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Code Switch

283 EpisodesProduced by NPRWebsite

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. … read more

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Show Me The Money

May 5th, 2021


Two friends living in Vermont decided to try a radical experiment: They asked White people in their community to give money directly to their Black neighbors — a DIY, hyper-local "reparations" program, of sorts. Our …

Live From Philly*: A Code Switch Jawn

April 28th, 2021


OK, so we weren't really in Philly (it's still a pandemic, after all.) But we did talk all things race and Philadelphia with special guests Erika Alexander and Denice Frohman. On the docket for the night: reparations, …

A Utopia For Black Capitalism

April 21st, 2021


Floyd McKissick, one of the major leaders of the civil rights movement, had an audacious, lifelong dream. He wanted to build a city — from scratch — …

Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?

April 14th, 2021


Calls for racial justice are met with a lot of different proposals, but one of the loudest and most enduring is to invest in Black businesses. But can "buying Black" actually do anything to mitigate racism? To find out, …

Spit A Verse, Drop Some Knowledge

April 7th, 2021


We've spent the past year trying to analyze, dissect and intellectualize all the ways that our world has changed. But sometimes the best way to understand our circumstances isn't through data and reports — it's through …

Why Are We Here?

March 31st, 2021


Filipinos make up a small fraction of the nurses in the United States, but almost a third of the nurses who have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. have been of Filipino descent. So what exactly is going on? Our friends over …

Screams And Silence

March 24th, 2021


Asian American organizers and influencers have been trying to sound the alarm over a dramatic spike in reports of anti-Asian racism over the last year, and have been frustrated by the lack of media and public attention …

Lonnie Bunch And The 'Museum Of No'

March 17th, 2021


The Blacksonian — er, the National Museum of African American History and Culture — was years and years in the making. It's closed down because of …

Saving A Language You're Learning To Speak

March 10th, 2021


Every two weeks, a language dies with its last speaker. That was almost the fate of the Hawaiian language — until a group of young people decided to create a strong community of Hawaiian speakers — as they were learning …

David (Pronounced dah-VEED) Versus Goliath

March 3rd, 2021


Summer, 2004. The Olympics in Athens. The event? Men's basketball: U.S. versus Puerto Rico. And the whole world knows that Puerto Rico doesn't stand …

'Payback's A B****'

February 26th, 2021


We're ending Black history month where we started it...talking about reparations. On this episode, we're joined by Erika Alexander and Whitney Dow, …

A Shot In The Dark

February 24th, 2021


As the rollout of coronavirus vaccines unfolds, one big challenge for public health officials has been the skepticism many Black people have toward …

Becoming 'Black Moses'

February 17th, 2021


Marcus Garvey was an immigrant, a firebrand, a businessman. He was viewed with deep suspicion by the civil rights establishment. He would also become …

Black Kiss-tory

February 10th, 2021


Too often, Black history is portrayed as a story of struggle and suffering, completely devoid of joy. So we called up some romance novelists whose …

Who's 'Black Enough' For Reparations?

February 3rd, 2021


Black History Month is here, which means we're diving into big, sticky questions about what exactly it means to be Black. So this week on the show: Who is 'Black enough' for reparations? Because you know...we got some …

Stepping Out Of The Shadow Of 'Killer King'

January 27th, 2021


For decades, residents of Compton and Watts in South Los Angeles had to rely on one particularly troubled hospital for their medical care. A new …

The Last Four Years

January 20th, 2021


The Trump administration is coming to a close, but which elements of the Trump era are here to stay? We spoke to NPR's White House reporter, Ayesha Rascoe, about where we were when Donald Trump took office — and what …

From The Fringe To The Capitol

January 13th, 2021


Like all of you, we are still trying to make sense of Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Because even after the past four years, there are still new …

Finding 'A Perfect Match'

January 6th, 2021


Two close friends both suffered from the same aggressive form of cancer. After years of treatment, one lived and the other died. And while many variables factored into what happened, the woman who survived — reporter …

The Fire Still Burning

December 30th, 2020


If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that history informs every aspect of our present. So today we're bringing you an episode of NPR's history podcast, Throughline. It gets into some of the most urgent lessons we can …

From Generation To Generation

December 28th, 2020


This month on Code Switch, we're thinking a lot about family and history. So we wanted to bring you this special episode from our friends at NPR's It's Been A Minute podcast, where producer Andrea Gutierrez tells the …

Family Stories, Family Lies

December 23rd, 2020


December is a month when a lot of people are thinking about family and tradition. Reliving memories. Retelling old stories. Each year, those stories …

