Code Switch

Code Switch
9:43 am
Mon June 9, 2014

What Is Your Race? For Millions Of Americans, A Shifting Answer

The race question on the census is constantly changing.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 7:22 pm

This post has been updated.

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Code Switch
10:11 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Stokely Carmichael, A Philosopher Behind The Black Power Movement

Martin Luther King Jr., shown here with Stokely Carmichael during a voter registration march in Mississippi in 1966, regarded the younger Carmichael as one of the civil rights movement's most promising leaders.
Lynn Pelham Time

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:26 pm

Before he became famous — and infamous — for calling on black power for black people, