This week, we have two stories about the aftermath of his death. The first takes us to Memphis to remember King's final days. The second brings us to Oakland, Calif., where King's assassination "transformed the position of the Black Panther Party overnight."
04/04/1823m 31s

Amara La Negra: Too Black To Be Latina? Too Latina To Be Black?

People are constantly telling Amara La Negra that she doesn't fit anywhere. Sometimes, she's "too black to be Latina." Other times, she's "too Latina to be black." But Amara says afro-Latinas aren't rare and they're no cause for confusion — they're just in dire need of more representation.
28/03/1835m 36s

The Madness Of March

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is going on right now and will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The coaches and commissioners who benefit are overwhelmingly white. The players on the court are MOSTLY black. So what, if anything, are those players owed?
21/03/1826m 16s

Who Is 'Us,' Anyway?

"Shouldn't you help out your own community first?" That's the question we're exploring this week via our play-cousins at Latino USA. A black celebrity is criticized for helping a Latino immigrant. On this episode, that celebrity makes his case.
14/03/1820m 17s

Searching For A Home After Hate

In February 2017, Srinivas Kutchibhotla fell victim to an alleged hate crime. In the aftermath, his widow, Sunayana Dumala, had her life and her immigration status thrown into question. Now, she's trying to figure out what it means to stay — and find community — in the small Kansas town where her husband was killed.
07/03/1818m 17s

A House Divided By Immigration Status

All four of the Gonzalez kids grew up under one roof, in Los Angeles, Calif. But when the oldest was in middle school, she realized that she and her siblings might have drastically different lives. That's because she comes from a mixed-status family, where some members are free to work, and others are constrained by the fear of deportation.
28/02/1817m 49s

Throw Some Respeck On My Name

It's Alabama, 1963. A black woman stands before a judge, but she refuses to acknowledge him until he addresses her by an honorific given to white women: "Miss." On this week's episode, we revisit the forgotten story of Mary Hamilton, a Freedom Rider who struck a blow against a pervasive form of disrespect.
21/02/1827m 30s

Feelings, Finances And Fetishes: Love Is A Racial Battlefield

To get y'all in the mood for Valentine's Day, we're exploring some of our juiciest listener love questions. Should your race and gender affect how much you pay into a relationship? What's the difference between a preference and a fetish? And what's the quickest way for black women to find love?
14/02/1826m 47s

It's Not Just About The Blood

If you're Native American, who or what gets to define your identity? We dive into an old system intended to measure the amount of "Indian blood" a person has. We hear from two families about how they've come to understand their own Native identities and how they'll pass that on to future generations.
07/02/1821m 53s

The State Of Our Union Is...Uh, How Much Time You Got?

On the occasion of President Trump's first State of the Union speech, we're looking at where things stand on civil rights at the Justice Department, the state of play for the country's white nationalist fringe, and how Puerto Rico is faring as the federal government prepares to cut off its emergency aid.
31/01/1831m 27s

The 'R-Word' In The Age Of Trump

When Donald Trump allegedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries as "shitholes," we called his comments r-...rr-...really really vulgar. Why were we so afraid to call them racist?
24/01/1824m 33s

A Racial Impostor Epidemic

Our episode about multi-racial people and their search for identity struck a nerve. Now we're asking, "What other stories do you want to hear?"
17/01/1819m 17s

This Racism Is Killing Me Inside

On this weeks episode we hear the story of Shalon Irving, who passed away after giving birth to her daughter. Black women in the United States are 243 percent more likely than white women to die of pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. There's evidence that shows this gap is caused by the "weathering" effects of racism.
10/01/1831m 0s

Before We Give 2017 The Middle Finger, Part 2

This week, Gene Demby talks with ESPN's Jemele Hill. The SportsCenter anchor discusses becoming a lightning rod in the culture wars and the flimsy partition between politics and sports. And we'll look ahead to a year of looking back: the 50th anniversaries of the tumultuous events of 1968.
03/01/1826m 19s

Before We Give 2017 The Middle Finger, Part 1

In this episode: lessons learned post-Charlottesville, the Latinas who said "me, too" before it went viral, race-and-rep wins in pop-culture and some of this year's real-life losses. You'll yell, you'll cheer, you'll shed a tear.
27/12/1737m 45s

Black Atheists, White Santas, And A Feast For The Deceased

We're answering your holiday race questions: Why do we still think of Santa as white? Are POCs responsible for calling-out the racism at holiday parties? How do you tell your black family you're a non-believer? And, can you resurrect a dead family tradition?
20/12/1726m 29s

With Dope, There's High Hope

As of January 1, it will be legal to sell recreational cannabis in California. But as the legal weed market gains traction, people of color who were targeted by the drug war are being left out of the green rush. This week, we revisit the history of marijuana in the U.S. ― and how its criminalization has everything to do with race.
13/12/1726m 31s

