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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.
224 Episodes
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Black Like Who?

Black Like Who?

2020-04-1535:028

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Limits Of Empathy

The Limits Of Empathy

2020-03-1136:401

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Comments (83)

Lia Thomas

great conversations about identify

May 29th
Reply

BC

what the fuck. the land is radioactive?

May 17th
Reply

BC

The ending was excellent.

Apr 19th
Reply

John Buckner

Very, very good podcast that raises so many questions. Please do many more episodes on this topic, and I look forward to hearing more from Professors Derity and Hamilton.

Apr 17th
Reply

Lore Star

REMEMBER MOST OF USA WAS MEXICO B4 IT WAS USA. MEXICAN AMERICANS WITH SONORAN DESERT INDIGENOUS ANCESTORS NEVER HAVE LEFT OUR MOTHER LAND AND WE WERE ACTUALLY HERE B4 THESE LANDS BECAME NEW SPAIN OR MEXICO THEN USA THAN SUDDENLY A BORDER CROSSED US WE NEVER CROSSED BORDERS FOR THOUSANDS OF YRS NEVER EXISTED! LEARN REAL NRTH AME. HISTORY NOT DISNEY FAIRYTALES TAUGHT TO ALL IN USA EDUCATION SYSTEM.

Apr 2nd
Reply (1)

sirenasd

Glad that teachers Unions see common cause with undeserved poor commuities today. Unfortunately it took a lot of this, and only several years ago that black and brown parents and ACLU sued LAUSD over union seniority rules that leave their schools with less experienced and more short term substitutes. Disheartening to hear union president defend it and disregard the parents out of hand. But he was ousted by progressive teachers. But everyone should hear this story of community empowerment and parents organizing in education.

Mar 9th
Reply

Shanaya Painter

God. This breaks my fucking heart.How could people be so evil?

Mar 4th
Reply

Lori Brooks-Smith

Pout of curiosity have y'all spoken to Rev Barber regarding the #PoorPeoplesCampaign?

Mar 3rd
Reply

BC

I never heard about this before.

Feb 28th
Reply

John Buckner

Very informative and helpful. It puts things in a much better historical context so that the present makes much more sense.

Feb 21st
Reply

Anthony

People can so easily be lead astray with bad info.

Feb 19th
Reply

BC

Love it when people in power out one minority group against another to prevent both of them from working together against those who have all the power.

Feb 16th
Reply (2)

BC

LOVE IT when people in power accuse minorities of facism. I want to scream.

Feb 6th
Reply

BC

Shanker wants people of color to act in a way that makes him, a white man, feel comfortable. He didn't like that black people and Puerto Ricans were organizing themselves to create schools that would benefit their children, so he used his power against them while claiming to support them.

Feb 6th
Reply

BC

If a middle school produced a child as articulate as that, I would want every child to attend one similar. You hear that speech and you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that children are actually learning!

Feb 6th
Reply

Lori Brooks-Smith

My family is Native American & French on my mother's side and on my dad's side we are extremely European (white, blond, freckles and strawberry blond {Irish & Scottish}). My mother's older siblings have always had golden brown skin but my mom and her younger brother have lighter skin.

Jan 20th
Reply (1)

Lori Brooks-Smith

Is there a link to any of the research that was talked about in this episode? I'm very interested in justice and equality in all aspects of life and the way that people of color and poor people are affected by the inequality of our country.

Jan 20th
Reply

John Buckner

perhaps the best episode of Code Switch that I've heard.

Jan 16th
Reply

Hannah Smith

Thank you Shareen! Get with the program, Gene!

Jan 7th
Reply (1)

JaMeshuggah

Gould lied you dunce

Dec 29th
Reply
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