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

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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Chelsea Beck/NPR

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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Chelsea Beck/NPR

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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Chelsea Beck/NPR

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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Hannah Barczyk for NPR

Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?

Does wearing safety pins and giving speeches at awards shows make you an ally? On this episode we explore the conundrums of ally-ship with activist and blogger ShiShi Rose, who helped organize the Women's March, Taz Ahmed, co-host of the GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast, the Reverend Timothy Murphy, and our editor, Juleyka Lantigua-Williams. We also talk with the co-founder of a black-owned company that teaches white people how to be better allies, for a fee.

Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?

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Puerto Ricans are migrants not immigrants, Spanish and English, domestic yet foreign — as we like to say on Code Switch, it's complicated. A hundred years ago this week, Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens by law with the passing of the Jones Act. Since then, they've had a complicated and fraught relationship with what it means to be American. Kristen Uroda for NPR hide caption

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Kristen Uroda for NPR

In Search Of Puerto Rican Identity In Small-Town America

Puerto Ricans are migrants not immigrants, Spanish and English, domestic yet foreign — as we like to say on Code Switch, it's complicated. A hundred years ago this week, Puerto Ricans became U.S. citizens by law with the passing of the Jones Act. Since then, they've had a complicated and fraught relationship with what it means to be American. Shereen traveled to Holyoke, Massachusetts to explore what the Jones Act has meant to Puerto Rican identity on stateside in the last century. Holyoke has the highest ration of Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. - nearly 50% of residents there have Puerto Rican heritage. An earlier version of this podcast stated that Myriam Quiñonez has three children. She has two.

In Search Of Puerto Rican Identity In Small-Town America

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Writer, director, producer Jordan Peele directs a scene on the set of his new horror movie, Get Out. Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures hide caption

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Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures

The Horror, The Horror: "Get Out" And The Place of Race in Scary Movies

It's one of the oldest clichés of horror movies: the black guy dies first. But that's not the case in the new film "Get Out," written and directed by Jordan Peele (best known for the Comedy Central series "Key And Peele"). Gene and guest host Eric Deggans chat with Peele about his new film, check in with African-American filmmaker Ernest Dickerson, who's directed many scary movies and TV shows, and dive deep into race in horror-movie history with Robin Means Coleman, who's been analyzing and writing about the genre for over a decade.

The Horror, The Horror: "Get Out" And The Place of Race in Scary Movies

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Authors Angela Flournoy and Alexander Chee. Chelsea Beck/NPR hide caption

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Ten Thousand Writers... and Two Intrepid Podcast Hosts

Gene welcomes Code Switch reporter Kat Chow as guest host and they camp out at one of the biggest conferences for writers on the planet, held by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. There, they talk with literary stars and publishing world veterans about everything from hip hop lyricism to the role of the artist in trying political times to buzz-worthy emerging writers of color.

Ten Thousand Writers... and Two Intrepid Podcast Hosts

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Directors of the films "I am Not Your Negro," "Life, Animated," "13th," and "OJ: Made In America" are all up for Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Feature category. They are also all filmmakers of color. For the first time, African-American documentarians made up most of the nominees. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures, A&E IndieFilms, Netflix, and ESPN Films hide caption

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Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures, A&E IndieFilms, Netflix, and ESPN Films

Oscars So Black...At Least, In Documentaries

A filmmaker of color is almost certain to win this year's Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. In fact, for the first time, African-American documentarians made up most of the nominees. We talk with Ava DuVernay, whose movie "13th," made her the first black female director to be nominated in this category. And the Emmy and Peabody award-winning documentarian Noland Walker, now of ITVS, tells us about how the film industry has responded to documentarians of color since he started as a production assistant on the landmark PBS documentary series, "Eyes On the Prize" in the late 1980s.

Oscars So Black...At Least, In Documentaries

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Protesters demonstrate as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lead members of Congress during a protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Encore Plus: Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?

Shereen and Gene are joined by Code Switch's own Adrian Florido to revisit a conversation about how advocates are challenging the narrative of the "good" or "bad" immigrant. Adrian previously reported on what happens when advocates try to champion an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of a crime. For many people, "DREAMers," were considered the most sympathetic characters in the immigration reform drama. But a new administration is in the White House, and what was once a very complicated landscape is changing. Later, economist Ike Brannon from the CATO Institute joins the conversation.

Encore Plus: Who Is A Good Immigrant, Anyway?

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