17,000 Islands, 700 Languages, And A Superhero

Indonesia is one of the most ethnically diverse countries on Earth. And while that pluralism is embraced in the country's founding documents, its ethnic Chinese minority has been persecuted for generations. NPR's Ari Shapiro tells the story of a young Indonesian of Chinese descent, who is trying to navigate his country's roiling tensions.
06/12/1719m 3s

Disrespect To Miss-Respect

It's Alabama, 1963. A black woman stands before a judge, but she refuses to acknowledge him until he addresses her by an honorific given to white women: "Miss." On this week's episode, we revisit the forgotten story of Mary Hamilton, a Freedom Rider who struck a blow against a pervasive form of disrespect.
29/11/1727m 29s

A Code Switch Thanksgiving Feast

It's a Thanksgiving mashup episode! We speak to Lin-Manuel Miranda about Puerto Rico, a parenting expert about tense family gatherings, and a Native professor about the truth behind the holiday. And for desert, the debate of our time: pumpkin or sweet potato pie?
22/11/1720m 55s

Live From Chicago...It's Code Switch!

Hosts Shereen and Gene take on Chi-City with help from Chicago-natives Eve Ewing and Natalie Y. Moore, plus Code Switch's play cousin, Hari Kondabolu. Ewing opens the show with a poem from her new collection, Electric Arches. Kondabolu talks about his upcoming documentary, "The Problem with Apu." And Moore brings her Chicago-expertise to some tough questions from our listeners.
15/11/1745m 28s

Reflections On A Year At Ron Brown High

We spent the past three episodes looking at the first year of a high school for black boys in Washington, D.C. Now, we're taking a look back on our reporting. What does it mean for a school like Ron Brown to exist — and what does that say about our society?
08/11/1728m 54s

To Fail Or Not To Fail: The Fierce Debate Over High Standards

With 40 percent of its students at risk of failing, one radical new high school in Washington, D.C. wrestles with whether to lower its own high expectations.
01/11/1749m 43s

'They Can't Just Be Average,' Lifting Students Up Without Lowering The Bar

In a radical new high school in Washington, D.C., the push for academic success sometimes clashes with providing young men the love and support they need to thrive.
25/10/1746m 48s

A Year Of Love And Struggle In A New High School

Too many young, black men struggle in America's education system. Washington D.C. is trying to do something about it with a new, boys-only high school. NPR's Cory Turner and Education Week's Kavitha Cardoza spent hundreds of hours there, reporting on the birth of a school built on one word: Love.
18/10/1743m 16s

The Passing Of A "Failing" School

When a school shuts down, students lose more than a place of learning; they lose friends, mentors and a community. This is an experience that disproportionately affects black students in the U.S. Shereen Marisol Meraji looks at what it's like when a predominantly black suburb outside Pittsburgh loses its only public high school.
11/10/1738m 21s

Puerto Rico, My Heart's Devotion

The haphazard response to Hurricane Maria has underscored the tricky, in-between space that Puerto Ricans occupy. They're U.S. citizens — although nearly half of the country doesn't know that. But those who live in Puerto Rico don't enjoy many of the same privileges as citizens on the mainland. In this week's episode, Shereen travels to one of the most Puerto Rican enclaves in the country to explore the fraught relationship Puerto Ricans have with their American-ness.
04/10/1722m 31s

Befuddled By Babies, Love And Ice Pops? Ask Code Switch

When social interactions become racially charged, sometimes even the most woke among us are prone to faux pas. So this week, we're taking on our listeners' most burning questions about race. We'll talk weddings. We'll talk kiddos. And most of all, we'll talk paletas.
27/09/1727m 51s

A Weed Boom, But For Whom?

The history of cannabis in the U.S. ― and its criminalization ― is deeply interwoven with race. As the legal cannabis market gains traction, people of color who were targeted by the drug war could be left out of the green rush.
18/09/1727m 58s

It's Getting (Dangerously) Hot in Herre

On this week's episode we talk about why certain communities are more vulnerable to catastrophic weather events like hurricanes and heat waves. Saying "mother nature doesn't discriminate," ignores the fact that discrimination exacerbates her wrath.
13/09/1729m 46s

An Advertising Revolution: "Black People Are Not Dark-Skinned White People"

How do you get black people to buy cigarettes made for cowboys and antebellum-style beer? Turns out, you don't. On this episode: Tom Burrell, who transformed the ad industry with a simple motto, "Black people are not dark-skinned white people."
06/09/1728m 14s

'I'm Not A Racist, I'm Argentine!'

