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Code Switch

Author: NPR

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Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get...stuck? Code Switch can help. We're all journalists of color, and this isn't just the work we do. It's the lives we lead. Sometimes, we'll make you laugh. Other times, you'll get uncomfortable. But we'll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us.
206 Episodes
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Beautiful Lies

Beautiful Lies

2020-01-0100:47:2014

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.
The Birth Of A 'New Negro'

The Birth Of A 'New Negro'

2019-12-2500:37:4119

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.
Slow Burn

Slow Burn

2019-12-1800:45:3711

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.
The Reverse Freedom Rides

The Reverse Freedom Rides

2019-12-1100:43:1812

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.
Death Of A Blood Sport

Death Of A Blood Sport

2019-12-0400:34:095

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.
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.
Sex, Lies And Audio Tape

Sex, Lies And Audio Tape

2019-11-2000:55:547

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.
Status Update

Status Update

2019-11-1300:26:453

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.
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.
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?
A Strange And Bitter Crop

A Strange And Bitter Crop

2019-10-2300:26:2514

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.
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.
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Comments (73)

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
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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

Susan Kllimchuk

Wow. As a white woman from Canada, you really lost me on this one. I find it frustrating, the us and them mentality, that the show has become. So if you're white, you don't understand anyone else's experience but as a person of colour, you understand EVERYONE else's experience?? That does not make sense. I began listening to this podcast because I was under the understanding that you were writing it to bring people together, to share understanding. Instead you make me feel bad for being white and clearly too stupid to get anyone else. I'm not, but you're trying.

Nov 28th
Reply (1)

sirenasd

OMG I LOVE this show! I learned so much! 1. The Latinx version of Uncle Tom is the anti-immigrant Latinx. And 2. Mia's parents explain their existence IMHO. 3. Latinx Uncle Tom's (like my mom) are the Diamond and Silk "race blind" Republicans for Trump. Damn, unreal (and sound eerily like my mom), and all poc in Trump's Republican party. Even Mia straddles the race conscious and blind. My mom (and the Latinx Trumper) is solidly blind.

Nov 4th
Reply (1)

sirenasd

This should be required in American History curriculum in high school. Code Switch does it again!

Nov 3rd
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ABR

I've never heard anyone pronounce Waupun that way, including folks from Waupun. I wonder if they're trying to change it as part of thw "rebranding" effort. Wouldn't be the first small town to do so.

Oct 6th
Reply

Carly Lynch

I just cried my eyes out on my way into work. Not a good look.

Oct 4th
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JMF

Damn good episode. Keep up the solid work!

Sep 18th
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John BIBBS

we have to have more black cops from those neighborhoods so this doesnt happen change the narrative and encourage black people to join the police force

Aug 9th
Reply

dok dicer

What about Native American representation? Not one single mention. Seems you can be (ostensibly) anti-racist and colonialist at the same time, as evidenced in this show, where the minoritized parts of American settler colonialist society talk about representation of racialized groups while omitting the colonized.

Jul 24th
Reply

sirenasd

This is such an amazing piece of history that is so relevant today and so few people know. Thank you for your work.

Jul 23rd
Reply (1)
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