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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.

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Political Prisoners?

In "Prison City," Wisconsin, white elected officials are representing voting districts made up mostly of prisoners. Those prisoners are disproportionately black and brown. Oh, and they can't actually vote.

30mins

2 Oct 2019

Rank #1

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The Original Blexit

How is it that the party of Lincoln became anathema to black voters? It's a messy story, exemplified in the doomed friendship between Richard Nixon and his fellow Republican, Jackie Robinson.

35mins

25 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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Pretty Hurts

Some may think of beauty as frivolous and fun, but on this episode, we're examining a few of the ugly ways that its been used to project power.

47mins

30 Jan 2019

Rank #3

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Made For You And Me

Black people don't hike? Latinos don't like camping? Asians are afraid of the sun? Adrian and Shereen dig into the stereotypes — and truths — about people of color and their relationship to the great outdoors.

20mins

8 Jun 2016

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Code Switch Book Club

We checked in with authors, poets and great literary minds to see what books they think everyone should read this holiday season.

30mins

12 Dec 2018

Rank #5

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It's Bigger Than The Ban

Muslims make up a little over one percent of the U.S. population, but they seem to take up an outsized space in the American imagination. On this episode we explore why that is.

42mins

25 Apr 2018

Rank #6

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The Code Switch Guide To Handling Casual Racism

Awkward comments. Rude questions. Casual racism. What do you do when it happens in your presence? The mental calculus is hard enough. It gets even harder when the comment is coming from your friends or family. Gene, Shereen, and Karen from Code Switch along with special guest Nicole Chung share stories and search for solutions.

24mins

28 Sep 2016

Rank #7

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Members of Whose Tribe?

Today, Americans tend to think of Jewish people as white folks, but it wasn't always that way. On this episode, we dig into the complex role Jewish identity has played in America's racial story — especially now, when anti-Semitism is on the rise.

31mins

18 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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Charlottesville

After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville spiraled into deadly violence, residents of the Virginia town do some soul-searching. Plus: a scholar on the politics of white resentment, and a GOP operative worries about the party's long-term future.

32mins

16 Aug 2017

Rank #9

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The Black Table In The Big Tent

Black Republicans are basically unicorns — they might just be the biggest outliers in American two-party politics. So who are these folks who've found a home in the GOP's lily-white big tent? And what can they teach us about the ways we all cast our ballots?

1hr

18 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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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.

25mins

22 Feb 2017

Rank #11

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Why Is It So Hard To Talk About Israel?

Support for Israel has long been the rare bipartisan position among lawmakers in Washington. But recently, several younger, brown members of Congress have vocally questioned the U.S.'s relationship with Israel — and were met with fierce condemnation, including charges that their criticism was anti-Semitic. On this episode: We're talking about why it remains so hard to have nuanced conversations about Israel.

38mins

5 Apr 2019

Rank #12

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Talk American

What is the "Standard American Accent"? Where is it from? And what does it mean if you don't have it? Code Switch goes on a trip to the Midwest to find out.

26mins

8 Aug 2018

Rank #13

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A Prescription For "Racial Imposter Syndrome"

Shereen and Gene look at "racial imposter syndrome." It's what one listener described as feeling fake, or inauthentic, in her identity. We invited listeners to write in, and hundreds of bi-racial and multi-cultural people shared their views. We'll also talk to social scientists about the basic need for belonging and the role language plays in identity. Later, writer Heidi Durrow joins us. She's founder of The Mixed-Remixed Festival, the largest annual gathering of its kind in the U.S.

29mins

7 Jun 2017

Rank #14

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Behind The Lies My Teacher Told Me

It's a battle that's endured throughout so much of American history: what gets written into our textbooks. Today we tag in NPR education correspondent Anya Kamenetz, and hear from author James Loewen about the book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong.

18mins

15 Aug 2018

Rank #15

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Ask Code Switch: School Daze

For better or worse, classrooms have always been a site where our country's racial issues get worked out — whether its integration, busing, learning about this country's sordid racial history. On today's Ask Code Switch, we're talking about fitting in, standing out, and standing up for what you believe in.

42mins

12 Sep 2018

Rank #16

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Say My Name, Say My Name (Correctly, Please)

When you have a name like Aparna Nancherla or Maz Jobrani, you get used to people butchering it. These two comedians, who both come from immigrant families, talk to Code Switch editor Tasneem Raja about their "Starbucks names," all of the weird ways people mispronounce their names, and whether having a "difficult" name has impacted their careers.

26mins

10 Aug 2016

Rank #17

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From Blackface To Blackfishing

Okay, news cycle: you win. We're talking about blackface. This week, we delve into the hidden history of "blackening up" in popular culture — from a certain iconic cartoon mouse's minstrel past to Instagram models trying to pass as black.

28mins

13 Feb 2019

Rank #18

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Obama's Legacy: Diss-ent or Diss-respect?

In the first of three conversations about President Barack Obama's racial legacy,Code Switch asks how much race or racism drove the way the first black president was treated and how he governed. Did the president misjudge the state of race relations in America? Real talk about the Obama legacy is just a click away on this week's podcast. Gene and Shereen are joined by Jamelle Bouie, Slate's chief political correspondent, and Tressie McMillan Cottam, sociologist at Virginia Commonwealth University.

35mins

4 Jan 2017

Rank #19

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A Year Of Love And Struggle In A New High School

Too many young, black men struggle in America's education system. Washington D.C. is trying to do something about it with a new, boys-only high school. NPR's Cory Turner and Education Week's Kavitha Cardoza spent hundreds of hours there, reporting on the birth of a school built on one word: Love.

43mins

18 Oct 2017

Rank #20