On this week's episode, a viral video gives us the opportunity to talk about racism towards and within the Latino community. When a Latino flipped over a street vendor's cart in Los Angeles, many were surprised it was a Latino-on-Latino incident. We'll talk about why the video is surprising and why it isn't.
30/08/1720m 34s

The Unfinished Battle In the Capital Of The Confederacy

As calls to remove Confederate memorials grow louder, we head to Richmond, Va., where the veneration of Confederate leaders has been a source of local pride — and revulsion — for more than a century.
23/08/1731m 25s

Charlottesville

After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville spiraled into deadly violence, residents of the Virginia town do some soul-searching. Plus: a scholar on the politics of white resentment, and a GOP operative worries about the party's long-term future.
16/08/1732m 0s

Who's Your Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaddy?

Spit into a tube and get in touch with your ancestors! Or not. On this episode we interview the founder of a project that uses DNA tests to talk about race in America. And Kim TallBear, a Native American anthropologist, says why she thinks DNA tests don't really tell you much about yourself.
09/08/1727m 10s

The U.S. Census and Our Sense of Us

The Census is so much more than cold, hard data. It's about what we call ourselves, the ways we see ourselves and how we're represented. On this episode we ask the former head of the Census bureau why he quit. We talk about how the Census helped create 'Hispanic' identity. And we talk through some of the proposed race and ethnicity categories that may show up on the 2020 questionnaire.
02/08/1725m 44s

What's Good? Talking Hip-Hop and Race With Stretch & Bobbito

Shereen and Gene mix it up with the pioneering hip-hop radio hosts Stretch and Bobbito. These impresarios ran a legendary show in New York City during most of the 1990s. Now they're hosting an interview podcast featuring guests like Stevie Wonder, Dave Chappelle and Mahershala Ali.
26/07/1723m 51s

What's So Wrong With African Americans Wearing African Clothes?

Leila Day and Hana Baba are hosts of a new podcast called The Stoop. It features conversations black people have amongst themselves — but rarely in public. The pair swing by to talk with Shereen and Gene about their show, and share an episode about a very thorny question: Can African-Americans wear clothing and accessories that originated with African cultures they're not familiar with?
19/07/1724m 58s

A Police Video From Charlotte

This encore presentation goes deep on a case involving a white police officer and an unarmed black man in Charlotte, NC. Videos in police-involved shootings can add detail to these cases, but as our colleague Kelly McEvers of the Embedded podcast reports, what you see depends on who you are.
12/07/1744m 7s

The Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of A Racial Slur...Now What?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided in favor of Simon Tam, front man of the band The Slants. The group has been fighting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for nearly a decade, for the right to use the slur.
05/07/1719m 46s

It's Our Anniversary

Shereen and Gene celebrate our first year on the podcast. We take a look back to some memorable stories with updates from the team and some of our guests.
28/06/1733m 18s

What To Make Of Philando Castile's Death, One Year Later

In the aftermath of the acquittal of the officer who shot and killed Philando Castile, Gene and Shereen speak to a reporter who has followed the case since the beginning. We also speak to a friend of Castile's.
21/06/1722m 2s

Encore: 'You're A Grand Old Flag'

Why do some people of color embrace the American flag while others refuse to wave it? In this episode from the Code Switch archives, Gene Demby and Adrian Florido unpack the complicated patriotism and evolving use of the flag with immigrant rights protesters and Native American veterans.
14/06/1730m 49s

A Prescription For "Racial Imposter Syndrome"

Shereen and Gene look at "racial imposter syndrome." It's what one listener described as feeling fake, or inauthentic, in her identity. We invited listeners to write in, and hundreds of bi-racial and multi-cultural people shared their views. We'll also talk to social scientists about the basic need for belonging and the role language plays in identity. Later, writer Heidi Durrow joins us. She's founder of The Mixed-Remixed Festival, the largest annual gathering of its kind in the U.S.
07/06/1729m 33s

'Give It Up For DJ Blackface!'

This week, we follow the strange trend of white dance-music DJs who pass themselves off as black artists. Gene talks to legendary House music DJ Ron Trent. The European producer Guy Tavares chimes in from The Netherlands on what he sees as overhyped controversy. Piotr Orlov, who covers dance music for NPR weighs in on what this all means for music fans.
01/06/1728m 30s

We're Still Talking About "My Family's Slave"

This week, we join the global conversation on The Atlantic's essay "My Family's Slave," in which Alex Tizon writes about Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who was his family's katulong, or domestic servant, for 56 years. Why did Eudocia's story hit such a raw nerve in the U.S. and the Philippines? Shereen and Gene talk to Vicente Rafael, a professor who has studied and written about the practice in his native Philippines. We also hear from Lydia Catina Amaya, a Filipina who was a katulong in the Philippines and the United States. And we talk to Melissa Tizon, the author's widow. Eudocia Tomas Pulido lived in their home for the last 12 years of her life.
24/05/1731m 59s

