Code Switch

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Fearless conversations about race, politics, and culture.

Episodios

The Once And Future 'Karen'

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If you've been paying attention to the news over the past couple years, you know what a so-called 'Karen' is: a white woman who uses her race and gender to wield power over someone more vulnerable. But long before most people became familiar with the term Karen, POCs have been calling out Karen-esque behavior.

The Rise Of The BBL

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Black women have always faced immense pressure to make their bodies look a certain way. But if done the "wrong way," achieving that idealized figure can lead to just as much scrutiny and critique. So today, we're talking about the cosmetic procedure known as a Brazilian Butt Lift, and what its rise in popularity illustrates about the type of bodies that do and don't get valued.

The Dramatic Life Of The American Teenager

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Kacen Callender started out as a kid in St. Thomas writing fan fiction. Today, they are the author of multiple middle grade and young adult novels full of empathy, learning, and a healthy dose of high school drama.

Who You Calling 'Hispanic'?

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But seriously, who? Because while it is Hispanic Heritage Month, the notion of a multiracial, multinational, pan-ethnic identity called "Hispanic" is a relatively recent — and somewhat haphazard invention — in the United States. So on this episode, we're digging into how the term got created and why it continues to both unite and bewilder.

The Making And Remaking Of Afghanistan

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For two decades, many Americans have seen Afghanistan depicted primarily through the lens of war. But that's not the full story — not even close. Afghanistan has a long, rich, complex history and culture. A lot of it flies in the face of the images those of us in the U.S. are exposed to. So this week, our friends at Throughline are helping us understand the fuller story.

The Lost Summer

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Twenty years ago, during the dog days of summer , a fledgling journalist named Shereen Marisol Meraji — maybe you've heard of her? — headed to Durban, South Africa. Her mission: to report on a meeting of thousands of organizers and ambassadors gathered at a global conference on racism. The conference filled Shereen with hope and optimism — all of which would soon be wiped away.

The Folk Devil Made Me Do It

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What moral panics reveal about the ongoing freakout over critical race theory in schools.

'Seeing Ghosts' Across Generations

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Kat Chow was 13 when her mother died, and with that loss came profound and lasting questions about identity, family and history. In her memoir, Seeing Ghosts, the author and former Code Switch reporter explores how her mother's death has haunted her through the years, in ways that are profound, tragic and, sometimes, darkly hilarious.

Who Runs The World? Kids.

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OK, they're not all kids. But they're all students, they're all amazing, and frankly, we're concerned that they might be coming for our jobs. That's right — the Student Podcast Challenge is back, and this year, the stories are more powerful than ever.

Care To Explain Yourself?

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It's hot out, places are shutting down again, and things might just be feeling a little bit slow. So in the spirit of spicing things up, we wanted to give you 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 ask people to Google as they go? Comedian Hari Kondabolu joins us to hash it out.

Violence That Doesn't Go Viral

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We talk a lot on this show about people who have been killed by police officers. But there is so much police violence that falls short of being fatal, but forever alters the lives of the people on the business end of it. So this week, we're turning things over to the "On Our Watch" podcast, out of KQED and NPR's Investigations Team.

To Love And Not Forgive

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For much of her childhood, Ashley Ford's father was incarcerated, and her mother struggled to raise her while grappling with her own upended life plans. In her new memoir, Somebody's Daughter, Ford looks at how her upbringing shaped her understanding of childhood, authority, forgiveness and freedom.

Words To Set You Free

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Some of the best books can make you feel free — free from your daily grind, free to imagine a new reality, free to explore different facets of your identity. This month, the Code Switch team is highlighting books that dig deep into what freedom really means.

What Does It Mean To Be Latino? The 'Light-Skinned Privilege' Edition

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Maria Garcia and Maria Hinojosa are both Mexican American, both mestiza, and both relatively light-skinned. But Maria Hinojosa strongly identifies as a woman of color, whereas Maria Garcia has stopped doing so. So in this episode, we're asking: How did they arrive at such different places?

Égalité, Fraternité, And 'Libertie'

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This month on Code Switch, we're talking about books — new and old — that have deepened our understandings of what it means to be free. First up, a conversation with author Kaitlyn Greenidge about her new novel, Libertie, which tells the story of a young woman pushing back against her mother's expectations of what her life should look like.