Black And Up In Arms

December 16th, 2020


Guns. They're as American as apple pie. They represent independence and self-reliance. But ... not so much if you're Black. On this episode, we're getting into the complicated history of Black gun ownership and what it …

The Books That Got Away

December 13th, 2020


Listen, a lot has happened this year, and it's no shock that some things may have slipped under the radar. So our resident book expert, Karen Grigsby Bates, took a virtual trip around the country to talk to independent …

Stepping Back Inside Carmen Maria Machado's 'Dream House'

December 9th, 2020


It's no secret that Code Switch is a team full of book nerds. So this week, we're revisiting one of our favorite book conversations, with author …

Words Of Advice

December 1st, 2020


Let's face it — we could all use some help right now. So today on the pod, we're looking at a few of our favorite questions about race and identity …

Thank You, Next

November 25th, 2020


It's Thanksgiving week, and like basically everything else about 2020, this holiday is on track to be...let's call it "different." But while the …

The White Elephants In The Room

November 19th, 2020


One of the biggest storylines from the 2020 presidential race has ... well, race at the center of it. If you paid attention to the stories about exit …

Claim Us If You're Famous

November 11th, 2020


Kamala Harris is the vice president-elect, which marks an impressive list of firsts: woman in the White House; Black woman in the White House, Asian American in the White House; etc. Her Indian heritage has gotten much …

We ... Don't Know Anything Yet

November 4th, 2020


Election Day has come and gone, but we're still awhile away from knowing what the outcome will be. But while there's a lot we don't about the …

An Historic Vote, Among Many

October 31st, 2020


For a lot of reasons, the 2020 election feels historic. But in one important way, it's like so many elections throughout American history: Black and brown voters are being disproportionately prevented from casting their …

The Latinx Vote Comes Of Age

October 28th, 2020


For the first time in election history, Latinos are projected to be the second-largest voting demographic in the country. The reason? Gen Z Latinx voters, many of whom are casting a ballot for the first time in 2020. So …

Is Trump Really That Racist?

October 21st, 2020


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. …

Let's Talk About Kamala Harris

October 14th, 2020


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 …

Hip-Hop, Mass Incarceration, And A Conspiracy Theory For The Ages

October 9th, 2020


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 …

A Treaty Right For Cherokee Representation

October 7th, 2020


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 …

A New Look For The Fashion Industry?

October 3rd, 2020


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 …

Is It Time To Say R.I.P. To 'POC'?

September 30th, 2020


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 …

Battle Of The Books

September 23rd, 2020


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 …

The Protests Heard 'Round The World

September 16th, 2020


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 …

The Kids Are All Right

September 9th, 2020


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 …

Balls And Strikes

September 2nd, 2020


Matilda Crawford. Sallie Bell. Carrie Jones. Dora Jones. Orphelia Turner. Sarah A. Collier. In 1881, these six Black women brought the city of …

The United States' Pre-Existing Conditions

August 26th, 2020


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 …

Keep Your Friends Closer

August 19th, 2020


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 …

Kamala, Joe, And The Fissures In The Base

August 12th, 2020


Black voters are the Democrats' most reliable and influential voting bloc. But this election has underscored the tensions between those Black voters, …

Bonus Episode: Katrina, 15 Years Later

August 8th, 2020


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 …

The Long, Bloody Strike For Ethnic Studies

August 5th, 2020


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 …

One Korean American's Reckoning

July 29th, 2020


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 …

Un-HolyLand? An Arab Muslim Reckoning With Racism

July 22nd, 2020


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 …

Remembering The 'Divine Diahann Carroll'

July 17th, 2020


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 …

What's In A 'Karen'?

July 15th, 2020


"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 …

An Immune System

July 8th, 2020


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 …

We Aren't Who We Think We Are

July 1st, 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 …

They Don't Say Our Names Enough

June 27th, 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 …

Author Karla Cornejo Villavicencio Talks 'The Undocumented Americans'

June 24th, 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 …

DACA Decision: Check-In with Miriam Gonzalez

June 19th, 2020


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 …

Why Now, White People?

June 17th, 2020


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 …

Bonus Episode: 'Not Just Another Protest'

June 12th, 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 …

Unmasking The 'Outside Agitator'

June 10th, 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, …

A Decade Of Watching Black People Die

May 31st, 2020


The last few weeks have been filled with devastating news — stories about the police killing black people. At this point, these calamities feel …

Songs Giving Us (Much Needed) Life

May 27th, 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. So this week, we're sharing some of the songs that are giving all …

COVID Diaries: Jessica And Sean Apply For A Loan

May 20th, 2020


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 …

Ask Code Switch: The Coronavirus Edition

May 13th, 2020


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.