Japanese Americans Exiled In Utah

The story of over 100,000 Japanese Americans enduring life in internment camps during WW II is well known, but a few thousand avoided the camps, entirely by, essentially, self-exiling. Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates talks with research historian Diana Tsuchida, about the hidden history of Japanese Americans who survived by creating farming communities, like the one in Keetley, Utah. We also hear directly from survivors about life as internally displaced American citizens.
20/05/1718m 11s

Master of None's Alan Yang Unpacks Season 2

Gene and guest co-host Lenika Cruz, who covers culture at The Atlantic, welcome Alan Yang. He and comedian Aziz Ansari created an Emmy-winning comedy series that stepped comfortably out of the usual TV comfort zones. Master of None just premiered an already beloved second season, and Yang talks about making bold creative choices, crafting inclusive stories, and writing complex characters with an Asian American lead at the center of it all.
17/05/1723m 35s

The Blessing (And Curse?) Of Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon has returned to Broadway. When the hit musical was first performed was controversial for its stereotypes and story and casting choices. Shereen is joined by teammate Kat Chow to explore Miss Saigon's journey in 2017.
10/05/1721m 59s

Talking Black-ish With Star Yara Shahidi And Creator Kenya Barris

Black-ish creator (Kenya) and the show's 17-year-old star (Yara) talk about what's next for them on TV and in real life. Kenya explains why he's never felt pressure to explain cultural jokes. Yara breaks down ways Gen Z is ahead of the rest of us. Plus, they preview a possible spin-off!
03/05/1730m 48s

The LA Unrest (Or Riots) 25 Years Later

We hear from a Latino city councilman who was there when it all went down, a Korean-American who worked at her family's gas station in Compton and a prominent black pastor who gave a memorable sermon to his South LA congregation. Oh, and we tag in our play cousins Mandalit Del Barco and David Greene for this one.
29/04/1720m 46s

John Leguizamo, Still In Search Of John Leguizamo

This week, Gene welcomes NPR's Audie Cornish to talk about multi-talented writer, producer and comedian John Leguizamo. As a performer, he's mined his Latino identity through his own family and old New York neighborhoods for decades. Audie interviewed Leguizamo in New York during the current run of his latest one-man show, Latin History For Morons. Now a father, Leguizamo struggles with what he knows and what he can teach his son and daughter about being Latino in the U.S., while challenging himself to be the dad he'd always wanted his own father to be.
26/04/1727m 30s

Mailbag! Listener Questions and Comments That Got Us Thinking

Shereen and Gene tackle listeners' reactions to recent episodes. One wants to know the difference between Persian and Iranian. (It's complicated.) Another wants more details about the risks to churches for becoming sanctuaries. (We asked a lawyer.) And a professor gave us a "loving critique" of our episode on Native hunting rights and sovereignty. (Thank you.) Plus a special call-out to the racial imposter in you.
19/04/1724m 19s

How One Inmate Changed The Prison System From The Inside

In this Podcast Extra, NPR correspondent Joe Shapiro recalls the life and legacy of Martin Sostre, someone he first reported on as a student in the 1970s. Sostre died a free man in 2015. But he spent at least nine years of his life in solitary confinement, including in the notorious Attica prison. Today, Sostre's life and pioneering prisoners' rights work is largely hidden from the public.
15/04/1711m 43s

The Beef Over Native American Hunting Rights

Shereen and Gene welcome reporter Nate Hegyi, who spent a day in Montana with a Nez Perce hunting party, a tribe that faces strong opposition from some who see these rights as unfair and out of sync with modern life.
12/04/1721m 13s

Changing Colors In Comics

Gene and guest host Glen Weldon (our play cousin from Pop Culture Happy Hour) explore how comics are used as spaces for mapping race and identity. Gene visits Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse in Philadelphia, and chats with proprietor Ariell Johnson who is reclaiming the comic book store, which once made her uneasy as a black fan. Meanwhile, C. Spike Trotman, another black woman, has made a name for herself as an online comics publisher of Iron Circus Comics in Chicago. We also talk to artist and designer Ronald Wimberly for his perspective as a black creator who has worked for Marvel and DC, the titans of corporate comics.
05/04/1727m 27s

Podcast Extra En Español: Jeanette Vizguerra

Jeanette Vizguerra speaks with Adrian Florido about her experience living in the church where she's taken sanctuary as she fights her deportation case. Jeanette Vizguerra habla con Adrián Florido sobre su experiencia viviendo en la iglesia donde ha tomado santuario mientras disputa su caso de deportación.
01/04/1714m 16s

Sanctuary Churches: Who Controls The Story?

