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Code Switch

Author: NPR

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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.
251 Episodes
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We know his rhetoric has been described as boundary breaking when it comes to race. But U.S. presidents have been enacting racist policies forever. So as President Trump wraps up his first (and maybe only) term in office, we're asking: In terms of racism, how does he stack up to others when it comes to both words and deeds?
The VP candidate's biography and heritage allow people to project all kinds of ideas onto her, and to see what they want to see. But Kamala Harris's identity is a very important lens into not just her own politics, but also Black politics around crime and punishment more broadly.
Why are hip-hop and mass incarceration so entangled in the U.S.? That's the question that our play cousins at NPR Music, Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael, set out to answer on their brand new podcast, Louder Than a Riot.
On this week's episode of Code Switch, we talk about the relevance of a 200 year old treaty — one that most Americans don't know that much about, but should. It's a treaty that led to the Trail of Tears, but also secured a tenuous promise.
Fall is the time for glossy fashion magazines, full of dazzling looks and the seasons hottest looks. But this year, we noticed something unusual: The covers of a bunch of major magazines fashion magazines featured Black folks. So we called up fashion critic Robin Givhan to talk about fashion's racial reckoning...and how long before it goes out of style.
Suffice it to say, we use the term "POC" a lot on Code Switch. But critiques of the initialism — and the popularization of the term "BIPOC" — caused us to ask: Should we retire POC? Or is there use in it yet?
Battle Of The Books

Battle Of The Books

2020-09-2337:495

The Code Switch team has been mired in a months-long debate that we're attempting to settle once and for all: What kind of books are best to read during this pandemic? Books that connect you to our current reality? Or ones that help you escape it?
How did a police killing in Minneapolis lead people thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean to pull down the statue of a slave trader who's been dead for nearly three centuries? On this episode, we're going to the city of Bristol to tell the surprising story.
The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

2020-09-0934:4210

Adults often find it really hard to talk about race. But kids? Maybe not so much. NPR received more than 2,000 entries in this year's Student Podcast Challenge, and we heard from young people all over the country about how they're thinking about race and identity in these trying times.
Balls And Strikes

Balls And Strikes

2020-09-0232:514

Matilda Crawford. Sallie Bell. Carrie Jones. Dora Jones. Orphelia Turner. Sarah A. Collier. In 1881, these six Black women brought the city of Atlanta to a complete standstill by going on strike. The strategies they used in their fight for better working conditions have implications for future generations of organizers — and resonances with the professional sports strikes happening today.
How was the the richest and most powerful country in the world laid low by a virus only nanometers in size? Ed Yong, a science reporter for The Atlantic, says it's the inequities that have been with us for generations that made our body politic such opportunistic targets.
Keep Your Friends Closer

Keep Your Friends Closer

2020-08-1950:3726

As part of our Ask Code Switch series, we're tackling your toughest questions about race and friendship. We help our listeners understand how race and and its evil play cousin, racism, affect how we make friends, keep friends, and deal with friend breakups. And we're doing it with help from WNYC's Death, Sex & Money podcast. Be a pal and listen.
Black voters are the Democrats' most reliable and influential voting bloc. But this election has underscored the tensions between those Black voters, along generational and ideological lines — which could have major consequences on turnout this fall.
It's hurricane season, so this week, we're bringing you a bonus episode, from the Atlantic's Floodlines podcast. On this episode, "Through the Looking Glass," host Vann R. Newkirk II looks at the way the media distorted what was happening in New Orleans in the days after the storm, scapegoating Black people for the devastation they were subjected to.
The largest public university system in the country, the Cal State system, just announced a new graduation requirement: students must take an ethnic studies or social justice course. But ethnic studies might not even exist if it weren't for some students at a small commuter college in San Francisco. Fifty years ago, they went on strike — and while their bloody, bitter standoff has been largely forgotten, it forever changed higher education in the United States.
At a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles, a young Korean American man named Edmond Hong decided to grab a megaphone. Addressing other Asian Americans in the crowd, he described the need to stop being quiet and complacent in the fight against racism. On this episode, we talk to Edmond about why he decided to speak out. And we check in with a historian about why so many people mistakenly believe that Asian Americans aren't political.
After his daughter's racist and anti-LGBTQ social media posts became public, an Arab-Muslim entrepreneur is fighting to keep his once-burgeoning business alive in the middle of a national — and personal — reckoning with anti-blackness.
On what would have been Diahann Carroll's 85th birthday, we're celebrating the legacy of the actress, model and singer. Reporter Sonari Glinton went to her estate sale and took a tour of some of the objects that represent important moments in Ms. Carroll's life. And because Diahann Carroll achieved so many firsts, the exhibit was more like a civil rights exhibit than an auction.
What's In A 'Karen'?