What Does 'Hood Feminism' Mean For A Pandemic?

May 6th, 2020


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 …

When Poets Decide Who Counts

April 29th, 2020


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 …

Puerto Rico, Island Of Racial Harmony?

April 24th, 2020


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 …

The News Beyond The COVID Numbers

April 22nd, 2020


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

Black Like Who?

April 15th, 2020


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 …

Why The Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Communities Hardest

April 11th, 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 …

A Treacherous Choice And A Treaty Right

April 8th, 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 a long …

Mother, Should I Trust The Census Bureau?

April 1st, 2020


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 …

Code Switch: Race. In Your Face.

March 25th, 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 …

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

March 25th, 2020


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 …

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

March 18th, 2020


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

The Limits Of Empathy

March 11th, 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 …

When Fear Of The Coronavirus Turns Into Racism And Xenophobia

March 4th, 2020


As international health agencies warn that COVID-19 could become a pandemic, fears over the new coronavirus' spread have activated old, racist …

Claude Neal: A Strange And Bitter Crop

February 26th, 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 …

Blexodus: The Black Exodus From The GOP

February 19th, 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? …

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

February 12th, 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 …

Black Parents Take Control, Teachers Strike Back

February 5th, 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 …

Books For Your Mind, Belly And Soul

January 29th, 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 …

Bonus Episode: 'Between Friends' From WNYC

January 23rd, 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 …

Ask Code Switch: What About Your Friends?

January 22nd, 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.

Is The Door To Iran Closed Forever?

January 15th, 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.

Carmen Maria Machado Takes Us 'In The Dream House'

January 8th, 2020


When Carmen Maria Machado started searching for stories about intimate partner violence in queer relationships, there wasn't much out there. But in …

Beautiful Lies

January 1st, 2020


So many people's New Year's resolutions are centered around getting in shape, updating their skincare routine, and generally being more attractive. …

The Birth Of A 'New Negro'

December 25th, 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 …

Slow Burn

December 18th, 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. …

The Reverse Freedom Rides

December 11th, 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 …

Death Of A Blood Sport

December 4th, 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 …

Sometimes Explain, Always Complain

November 27th, 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 …

Sex, Lies And Audio Tape

November 20th, 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 …

Status Update

November 13th, 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 …

Is This What It Means To Be White?

November 6th, 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 — …

Fear In An Age Of Real-Life Horror

October 30th, 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 …

A Strange And Bitter Crop

October 23rd, 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 …

President Trump's (Anti-)Social Media

October 16th, 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 …

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

October 9th, 2019


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 …

Political Prisoners?

October 2nd, 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.

The Original Blexit

September 25th, 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 …

The Black Table In The Big Tent

September 18th, 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 …

A Tale Of Two School Districts

September 11th, 2019


In many parts of the U.S., public school districts are just minutes apart, but have vastly different racial demographics — and receive vastly …

Searching For Punks

September 4th, 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.

'20 And Odd. Negroes'

August 28th, 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 …

All That Glisters Is Not Gold

August 21st, 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 …

Dora's Lasting Magic

August 14th, 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 …

After The Cameras Leave

August 7th, 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 …

Puerto Ricans Stand Up

July 31st, 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 …

Chicago's Red Summer

July 24th, 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 …

Oh So Now It's Racist?

July 17th, 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 …

The Return Of Race Science

July 10th, 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 …

America's Concentration Camps?

July 3rd, 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 …

Some Of The People Knew Magic

June 26th, 2019


Fifty years after the Stonewall Uprising, queer and trans folks are uncovering hidden parts of LGBTQ+ history. A new exhibition at the Brooklyn …

Code Switch Book Club: Summer 2019

June 19th, 2019


Our listeners suggestions include American history, compelling fiction, a few memoirs—and Jane Austen, re-imagined with brown people.

E Ola Ka 'Olelo Hawai'i

June 12th, 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!!!)

The Original 'Welfare Queen'

June 5th, 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 …

Salt Fat Acid Race

May 29th, 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 …

Dispatches From The Schoolyard

May 22nd, 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 …

Anger: The Black Woman's 'Superpower'

May 15th, 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 …

We Don't Say That

May 8th, 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: …

You Say Chicano, I Say...