Code Switch's Adrian Florido has been covering the new sanctuary movement for us. For this episode, he spoke to key players to understand why hundreds of churches are ready to start a public fight with the current administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He also looks at why the movement has to wrestle with important questions: Who controls the story and the message? How much say does an individual or family have in how a sanctuary church leverages their story? Adrian also has a candid talk with Jeanette Vizguerra, who is living inside a Colorado church, as she fights a legal deportation battle. It could be years before she is able to step outside the church. As Adrian reports, the decisions, intentions and relationships complicate the work of sanctuary churches.
29/03/1721m 54s

A Bittersweet Persian New Year

It's springtime, and the celebration of rebirth and the New Year in Iranian-American communities is tempered by the recent rise in Islamaphobic incidents and ongoing uncertainties around the travel ban. To mark Nowruz, Gene and Shereen talk about what's bitter and what's sweet with Nilou Motamed, the Iranian-American editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, and visit with Code Switch friend and comedian Negin Farsad.
22/03/1723m 38s

The 80-Year Mystery Around 'Fred Douglas' Park

In Nashville, there was a time when the idea of a "Negro park" ruffled feathers. For more than 80 years, there's been confusion about whether a park originally created during segregation and named for a seemingly nonexistent "Fred Douglas" might have actually been intended to honor the great abolitionist and statesman. Reporter Blake Farmer of member station WPLN explores the park's controversial history and how the city finally decided to clarify the park's name.
18/03/176m 30s

Not-So-Simple Questions From Code Switch Listeners

Gene and Shereen tackle some Code Switch listeners' questions about race and identity with a voice coach, a professor of children's literature, and two former interns who are now reporters: What's someone really asking when they say "What are you?" Where did the archetype of "The Magical Negro" come from? How has the meaning of "woke" evolved? And what does it mean to sound like an American in 2017? And many other questions in between the lines.
15/03/1720m 24s

Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?

Does wearing safety pins and giving speeches at awards shows make you an ally? On this episode we explore the conundrums of ally-ship with activist and blogger ShiShi Rose, who helped organize the Women's March, Taz Ahmed, co-host of the GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast, the Reverend Timothy Murphy, and our editor, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. We also talk with the co-founder of a black-owned company that teaches white people how to be better allies, for a fee.
08/03/1731m 31s

In Search Of Puerto Rican Identity In Small-Town America

Puerto Ricans are migrants not immigrants, Spanish and English, domestic yet foreign — as we like to say on Code Switch, it's complicated. A hundred years ago this week, Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens by law with the passing of the Jones Act. Since then, they've had a complicated and fraught relationship with what it means to be American. Shereen traveled to Holyoke, Massachusetts to explore what the Jones Act has meant to Puerto Rican identity on stateside in the last century. Holyoke has the highest ration of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. - nearly 50% of residents there have Puerto Rican heritage. An earlier version of this podcast stated that Myriam Quiñonez has three children. She has two.
01/03/1722m 44s

The Horror, The Horror: "Get Out" And The Place of Race in Scary Movies

It's one of the oldest clichés of horror movies: the black guy dies first. But that's not the case in the new film "Get Out," written and directed by Jordan Peele (best known for the Comedy Central series "Key And Peele"). Gene and guest host Eric Deggans chat with Peele about his new film, check in with African-American filmmaker Ernest Dickerson, who's directed many scary movies and TV shows, and dive deep into race in horror-movie history with Robin Means Coleman, who's been analyzing and writing about the genre for over a decade.
22/02/1725m 24s

Ten Thousand Writers... and Two Intrepid Podcast Hosts

Gene welcomes Code Switch reporter Kat Chow as guest host and they camp out at one of the biggest conferences for writers on the planet, held by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. There, they talk with literary stars and publishing world veterans about everything from hip hop lyricism to the role of the artist in trying political times to buzz-worthy emerging writers of color.
15/02/1716m 7s

Oscars So Black...At Least, In Documentaries

A filmmaker of color is almost certain to win this year's Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. In fact, for the first time, African-American documentarians made up most of the nominees. We talk with Ava DuVernay, whose movie "13th," made her the first black female director to be nominated in this category. And the Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentarian Noland Walker, now of ITVS, tells us about how the film industry has responded to documentarians of color since he started as a production assistant on the landmark PBS documentary series, "Eyes On the Prize" in the late 1980s.
08/02/1724m 26s

Encore Plus: Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?

Shereen and Gene are joined by Code Switch's own Adrian Florido to revisit a conversation about how advocates are challenging the narrative of the "good" or "bad" immigrant. Adrian previously reported on what happens when advocates try to champion an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of a crime. For many people, "DREAMers," were considered the most sympathetic characters in the immigration reform drama. But a new administration is in the White House, and what was once a very complicated landscape is changing. Later, economist Ike Brannon from the CATO Institute joins the conversation.
01/02/1723m 29s

So, What Are You Afraid of Now?

