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

October 27, 2021 43 min
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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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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September 21, 2021 35 min
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.
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September 14, 2021 55 min
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.
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September 7, 2021 47 min
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.
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September 1, 2021 37 min
What moral panics reveal about the ongoing freakout over critical race theory in schools.
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August 24, 2021 27 min
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.
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August 17, 2021 29 min
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.
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August 10, 2021 31 min
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.
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August 3, 2021 49 min
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.
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July 27, 2021 39 min
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.
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July 21, 2021 38 min
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.
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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?
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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.
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June 29, 2021 50 min
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, ...
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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&...
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