May 1st, 2019


When members of the nation's oldest Mexican-American student organization voted to change its name, it revealed generational tensions around the …

Poets, The Life Boats

April 24th, 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 …

Can the Go-Go Go On?

April 17th, 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 …

Love & Walkouts

April 10th, 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 …

Why Is It So Hard To Talk About Israel?

April 5th, 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 …

Ask Code Switch: You Are What You Eat

March 27th, 2019


This week, we tackle reader questions on vegetarianism, the specter of grocery store Columbuses, and the quiet opprobrium directed at "smelly ethnic …

"On Strike! Blow It Up!"

March 20th, 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 …

Respect Yourself

March 13th, 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 …

When Disaster Strikes

March 6th, 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 …

On The Shoulders Of Giants

February 27th, 2019


When Colin Kaepernick stopped standing for the national anthem at NFL games it sparked a nationwide conversation about patriotism and police …

Getting A Foot In the Door

February 21st, 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 …

From Blackface To Blackfishing

February 13th, 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 …

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

February 7th, 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 …

Pretty Hurts

January 30th, 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.

Intrigue At The Census Bureau

January 24th, 2019


Another day, another drama: Last week, a federal judge ruled against the Trump administration's decision to add a controversial citizenship question …

Perfect Son

January 16th, 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, …

The Return

January 9th, 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 …

America's Other Anthems

January 2nd, 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 …

Race Underneath The Skin

December 26th, 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.

Code Switch Goes To College

December 19th, 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 …

Code Switch Book Club

December 12th, 2018


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

The Story Of Mine Mill

December 5th, 2018


Reporter Julia Simon tells us about a radical miners' union in Birmingham, Alabama. It laid the foundation for civil rights organizers in the South, …

Dog Show!

November 28th, 2018


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 …

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

November 21st, 2018


Gene and Shereen talk to poet Denice Frohman, percussionist Bobby Sanabria, chef Marcus Samuelsson and comedian Ashley Nicole Black at Harlem's World …

The House On The Corner

November 14th, 2018


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 …

Politics Podcast Pop Up

November 7th, 2018


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 …

Is Ron Brown High School Working?

October 31st, 2018


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 …

The Cost To Cast A Ballot

October 24th, 2018


This week: why people don't vote, why people can't vote, and two state races that might have national implications for 2020.

What So Proudly We Hail

October 17th, 2018


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 …

Our Homeland Is Each Other

October 10th, 2018


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 …

Deja Vu All Over Again

October 3rd, 2018


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 — …


September 26th, 2018


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 …

Puerto Rico's Other Storm

September 19th, 2018


Long before Hurricane Maria devastated the territory, the threat of financial disaster loomed over Puerto Rico. Now, an old, bitter struggle over who …

Ask Code Switch: School Daze

September 12th, 2018


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 …

Update: Looking For Marriage In All The Wrong Places

September 6th, 2018


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.

Stuck Off The Realness

September 5th, 2018


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 …

So What If He Said It?

August 29th, 2018


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 …

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

August 22nd, 2018


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 …

Behind The Lies My Teacher Told Me

August 15th, 2018


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, …

Talk American

August 8th, 2018


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.

Word Watch, The Sequel: 2Watch 2Wordiest

August 1st, 2018


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!

Word Watch: A Code Switch Game Show

July 25th, 2018


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 …

Rap On Trial

July 18th, 2018


Olutosin Oduwole was a college student and aspiring hip hop star when he was charged with "attempting to make a terrorist threat." Did public …

Word Up

July 11th, 2018


Since 1992, the study known as "The 30 Million Word Gap" has, with unusual power, shaped the way educators, parents and policymakers think about …

Code Switch's Summer Vacation

July 4th, 2018


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.

Immigration Nation

June 27th, 2018


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.

Looking For Marriage In All The Wrong Places

June 20th, 2018


Online matchmaking sites are making it easier than ever for couples seeking an arranged marriage to meet. Well...not all couples.

Twenty-First Century Blackface

June 13th, 2018


We have one story of how blackface was alive and well on network television in Colombia until 2015.

What We Inherit

June 6th, 2018


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 …

A Thousand Ways To Kneel And Kiss The Ground

May 30th, 2018


Last week, the NFL announced a new policy to penalize players who kneel during the national anthem. The announcement drew fresh attention to the …

Of Bloodlines and Conquistadors

May 23rd, 2018


Hispanos have lived side by side the Pueblo people for centuries—mixing cultures, identities and even bloodlines. But recently, tensions have risen …

What's Black And Gray And Inked All Over?