Code Switch listeners join Shereen and Gene in talking about their concerns and frustrations during the first hundred days of President Trump's administration. Our guest is MacArthur "genius grant" recipient Ahilan Arulanantham of the ACLU of Southern California.
26/01/1720m 47s

Obama's Legacy: Did He Remix Race?

We conclude our three part series of conversations on President Obama's racial legacy. It's likely that Barack Obama will be known not only as the first black president, but also as the first president of everybody's race. Many Americans and people beyond the U.S. borders have projected their multicultural selves onto the president. Gene and Shereen are joined by poet Richard Blanco, Angela Rye, head of the political advocacy firm IMPACT Strategies, and NYU history professor Nikhil Singh.
18/01/1731m 45s

Obama's Legacy: Callouts and Fallouts

Shereen and Gene continue our conversation on President Barack Obama's racial legacy. Where did the president fall short — or fail — people of color? We hear opinions about Obama's actions as they affected Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans. Janet Murguia is president of the National Council of La Raza. Simon Moya-Smith is editor of Indian Country Today and a citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Carla Shedd teaches sociology and African American studies at Columbia University; she wrote the book "Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice."
11/01/1736m 56s

Obama's Legacy: Diss-ent or Diss-respect?

In the first of three conversations about President Barack Obama's racial legacy,Code Switch asks how much race or racism drove the way the first black president was treated and how he governed. Did the president misjudge the state of race relations in America? Real talk about the Obama legacy is just a click away on this week's podcast. Gene and Shereen are joined by Jamelle Bouie, Slate's chief political correspondent, and Tressie McMillan Cottam, sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University.
04/01/1735m 20s

Encore: Everyone Is Talking To Barry Jenkins, But Our Interview Is (Still) the Best!

We revisit Gene's conversation with filmmaker Barry Jenkins to close out 2016. Jenkins' latest movie is Moonlight. There's buzz for awards nominations, including the Oscars.
28/12/1638m 31s

A Chitlins Christmas: Bah Humbug!

You know it when you see it or, maybe by the smell. It's the holiday dish no one really likes but someone always makes "because it's tradition." Not all food traditions are equally appetizing... but they often remind us who we are. We asked you to tell us about dishes you don't like, but that keep showing up during the holiday season. We check in with poet Kevin Young to find out why chitlins will always grace his table. And restaurateur Genevieve Villamora joins Gene and Shereen to talk about dinuguan ... a traditional Filipino pork stew with strong flavors (made with pig's blood). She avoided it as a kid, but now, it's served at her acclaimed Washington DC restaurant "Bad Saint."
21/12/1628m 17s

Hold Up! Time For An Explanatory Comma

Gene and Shereen ask how much cultural context to give when talking about race and culture. So, how much context should you have to provide? Comedian Hari Kondabolu, co-host of the podcast Politically Re-Active, deals with these questions regularly, both in his stand-up routine and on his podcast.
14/12/1628m 15s

Audie and the Not-So-Magic School Bus

NPR's Audie Cornish was bused to an affluent suburban school outside Boston in a voluntary integration program. She reflects on her experiences with Gene Demby and talks about stories she recently reported on kids using the program today. Matthew Delmont joins the conversation. He teaches history at Arizona State University and wrote the book "Why Busing Failed."
07/12/1633m 8s

Encore: Asian American Letter on Behalf of Black Lives

We present an encore episode from Summer 2016: Shereen Marisol Meraji and Kat Chow talk with Christina Xu about her project to open up a difficult race conversation between younger and older generations of Asian-American families. We hear from a daughter and her father as they discuss why she thought it was important to join Black Lives Matter marches.
30/11/1622m 52s

Want Some Gravy With Those Grievances?

For families of color, the recent Presidential campaign season and election results may affect the tone of conversations at Thanksgiving and throughout this holiday season. Shereen and Gene are joined by Kat from the Code Switch Team to dissect dinner table politics. We also hear from people who answered our social media call-out, and later, journalist and professor Asra Nomani and her father Azar talk with Shereen about how they came to terms with political differences in the family. Asra Nomani, a Muslim woman and immigrant, revealed in an op-ed that she voted for Donald Trump.
23/11/1623m 57s

Another Black President Says Goodbye To Washington

Actor Christopher Jackson steps down this week from his role as George Washington in the award-winning Broadway show Hamilton. Gene gets an exit interview.
16/11/1627m 31s

A Muslim and A Mexican Walk Into A Bar....