What's In A 'Karen'?

2020-07-1523:4426

"Karen" has become cultural shorthand for a white woman who wields her race as a cudgel. And look, we all love to hate a good Karen. But where did this archetype come from? What will the next iteration of Karen be? And what are we missing by focusing on the Karens of the world?
An Immune System

An Immune System

2020-07-0821:2921

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.
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Comments (116)

Christopher Greggs

It is important to understand that decorum and polite culture is a tool that is leveraged by politicians to enact some of the most dangerous legislation upon Black and brown america. Bill Clinton was called the "First Black President" AND enacted the 1994 crime bill. This country was started white men who actively leveraged chattel slavery, African and Indigenous genocide, military occupation of Native nations, and a litany of crimes against humanity. Let us be clear, I am not a Trump supporter. As a Black citizen of this country, I hold all of history in context when engaging contemporary politics. The idea that there are only two political sides to this country (GOP vs DEM) is not a Black project. EVERY major political party, including their current manifestations, are presently engaged in Black and brown oppression and erasure. We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted by our Twitter feeds and the news cycle. I encourage everyone to subscribe to this podcast. Thank you Code Switch for your essential journalism. Bless.

Oct 22nd
Reply

Hector Rivera

Very sickening listening first 5 minutes podcast... unsubscribed.

Oct 22nd
Reply

Kondala Rao Palaka

wow! that's a lot of shade thrown at kamala harris for no reason. i lost some respect for this podcast.

Oct 16th
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Anna Clay

This episode was an interesting listen during October 2020.

Oct 12th
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Rebecca Vardiman

Please add info about all the authors and books mentioned. Thanks for a great show!

Sep 29th
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Andrew Williamson

TDD his lady is a nut ..Who is she too decide who is racist and who isint ? Disgusting ,just because people want to know what their DNA make is... you are a horrible sick lady.. spreading fear.

Sep 14th
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arty123

👏👏👏👏👏

Sep 9th
Reply

Brian Griffin

Craziest thing going on in America right now? Riots? Covid? Election? Nope. It still is, and will always be, that NPR receives federal funding.

Aug 21st
Reply (3)

John-Sebastian Barrera

This business owner is lying through his teeth. He's a mediocre actor at best. 30 years residing in the US and alleges ignorance to anti-black movement? Gtfo

Aug 3rd
Reply

Yasmine C

Before Karen, there was Ms. Ann. She knows her place and takes advantage of her privilege-- and uses it to keep others in their place.

Aug 1st
Reply

Spencer Thorstad

this really hit home with my personal recognition of my white privilege. Self evaluation and education lead to spreading of positive information.

Jul 29th
Reply

jrod3260

awesome story 👍😎👍

Jul 23rd
Reply

Western intellect

Always enjoy code switch

Jul 23rd
Reply

Western intellect

I felt like I learned some.

Jul 22nd
Reply (1)

Kiturah Doward

beautiful episode

Jul 13th
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Larry Parazine

great story!

Jul 12th
Reply

Alie Black

An amazing story. Thank you for sharing.

Jul 5th
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Teresa Ellis

Let's list things that were once part of different cultures: bear baiting, dog fights, gladiatorial fights, freak shows, slavery, human sacrifice. Just because it was part of a culture and was a source of income doesn't mean it was a good thing to continue.

Jun 29th
Reply

Accordionbabe

Beautiful. Thank you.

Jun 28th
Reply

bob caygeon

What factors cause a culture to consistently resist arrest and assault police? instead. its easier to promoting the myth of the killer white cop randomly targeting innocent black men who are doing nothing unlawful.

Jun 27th
Reply
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