May 16th, 2018


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 …

Tough Questions For The World's Toughest Job

May 9th, 2018


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 …

Code Switch Census Watch 2020

May 2nd, 2018


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, …

It's Bigger Than The Ban

April 25th, 2018


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 …

Members of Whose Tribe?

April 18th, 2018


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 …

Location! Location! Location!

April 11th, 2018


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 …

The Road To The Promised Land, 50 Years Later

April 4th, 2018


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 …

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

March 28th, 2018


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 …

The Madness Of March

March 21st, 2018


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 …

Who Is 'Us,' Anyway?

March 14th, 2018


"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 …

Searching For A Home After Hate

March 7th, 2018


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 …

A House Divided By Immigration Status

February 28th, 2018


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 …

Throw Some Respeck On My Name

February 21st, 2018


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 …

Feelings, Finances And Fetishes: Love Is A Racial Battlefield

February 14th, 2018


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 …

It's Not Just About The Blood

February 7th, 2018


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 …

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

January 31st, 2018


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 …

The 'R-Word' In The Age Of Trump

January 24th, 2018


When Donald Trump allegedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries as "shitholes," we called his comments r-...rr-...really really …

A Racial Impostor Epidemic

January 17th, 2018


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?"

This Racism Is Killing Me Inside

January 10th, 2018


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 …

Before We Give 2017 The Middle Finger, Part 2

January 3rd, 2018


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 …

Before We Give 2017 The Middle Finger, Part 1

December 27th, 2017


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 …

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

December 20th, 2017


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 …

With Dope, There's High Hope

December 13th, 2017


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 …

17,000 Islands, 700 Languages, And A Superhero

December 6th, 2017


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 …

Disrespect To Miss-Respect

November 29th, 2017


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 …

A Code Switch Thanksgiving Feast

November 22nd, 2017


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 …

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

November 15th, 2017


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 …

Reflections On A Year At Ron Brown High

November 8th, 2017


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 …

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

November 1st, 2017


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 …

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

October 25th, 2017


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 …

A Year Of Love And Struggle In A New High School

October 18th, 2017


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 …

The Passing Of A "Failing" School

October 11th, 2017


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 …

Puerto Rico, My Heart's Devotion

October 4th, 2017


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 …

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

September 27th, 2017


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 …

A Weed Boom, But For Whom?

September 18th, 2017


The history of cannabis in the U.S. ― and its criminalization ― is deeply interwoven with race. As the legal cannabis market gains traction, people …

It's Getting (Dangerously) Hot in Herre

September 13th, 2017


On this week's episode we talk about why certain communities are more vulnerable to catastrophic weather events like hurricanes and heat waves. …

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

September 6th, 2017


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 …

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

August 30th, 2017


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 …

The Unfinished Battle In the Capital Of The Confederacy

August 23rd, 2017


As calls to remove Confederate memorials grow louder, we head to Richmond, Va., where the veneration of Confederate leaders has been a source of …


August 16th, 2017


After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville spiraled into deadly violence, residents of the Virginia town do some soul-searching. Plus: a …

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

August 9th, 2017


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 …

The U.S. Census and Our Sense of Us

August 2nd, 2017


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 …

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

July 26th, 2017


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 …

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

July 19th, 2017


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 …

A Police Video From Charlotte

July 12th, 2017


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 …

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

July 5th, 2017


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.

It's Our Anniversary

June 28th, 2017


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.

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

June 21st, 2017


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 …

Encore: 'You're A Grand Old Flag'

June 14th, 2017


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 …

A Prescription For "Racial Imposter Syndrome"

June 7th, 2017


Shereen and Gene look at "racial imposter syndrome." It's what one listener described as feeling fake, or inauthentic, in her identity. We invited …

'Give It Up For DJ Blackface!'

June 1st, 2017


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 …

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

May 24th, 2017


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 …

Japanese Americans Exiled In Utah

May 20th, 2017


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 …

Master of None's Alan Yang Unpacks Season 2

May 17th, 2017


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 …

The Blessing (And Curse?) Of Miss Saigon

May 10th, 2017


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 …

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

May 3rd, 2017


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 …

The LA Unrest (Or Riots) 25 Years Later

April 29th, 2017


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 …

John Leguizamo, Still In Search Of John Leguizamo

April 26th, 2017


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 …

Mailbag! Listener Questions and Comments That Got Us Thinking

April 19th, 2017


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 …

How One Inmate Changed The Prison System From The Inside

April 15th, 2017


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 …

The Beef Over Native American Hunting Rights

April 12th, 2017


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.