Gene and Shereen digest the surprising results of the presidential election with help from a comedian and a columnist. Negin Farsad hosts the podcast "Fake The Nation." Gustavo Arrellano is editor of "OC WEEKLY" in Orange County, California, and writes the column "¡Ask A Mexican!."
10/11/1626m 56s

Apocalypse Or Racial Kumbaya? America After Nov. 8

In just a few days, the election will be over. But the racism, anger and fear that have surfaced will still be with us. Gene and Shereen talk with Carol Anderson, historian and author of "White Rage," and Whitney Dow, creator of the Whiteness Project, about what happens to those feelings after Nov. 8.
02/11/1629m 58s

Everyone Is Talking To Barry Jenkins But Our Interview Is The Best

Just kidding. But seriously, "Moonlight," Jenkins' new film, is the movie of the moment. Gene talks with him about what it took to get the movie made, what it was like to film in the Miami projects where he grew up, and - yep - the theme of black masculinity.
26/10/1637m 46s

Encore: "I'm Not Black I'm O.J."

From the Code Switch archives: Gene talks with Ezra Edelman, director of the ESPN documentary "OJ: Made in America." For a long time, O.J. Simpson seemed to be running away from his race. "I'm not black, I'm O.J.!" he'd tell his friends. Gene and Ezra consider O.J.'s identity beyond the frame of the so-called "Trial of the Century." (A warning, this episode has some racially charged language.)
12/10/1619m 26s

Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?

You might call "Dreamers" the most sympathetic characters in the immigration reform drama. But what happens when advocates try to champion an illegal immigrant who's a felon? Adrian and Shereen explore how advocates are challenging the narrative of the "good" and "bad" immigrant.
05/10/1619m 39s

The Code Switch Guide To Handling Casual Racism

Awkward comments. Rude questions. Casual racism. What do you do when it happens in your presence? The mental calculus is hard enough. It gets even harder when the comment is coming from your friends or family. Gene, Shereen, and Karen from Code Switch along with special guest Nicole Chung share stories and search for solutions.
28/09/1624m 14s

Warning! This Episode May Trigger Debate

It's time for some real talk on trigger warnings. Gene and Shereen dig into it with two college professors. What really happens in the classroom when hard topics come up, especially about race? Are trigger warnings necessary? We also hear the results of an NPR survey of more than 800 professors.
21/09/1631m 12s

Why Do We Still Care About Tupac?

Tupac Shakur died 20 years ago this week. Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji debate his legacy with the writer Kevin Powell, who covered the rapper for three years until Tupac's death. How should we view Tupac's talents and imperfections today?
14/09/1624m 34s

The Dangers Of Life As An American 'Nobody'

Marc Lamont Hill untangles the decades of dysfunction that have led to recent racial flash-points in his latest book, Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond. He talks with Gene Demby about the book, and his support for one particularly unconventional approach to making our justice system more fair.
08/09/1624m 34s

Code Switch Extra: Singer Juan Gabriel's Sexuality Was 'Open Secret'

Many Mexican and Mexican Americans loved Juan Gabriel's music, but ridiculed his sexuality. Can his death open a new conversation about gay identity in the community? Code Switch's Adrian Florido explores how Juan Gabriel's sexuality complicated his fame and relationship with his fans.
04/09/1619m 44s

What's So Funny About The Indian Accent?

From Apu to Ashton Kutcher, mimicking the Indian accent is still widely seen as fair game. Even lots of ABCD's — American-born confused desis — do it. But is it out of love, or mockery? Code Switch's Tasneem Raja talks to Indians with and without accents on what "Thank you, come again" means to them.
31/08/1627m 54s

Code Switch Extra: "Southside" and Black Love at the Movies

Code Switch's Karen Grigsby Bates and NPR movie critic Bob Mondello discuss "Southside With You," a fictionalized version of Barack and Michelle Obama's first date, and other black love stories in film.
26/08/1621m 46s

Nate Parker's Past, His Present, And The Future Of "The Birth of A Nation"

Actor Nate Parker is the center of a lot attention these days because of his upcoming movie The Birth of A Nation. Parker wrote, directed and stars as Nat Turner, leader of an historic 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. Last winter, Parker won a multi-million dollar distribution deal for the movie at the Sundance Film Festival. As the anticipation grows for the film's release, a chapter from Parker's college past has come under scrutiny. He was charged and later acquitted in a rape trial as a student-athlete at Penn State. Code Switch's Karen Grigsby Bates moderates a conversation about how Parker's past and his responses in the present may affect what some already consider an important motion picture. Karen is joined by Gillian White, senior associate editor at The Atlantic, Michael Arceneaux, a columnist for Complex magazine, and Goldie Taylor, an editor-at-large of The Daily Beast.
24/08/1642m 59s

Struggling School, Or Sanctuary?

When a school shuts down, students often lose more than a place of learning; they lose friends, mentors and a community. This is an experience that disproportionately affects black students. Shereen Marisol Meraji looks at what it's like when a predominantly black suburb outside Pittsburgh loses its only public high school. Shereen's reporting, along with that of producer Chris Benderev, was originally produced for the NPR podcast Embedded.
17/08/1641m 9s

Say My Name, Say My Name (Correctly, Please)

When you have a name like Aparna Nancherla or Maz Jobrani, you get used to people butchering it. These two comedians, who both come from immigrant families, talk to Code Switch editor Tasneem Raja about their "Starbucks names," all of the weird ways people mispronounce their names, and whether having a "difficult" name has impacted their careers.
10/08/1626m 46s

What Does "Objectivity" Mean To Journalists Of Color?

