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July 1, 2020
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.
June 27, 2020
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.
June 24, 2020
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.
June 19, 2020
When the Supreme Court ruled that DACA could remain in place, recipient and case plaintiff Miriam Gonzalez was relieved. We talked to her right after she heard the news.
June 19, 2020
When the Supreme Court ruled that DACA could remain in place, recipient and case plaintiff Miriam Gonzalez was relieved. We talked to her right after she heard the news.
June 17, 2020
White people are speaking up against racism and showing up to #BlackLivesMatter protests in numbers we haven't seen before. So we asked some of them: What's different this time?
June 12, 2020
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.
June 10, 2020
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?
June 10, 2020
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?
May 31, 2020
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.
May 31, 2020
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.
May 31, 2020
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.
May 27, 2020
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.
May 20, 2020
On March 1, two Los Angeles capoeira teachers signed an expensive lease on their new gym. Two weeks later, they had to close their doors due to the pandemic.
May 13, 2020
We answered our listeners' burning questions about all things race and COVID-19.
May 6, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated issues that disproportionately affect women—especially women of color. We talked to author Mikki Kendall about race, feminism and COVID-19.
April 29, 2020
To close out National Poetry Month, we asked poets of color the question we've been asking in each episode this month: What does it mean to be counted in 2020?
April 24, 2020
An overwhelming majority of people in Puerto Rico check "white" on the U.S. census, revealing a lot about Puerto Rico's relationship with race, colonialism and the United States.
April 22, 2020
This week, we're shifting focus from census numbers to the numbers that everyone is obsessed with right now: coronavirus data, and how it breaks down by race.
April 15, 2020
Black identity is central to the question of reparations — and the difficulty of defining blackness becomes even more salient when there's money at stake.
April 11, 2020
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.
April 8, 2020
The Principal Chief of Cherokee Nation told his people to stay strong during this pandemic, and to remember how much they've endured over their long history.
April 1, 2020
Right now, the U.S. Census Bureau is trying to count every person living in the country, but some people are very afraid of how that information will be used by the government.
March 25, 2020
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.
March 25, 2020
We talk to the best-selling author Terry McMillan about her latest novel, It's Not All Downhill From Here, and the topics the book tackles: aging, friendship and sex.
March 25, 2020
We talk to the best-selling author Terry McMillan about her latest novel, It's Not All Downhill From Here, and the topics the book tackles: aging, friendship and sex.
March 18, 2020
Flor de Toloache is making history by playing a style of music that has traditionally been dominated by men.
March 18, 2020
Flor de Toloache is making history by playing a style of music that has traditionally been dominated by men.
March 11, 2020
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.
March 4, 2020
The global response to COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — has made clear that the fear of contracting disease has an ugly cousin: xenophobia.
February 26, 2020
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.
February 19, 2020
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.
February 19, 2020
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.
February 12, 2020
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.
February 5, 2020
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.
January 29, 2020
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.
January 23, 2020
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.
January 22, 2020
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.
January 15, 2020
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.
January 15, 2020
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.
January 8, 2020
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."
January 1, 2020
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.
December 25, 2019
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.
December 25, 2019
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.
December 18, 2019
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.
December 11, 2019
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.
December 11, 2019
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.
December 4, 2019
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.
November 27, 2019
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.
November 20, 2019
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.
November 13, 2019
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.
November 6, 2019
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.
October 30, 2019
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?
October 23, 2019
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.
October 23, 2019
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.
October 16, 2019
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.
October 9, 2019
On this episode, we look closer at hit songs that have taken on broader resonances: from a wistful ode to Puerto to an enduring bop about pushy, unfortunate men — i.e., scrubs.
October 2, 2019
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.
September 25, 2019
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.
September 18, 2019
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?
September 11, 2019
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.
September 4, 2019
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.
August 28, 2019
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.
August 21, 2019
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.
August 14, 2019
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.
August 7, 2019
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?
July 31, 2019
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.
July 24, 2019
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.
July 17, 2019
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.
July 10, 2019
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.
July 3, 2019
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.
June 26, 2019
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.
June 19, 2019
Our listeners suggestions include American history, compelling fiction, a few memoirs—and Jane Austen, re-imagined with brown people.
June 12, 2019
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!!!)
June 5, 2019
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.
May 29, 2019
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.
May 22, 2019
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.
May 15, 2019
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.
May 8, 2019
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.)
May 1, 2019
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.
April 24, 2019
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.
April 17, 2019
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.
April 10, 2019
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.
April 5, 2019
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.
March 27, 2019
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.
March 20, 2019
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.
March 13, 2019
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.
March 6, 2019
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.
February 27, 2019
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.
February 21, 2019
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?
February 13, 2019
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.
February 7, 2019
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.
January 30, 2019
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.
January 24, 2019
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.
January 16, 2019
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.
January 9, 2019
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.
January 2, 2019
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."
December 26, 2018
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.
December 19, 2018
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.
December 12, 2018
We checked in with authors, poets and great literary minds to see what books they think everyone should read this holiday season.
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