Code Switch

Code Switch

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 with empathy and humor. We explore how race affects every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, food and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story. Code Switch was named Apple Podcasts' first-ever Show of the Year in 2020.

Episodes

January 23, 2022 35 min
Since he died this week, André Leon Talley has been described over and over again as "larger than life." But on this episode, brought to us by our friends at NPR's It's Been a Minute podcast, three queer Black men talk about the smaller, more personal moments that made Talley such an icon in the fashion world — and in the broader culture.
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We use words related to color to describe different racial categories all the time — Black, white, brown. But how much of race and identity actually has to do with the color of your skin? What if what appears to be "whiteness" is only skin deep? Today we're sharing stories from people of color with albinism whose experiences challenge what many people think they know about race.
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January 12, 2022 35 min
It's now been more than a year since the so-called "racial reckoning" that marked the summer of 2020. The country, some said confidently, was having the biggest racial reckoning since the civil rights movement. But since then, the Code Switch team has been wondering...what was actually being reckoned with? And by whom? And what would the backlash be?
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What stories do we learn about the history of the United States? Who dreamed up those stories? And what happens when we challenge them? This week on the pod, our play cousins at NPR's Throughline podcast talk to journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones about the historical argument she tried to make with the 1619 project.
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This time of year, folks are being inundated with messages about how to become more beautiful. But beauty is an ever-changing goalpost that has everything do with race, class and power.
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December 22, 2021 33 min
Y'all, 2021 brought us a lot of TV. Some of it was even good! So this week, we're talking about the shows that had something interesting to say about race, from We Are Lady Parts to Reservation Dogs to City of Ghosts.
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Our play cousins at NPR's It's Been a Minute podcast reexamine the so-called "Latin explosion" of the late '90s: What it was supposed to be for audiences across the U.S., and what it actually came to represent.
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December 15, 2021 36 min
The term 'Latin Music' can encompass everything from Celia Cruz to Bad Bunny to Selena Gomez to Los Tigres del Norte. It's rock, pop, hip hop, salsa, bachata, reggaeton, and so much more. So...what exactly is the connective tissue? Language? The ethnicity of the artist? Pure vibes? Or is it something else entirely?
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December 8, 2021 33 min
How do race and class affect the way we eat? What makes dollar store junk food different from organic junk food? And when did Whole Foods become such a polarizing grocery store? We're getting into all those questions and more with Priya Fielding-Singh, author of the new book, How the Other Half Eats.
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When Derecka Purnell was growing up, the police were a regular presence in her life. Years later, the lawyer, activist, and author of the new book, Becoming Abolitionists, realized that her vision of a just society was radically different from the world in which she'd been socialized.
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November 24, 2021 32 min
It's Thanksgiving week, so we're bringing you a second helping of one of our favorite episodes, where we answer your questions about race and food. We're getting into the perceived whiteness of vegetarianism, what it means when H-Mart becomes a little too mainstream, and the etiquette around bringing pungent-smelling food to the (proverbial) office.
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November 17, 2021 31 min
You already know we love books here on Code Switch — and given that we're smack dab in the middle of Native American Heritage month, we thought we'd introduce you to some of our favorite recent books by Indigenous authors.
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November 10, 2021 35 min
When 'Soul Train' first aired in 1971, there had never been a show like it. Fifty years later, that's still true. So this week, we're passing the mic to our friends at NPR's It's Been a Minute podcast, who did a deep dive into the age of Black joy — and Black flyness — that Soul Train kicked off.
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November 2, 2021 22 min
If you're Native American, there's a good chance that you've thought a lot about blood quantum — a highly controversial measurement of the amount of "Indian blood" you have. It can affect your identity, your relationships and whether or not you — or your children — may become a citizen of your tribe.
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Or do they? This week, we're answering some of your toughest questions about race and your parents. How do you create boundaries with immigrant parents? What dynamics might interracial couples bring to families? And why do so many Black parents want to prevent their kids from looking "too grown"?
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October 19, 2021 29 min
The 2020 census data is finally here! At first glance, it paints a surprising portrait of a changing United States: The number of people who identify as white and no other race is smaller; the share of multiracial people has shot up; and the country's second-largest racial group is... "some other race." But resident census-expert Hansi Lo Wang told us that when you start to unpack the data, you quickly find that those n...
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October 13, 2021 33 min
In a small suburb of Washington, D.C., a non-descript beige building houses thousands of Native human remains. The remains are currently in the possession of the Smithsonian Institution. But for the past decade, the Seminole Tribe of Florida has been fighting to get some of them back to Florida to be buried. The controversy over who should decide the fate of these remains has raised questions about identity, history, and the nature...
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October 5, 2021 23 min
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.
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September 29, 2021 29 min
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.
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September 24, 2021 18 min
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.
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