Code Switch

NPR

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

  • 31 minutes 12 seconds
    Falling in love in a time of colonization
    This week Code Switch digs into The Ministry of Time, a new book that author Kailene Bradley describes as a "romance about imperialism." It focuses on real-life Victorian explorer Graham Gore, who died on a doomed Arctic expedition in 1847. But in this novel, time travel is possible and Gore is brought to the 21st century where he's confronted with the fact that everyone he's ever known is dead, that the British Empire has collapsed, and that perhaps he was a colonizer.

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    22 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 31 minutes 1 second
    Why the trope of the 'outside agitator' persists
    As protests continue to rock the campuses of colleges and universities, a familiar set of questions is being raised: Are these protests really being led by students? Or are the real drivers of the civil disobedience outsiders, seizing on an opportunity to wreak chaos and stir up trouble?

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    15 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 33 minutes 59 seconds
    In 'Chicano Frankenstein,' the undead are the new underpaid labor force
    Daniel Olivas's novel puts a new spin on the age-old Frankenstein story. In this retelling, 12 million "reanimated" people provide a cheap workforce for the United States...and face a very familiar type of bigotry.

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    8 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 31 minutes 2 seconds
    Exclusion, resilience and the Chinese American experience on 'Mott Street'
    This week on the podcast, we're revisiting a conversation we had with Ava Chin about her book, Mott Street. Through decades of painstaking research, the fifth-generation New Yorker discovered the stories of how her ancestors bore and resisted the weight of the Chinese Exclusion laws in the U.S. – and how the legacy of that history still affects her family today.

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    1 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 41 minutes 2 seconds
    How Jewish Communities Are Divided Over Support of Israel
    In the wake of October 7, and the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government, many American Jews have found themselves questioning something that had long felt like a given: that if you were Jewish, you would support Israel, and that was that. But as more Jews speak out against Israel's actions in Gaza, it's exposing deep rifts within Jewish communities – including ones that are threatening to break apart friendships, families, and institutions.

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    24 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 32 minutes 6 seconds
    The Rise and Fall of the Panama Canal
    The Panama Canal has been dubbed the greatest engineering feat in human history. It's also (perhaps less favorably) been called the greatest liberty mankind has ever taken with Mother Nature. But due to climate change, the Canal is drying up and fewer than half of the ships that used to pass through are now able to do so. So how did we get here? Today on the show, we're talking to Cristina Henriquez, the author of a new novel that explores the making of the Canal. It took 50,000 people from 90 different countries to carve the land in two — and the consequences of that extraordinary, nature-defying act are still echoing through our present.

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    17 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 17 minutes 3 seconds
    Reflecting on the legacy of O.J. Simpson
    With the news of O.J. Simpson's death on Thursday, we're revisiting our reporting from 2016, where we took a look into how Simpson went from being "too famous to be Black," to becoming a stand-in for the way Black people writ-large were mistreated by the U.S. carceral system.

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    12 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 31 minutes 57 seconds
    How Frederick Douglass launched generations of Black and Irish solidarity
    What's a portrait of Frederick Douglass doing hanging in an Irish-themed pub in Washington, D.C.? To get to the answer, Parker and Gene dive deep into the long history of solidarity and exchange between Black civil rights leaders and Irish republican activists, starting with Frederick Douglass' visit to Ireland in 1845.

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    10 April 2024, 7:00 am
  • 30 minutes 14 seconds
    WTF does race have to do with taxes?
    It's that time of year again: time to file your taxes. And this week on the pod, we're revisiting our conversation with Dorothy A. Brown, a tax expert and author of The Whiteness Of Wealth: How The Tax System Impoverishes Black Americans And How To Fix It. She talks through the racial landmines in our tax code and how your race plays a big role in whether you get audited, how much you might owe the IRS, which tax breaks you can get, and even which benefits you can claim.

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    3 April 2024, 2:26 pm
  • 39 minutes 13 seconds
    Who does language belong to? A fight over the Lakota Language
    Many Lakota people agree: It's imperative to revitalize the Lakota language. But how exactly to do that is a matter of broader debate. Should Lakota be codified and standardized to make learning it easier? Or should the language stay as it always has been, defined by many different ways of writing and speaking? We explore this complex, multi-generational fight that's been unfolding in the Lakota Nation, from Standing Rock to Pine Ridge.

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    27 March 2024, 7:00 am
  • 17 minutes 43 seconds
    Getting let down by the 'Great Expectations' of electoral politics
    This episode is brought to you by our play cousins over at NPR's It's Been A Minute. Brittany Luse chops it up with New Yorker writer and podcast host Vinson Cunningham to discuss his debut novel Great Expectations. It's a period piece that follows the story of a young man working on an election campaign that echoes Obama's 2008 run. Brittany and Vinson discuss American politics as a sort of religion - and why belief in politics has changed so much in the last decade.

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    20 March 2024, 7:00 am
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