News stories of conflict involving people of color raise questions about the role of diversity in newsrooms. With the current election cycle drenched with racially charged rhetoric, how do journalists of color deal with the idea of "objectivity," when it can seem at odds with the work of telling hard truths? Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji talk with veteran political journalist Pilar Marrero whose reporting appears in the Spanish language newspaper La Opinion; and with Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter on policing issues for The Washington Post.
03/08/1637m 42s

A Letter From Young Asian Americans, To Their Parents, About Black Lives Matter

The day after the police shooting of Philando Castile, hundreds of young Asian Americans connected online to write an open letter to their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, asking them to support movements like Black Lives Matter. It also broached a subject many felt deeply uncomfortable bringing up to their older relatives: anti-black racism in Asian American communities. The letter has set off countless conversations across generations of immigrant families in many different languages. Shereen Marisol Meraji and Kat Chow talk to Christina Xu, who started this project, and listen in to one conversation between a daughter and her father about why she chooses to join these marches.
27/07/1623m 15s

46 Stops: The Driving Life and Death of Philando Castile

When Philando Castile was killed by a police officer during a recent traffic stop, it was the last of at least 46 times he had been pulled over by police. How does that happen? And what does it say about policing in communities of color? Gene Demby talks with NPR's Cheryl Corley and Eyder Peralta, who reported on Castile's encounters with local police.
20/07/1629m 41s

Black and Blue

In the aftermath of deadly police shootings of black men and the deaths of five policemen at the hands of a black gunman, Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby explore perspectives on policing while black. They talk with Gregory Thomas the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; Michael Rallings, interim director of police services in Memphis, Tennessee; and Jelani Cobb, of The New Yorker, who embedded for nearly a year with police in Newark, New Jersey for the recent PBS Frontline documentary, "Policing The Police."
14/07/1632m 48s

Code Switch Extra: No Words

It's hard to figure out what to say after the horrific violence of the last week, which began with two new viral videos of police shooting black men and ended with a deadly attack by a black gunman on police officers. But Shereen Marisol Meraji, Gene Demby along with Kat Chow of the Code Switch Team got some help from a Dallas resident as well as Harvard historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad, who has written extensively about race, crime and policing.
09/07/1626m 6s

"You're A Grand Old Flag"

Why do some people of color embrace the American flag while others refuse to wave it? Gene Demby and Adrian Florido unpack the complicated patriotism and evolving use of the flag with immigrant rights protesters and Native American veterans.
06/07/1629m 2s

"I'm Not Black, I'm O.J.!"

For a long time, O.J. Simpson seemed to be running away from his race. "I'm not black, I'm O.J.!" he'd tell his friends. The he was charged with murder, and his defense team needed that jury to see O.J. as black. So, they had to get creative. Gene talks to Ezra Edelman, director of the new ESPN documentary "OJ: Made in America."(A warning, today's episode has some racially charged language.)
29/06/1619m 45s

I Don't Know If I Like This, But I Want It To Win

Gene and Kat talk about "rep sweats," worrying over how people of color are portrayed on TV and in the movies. Kat remembers growing up watching TV with her sisters and yelling "Asian!" every time they saw someone who looked like them. Gene admits he is #TeamRafael. Also, a conversation with Hudson Yang, star of the ABC sitcom "Fresh Off the Boat," along with his dad Jeff Yang, a well-known cultural critic.
22/06/1629m 45s

How LGBTQ People of Color Are Dealing With Orlando

The tragedy in Orlando this week shook many people in communities that already feel vulnerable...LGBTQ Americans, Latinos, Muslims and people living at the intersection of those identities.
16/06/1633m 59s

Code Switch Extra: Re-Remembering Muhammad Ali

Sure, Ali was the greatest, a humanitarian, an inspiration. He was also a complicated, messy figure. Gene and the team dig in, and wonder what people mean when they say Ali "transcended race."
10/06/1628m 2s

Made For You And Me

Black people don't hike? Latinos don't like camping? Asians are afraid of the sun? Adrian and Shereen dig into the stereotypes — and truths — about people of color and their relationship to the great outdoors.
08/06/1620m 47s

Can We Talk About Whiteness?

Gene and Shereen dig into why it's so hard to talk about white identity in America — and why it's really important that we figure out how.
31/05/1637m 28s

The Code Switch Podcast Is Coming!

Here's a preview of our new podcast, exploring how race and culture collide with everything else in our lives.
09/05/162m 47s
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