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. Want to level up your Code Switch game? Try Code Switch Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/codeswitch

Episodes

November 23, 2022 34 min
Bear Carrillo grew up knowing only a few details about his birth parents: when he was born they were university students, the first from their tribes to go to college, and they just couldn't afford to keep him. Decades later, a DNA test kit uncovers a new story.
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This episode is excerpted from the Code Switch Live show at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, featuring special guests José Olivarez, Sultan Salahuddin, Diallo Riddle and Adriana Cardona-Maguidad to talk all about Chicago. Musical guest KAINA provides music!
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From BTS to Squid Game to high-end beauty standards, South Korea reigns as a global exporter of pop culture and entertainment. How does a country go from a war-decimated state just 70 years ago, to a major driver of global soft power? Through war, occupation, economic crisis, and national strategy, comes a global phenomenon - the Korean wave. This is an episode from our play cousins Throughline and originally aired September 8th, 2...
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Code Switch's host B.A. Parker, introduces us to our play cousin It's Been a Minute's new voice, Brittany Luse! In Brittany's first two episodes she talks about the representation and contextual history of Black women in politics and Hollywood.

You can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NPRCodeSwitch, Parker @aparkusfarce, and the new host of It's Been A Minute Brittany Luse @BMLuse!
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It's that time of year again: celebrations of the macabre hit a little too close to home and brush up against our country's very dark past. We talk about navigating fake horror amid what's actually terrifying and how scaring ourselves, on purpose, can help us. This episode first ran in October 2019.
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October 18, 2022 33 min
More than 10,000 Native human remains are currently sitting in a storage facility in a Maryland suburb. This week, how one small tribe is fighting to get them back to Florida. This episode originally aired October 13, 2021.
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October 11, 2022 29 min
Why build a fantasy world that still has racism? B.A. Parker moderates a discussion on Black science fiction and fantasy with authors Tochi Onyebuchi and Leslye Penelope at the National Book Festival.
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NPR's Alt.Latino gets a reboot, and for its first episode, they speak with R&B darling Omar Apollo. Apollo shares what it's been like being a role model for queer Latinx kids and the pressure of having to watch what he says now that he's famous.
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September 28, 2022 34 min
Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most popular tabletop roleplaying games of all time. But it has also helped cement some ideas about how we create and define race in fantasy — and in the tangible world. We take a deep dive into that game, and what we find about racial stereotypes and colonialist supremacy is illuminating.
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Recently, Republican governors have been sending migrants from the southern border to cities they deem more liberal under false pretenses. The political stunt echoes what segregationists 1962 called Reverse Freedom Rides. This episode originally aired in December 2019.
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September 13, 2022 35 min
Nearly 20% of Americans turned to therapy in 2020. That had us wondering: What exactly can therapy accomplish? Today, we're sharing the stories of two Latinx people who tried to use therapy to understand and combat anti-Blackness in their own lives.
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The cost of college has been on everyone's minds, especially with student debt cancellation. Pell Grants are one way many low income students have managed to pay for college. And they exist in large part because of one Black woman who often goes unmentioned.
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In Baynard Woods' new memoir, Inheritance: An Autobiography of Whiteness, Woods reflects on how growing up white in South Carolina impacted his life. He argues that it is crucial for white people in the U.S. to reckon with their personal histories.
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August 23, 2022 27 min
When a comedian of color makes a joke, is it always about race, even if it's not about race? In part two of our comedians episodes, Code Switch talks to comedians Aparna Nancherla, Brian Bahe and Maz Jobrani about how and why race makes an appearance in their jokes.
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August 16, 2022 31 min
What makes a great joke about race? In the first of two episodes, Code Switch talks to comedians Ziwe, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes and Joel Kim Booster about their favorite race joke they tell: What's its origin story? Why is it so funny? And what does it say about race in America?
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The Starz hit show P-Valley takes audiences to a strip club in a fictional town in the Mississippi Delta. Part soap opera, part Southern Gothic, the show focuses on the interior lives of the Black women who work at the club — and the complex social dynamics that shape their lives.
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August 2, 2022 36 min
Today on the show, we're bringing you the stories of two families grappling with how best to communicate across linguistic differences. In the first story, a young man sorts through how to talk to his parents about gender in Chinese, where the words for "he" and "she" sound exactly the same. Then, we follow a family who was advised to stop speaking their heritage language, Japanese, based on some outdated and in...
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Fam: We finally have a new co-host of the Code Switch podcast! And we're just a *tiny bit* excited. So today on the show, we're introducing you to B.A. Parker. Gene chats with Parker about who she is, what drew her to the race beat, and how her encyclopedic knowledge of Oscars trivia will be an asset to Code Switch listeners.
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July 19, 2022 38 min
In 1866, the Cherokee Nation promised citizenship for Black "freedmen" and their descendants. But more than a century later, the descendants of the freedman are calling foul on that promise being fulfilled. This episode, from our friends at The Experiment podcast (produced by WNYC and the Atlantic) gets into the messy history and fraught present.
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Over the course of this season, we've explored a rich history and complicated present, but what about the future? In the final episode, we catch up with parents who became activated on both sides of the debate over the diversity plan. And, since the diversity plan never came to fruition, we ask...what now?
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