Changing Colors In Comics

April 5th, 2017


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. …

Podcast Extra En Español: Jeanette Vizguerra

April 1st, 2017


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 …

Sanctuary Churches: Who Controls The Story?

March 29th, 2017


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 …

A Bittersweet Persian New Year

March 22nd, 2017


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, …

The 80-Year Mystery Around 'Fred Douglas' Park

March 18th, 2017


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 …

Not-So-Simple Questions From Code Switch Listeners

March 15th, 2017


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 …

Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?

March 8th, 2017


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 …

In Search Of Puerto Rican Identity In Small-Town America

March 1st, 2017


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

February 22nd, 2017


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 …

Ten Thousand Writers... and Two Intrepid Podcast Hosts

February 15th, 2017


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 …

Oscars So Black...At Least, In Documentaries

February 8th, 2017


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 …

Encore Plus: Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?

February 1st, 2017


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 …

So, What Are You Afraid of Now?

January 26th, 2017


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 …

Obama's Legacy: Did He Remix Race?

January 18th, 2017


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 …

Obama's Legacy: Callouts and Fallouts

January 11th, 2017


Shereen and Gene continue our conversation on President Barack Obama's racial legacy. Where did the president fall short — or fail — people of color? …

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

January 4th, 2017


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 …

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

December 28th, 2016


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.

A Chitlins Christmas: Bah Humbug!

December 21st, 2016


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 …

Hold Up! Time For An Explanatory Comma

December 14th, 2016


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 …

Audie and the Not-So-Magic School Bus

December 7th, 2016


NPR's Audie Cornish was bused to an affluent suburban school outside Boston in a voluntary integration program. She reflects on her experiences with …

Encore: Asian American Letter on Behalf of Black Lives

November 30th, 2016


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 …

Want Some Gravy With Those Grievances?

November 23rd, 2016


For families of color, the recent Presidential campaign season and election results may affect the tone of conversations at Thanksgiving and …

Another Black President Says Goodbye To Washington

November 16th, 2016


Actor Christopher Jackson steps down this week from his role as George Washington in the award-winning Broadway show Hamilton. Gene gets an exit …

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

November 10th, 2016


Gene and Shereen digest the surprising results of the presidential election with help from a comedian and a columnist. Negin Farsad hosts the podcast …

Apocalypse Or Racial Kumbaya? America After Nov. 8

November 2nd, 2016


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 …

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

October 26th, 2016


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 …

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

October 12th, 2016


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 …

Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?

October 5th, 2016


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 …

The Code Switch Guide To Handling Casual Racism

September 28th, 2016


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 …

Warning! This Episode May Trigger Debate

September 21st, 2016


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 …

Why Do We Still Care About Tupac?

September 14th, 2016


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 …

The Dangers Of Life As An American 'Nobody'

September 8th, 2016


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 …

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

September 4th, 2016


Many Mexican and Mexican Americans loved Juan Gabriel's music, but ridiculed his sexuality. Can his death open a new conversation about gay identity …

What's So Funny About The Indian Accent?

August 31st, 2016


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 …

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

August 26th, 2016


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.

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

August 24th, 2016


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. …

Struggling School, Or Sanctuary?

August 17th, 2016


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 …

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

August 10th, 2016


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 …

What Does "Objectivity" Mean To Journalists Of Color?

August 3rd, 2016


News stories of conflict involving people of color raise questions about the role of diversity in newsrooms. With the current election cycle drenched …

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

July 27th, 2016


The day after the police shooting of Philando Castile, hundreds of young Asian Americans connected online to write an open letter to their parents, …

46 Stops: The Driving Life and Death of Philando Castile

July 20th, 2016


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 …

Black and Blue

July 14th, 2016


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 …

Code Switch Extra: No Words

July 9th, 2016


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 …

"You're A Grand Old Flag"

July 6th, 2016


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 …

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

June 29th, 2016


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, …

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

June 22nd, 2016


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 …

How LGBTQ People of Color Are Dealing With Orlando

June 16th, 2016


The tragedy in Orlando this week shook many people in communities that already feel vulnerable...LGBTQ Americans, Latinos, Muslims and people living …

Code Switch Extra: Re-Remembering Muhammad Ali

June 10th, 2016


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."

Made For You And Me

June 8th, 2016


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 …

Can We Talk About Whiteness?

May 31st, 2016


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.

The Code Switch Podcast Is Coming!

May 9th, 2016


Here's a preview of our new podcast, exploring how race and culture collide with everything else in our lives.

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