Code Switch
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Code Switch

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Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get...stuck? Code Switch can help. We're all journalists of color, and this isn't just the work we do. It's the lives we lead. Sometimes, we'll make you laugh. Other times, you'll get uncomfortable. But we'll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us.More from Code Switch »

Most Recent Episodes

John Leguizamo in Latin History For Morons at The Public Theater, his sixth one-man show. Joan Marcus/©2016 Joan Marcus hide caption

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Joan Marcus/©2016 Joan Marcus

John Leguizamo, Still In Search Of John Leguizamo

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 his Latino identity through his own family and old New York neighborhoods for decades. Audie interviewed Leguizamo in New York during the current run of his latest one-man show, Latin History For Morons. Now a father, Leguizamo struggles with what he knows and what he can teach his son and daughter about being Latino in the U.S., while challenging himself to be the dad he'd always wanted his own father to be.

John Leguizamo, Still In Search Of John Leguizamo

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Code Switch answers your burning questions. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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Chelsea Beck/NPR

Mailbag! Listener Questions and Comments That Got Us Thinking

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 sanctuaries. (We asked a lawyer.) And a professor gave us a "loving critique" of our episode on Native hunting rights and sovereignty. (Thank you.) Plus a special call-out to the racial imposter in you.

Mailbag! Listener Questions and Comments That Got Us Thinking

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This week's podcast extra from Code Switch: NPR correspondent Joseph Shapiro recalls a prison inmate whose work forged the modern prisoners' rights movement. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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How One Inmate Changed The Prison System From The Inside

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 of his life in solitary confinement, including in the notorious Attica prison. Today, Sostre's life and pioneering prisoners' rights work is largely hidden from the public.

How One Inmate Changed The Prison System From The Inside

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The Nez Perce tribe faces strong opposition from some who see the hunting rights extended to them as unfair and out of sync with modern life. Vertyr/Getty Images/iStockphoto hide caption

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Vertyr/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Beef Over Native American Hunting Rights

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.

The Beef Over Native American Hunting Rights

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Comics and graphic novels have become a flourishing space for explorations of race and identity. But what are the compromises they have to make in order to reach and please wide audiences? Shannon Wright for NPR hide caption

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Shannon Wright for NPR

Changing Colors In Comics

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. Gene visits Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse in Philadelphia, and chats with proprietor Ariell Johnson who is reclaiming the comic book store, which once made her uneasy as a black fan. Meanwhile, C. Spike Trotman, another black woman, has made a name for herself as an online comics publisher of Iron Circus Comics in Chicago. We also talk to artist and designer Ronald Wimberly for his perspective as a black creator who has worked for Marvel and DC, the titans of corporate comics.

Changing Colors In Comics

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This week's podcast extra from Code Switch: Jeanette Vizguerra discusses her experience living in a church where she's taken sanctuary as she fights her deportation case. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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Podcast Extra En Español: Jeanette Vizguerra

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 viviendo en la iglesia donde ha tomado santuario mientras disputa su caso de deportación.

Listen to Jeanette Vizguerra

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Code Switch's Adrian Florido spoke to key players to understand why hundreds of churches are ready to start a public fight with the current administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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Sanctuary Churches: Who Controls The Story?

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 administration to prevent deportations of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He also looks at why the movement has to wrestle with important questions: Who controls the story and the message? How much say does an individual or family have in how a sanctuary church leverages their story? Adrian also has a candid talk with Jeanette Vizguerra, who is living inside a Colorado church, as she fights a legal deportation battle. It could be years before she is able to step outside the church. As Adrian reports, the decisions, intentions and relationships complicate the work of sanctuary churches.

Sanctuary Churches: Who Controls The Story?

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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. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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A Bittersweet Persian New Year

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, Gene and Shereen talk about what's bitter and what's sweet with Nilou Motamed, the Iranian-American editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, and visit with Code Switch friend and comedian Negin Farsad.

A Bittersweet Persian New Year

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This week's podcast extra from Code Switch: Nashville ends a decades-old mystery about Frederick Douglass. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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The 80-Year Mystery Around 'Fred Douglas' Park

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 nonexistent "Fred Douglas" might have actually been intended to honor the great abolitionist and statesman. Reporter Blake Farmer of member station WPLN explores the park's controversial history and how the city finally decided to clarify the park's name.

The 80-Year Mystery Around 'Fred Douglas' Park

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Code Switch answers your burning questions. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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Not-So-Simple Questions From Code Switch Listeners

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 when they say "What are you?" Where did the archetype of "The Magical Negro" come from? How has the meaning of "woke" evolved? And what does it mean to sound like an American in 2017? And many other questions in between the lines.

Not-So-Simple Questions From Code Switch Listeners

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