A Good ACT To Follow

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Forty years ago this month, the CDC reported on patients with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. for the very first time. In the years since, LGBTQIA+ Americans have been fighting for treatment and recognition of a disease that was understudied, under-reported, and deeply stigmatized. On this episode, our friends at It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders delve into the history of ACT UP — an organization that transformed the way the media, the government, corporations and medical professionals talked about AIDS.

'Where We Come From': By Any Other Name

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Anyone with a name that isn't super common in the United States will tell you that the simple act of introducing yourself can lead to a whole interrogation: Where are you from? What does your name mean? Help me pronounce it using words I understand! So on this bonus episode from our friends at the "Where We Come From" series, we're getting into what, exactly, is in a name — and what names can tell us about where we've been and where we're going.

Ballers, Shot Callers

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The Supreme Court just ruled on a case that could change the future of college sports, potentially paving the way for NCAA athletes to be paid. But is paying student athletes a good thing? And how would it affect the already fraught racial dynamics of college sports?

A Taste Of Freedom

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Juneteenth commemorates the day that enslaved Texans found out — more than two years after Emancipation Day — that they were free. It's also a day known for celebratory meals and red drinks. But as the holiday becomes more widespread, we wondered: Is there a risk that certain people (and corporations) will try to keep the food and lose the history?

The Racial Reckoning That Wasn't

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In the wake of several high-profile police killings last summer, support for Black Lives Matter skyrocketed among white Americans. Their new concerns about racism pushed books about race to the top of the bestseller lists, while corporations pledged billions of dollars to address injustice. A year later, though, polls show that white support for the movement has not only waned, but is lower than it was before. On this episode, two researchers explain why last year so-called racial reckoning was always shakier than it looked.

Where Are You Really From?

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If you're a person of color living in the United States, chances are you've been asked more than you care to remember where you're from — no, where you're really from. In her new series "Where We Come From," NPR's Anjuli Sastry lets immigrants of color answer that question broadly, with the space and context it deserves.

Tulsa, 100 Years Later

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In the spring of 1921, Black residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma's Greenwood neighborhood were attacked by a mob of angry white people. More than 300 people were killed, and thousands were left homeless. Now, 100 years later, Tulsa is still reckoning with what lessons to take from that deadly massacre.

The Sum Of Our Parts

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People of color have a diverse set of interests, experiences, backgrounds and cultures. And the way we experience race and racism can be really different. So why do we continue to use big umbrella terms like "POC"? And what do we risk if we lose them?

The Kid Mero Talks 'What It Means To Be Latino'

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We've said it multiple times on the show: Latinos are the second largest demographic in the United States. But...what does that actually mean? Are Latinos a race? Ethnicity? Culture? We try (and fail) to answer some of these questions with Dominican American podcaster and entertainer the Kid Mero.

Show Me The Money

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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 friends at the Invisibilia podcast took a look at how the community reacted, for better and for worse.

Live From Philly*: A Code Switch Jawn

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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, basketball, poetry and of course, the word "jawn."

A Utopia For Black Capitalism

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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 — that would create economic opportunities for Black people and be sustained by the wealth they created. It was called Soul City. And although it's been largely forgotten, he almost pulled it off.

Do The Golden Arches Bend Toward Justice?

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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, we're taking a look at the surprising link between Black capitalism and McDonald's.

Spit A Verse, Drop Some Knowledge

por NPR

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 art and poetry. So this week, we're hearing from some of the country's most critical observers: poets.

Why Are We Here?

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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 at The Atlantic and WNYC tried to understand more about this troubling statistic by telling the story of one woman: Rosary Castro-Olega.

Screams And Silence

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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 paid to their worries. Then came last week, when a deadly shooting spree in Georgia realized many of their worst fears and thrust the issue into the national spotlight.

Lonnie Bunch And The 'Museum Of No'

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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 the coronavirus, but we got a virtual tour from the man who devoted his life to giving it life. He's also the first Black leader of the entire Smithsonian Institution. Baller status.

Saving A Language You're Learning To Speak

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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 to speak it them themselves.

David (Pronounced dah-VEED) Versus Goliath

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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 a chance. After all, the bigger, richer, imperial power always wins — right?

'Payback's A B****'

por NPR

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, who have spent the past two years exploring how reparations could transform the United States — and all the struggles and possibilities that go along with that.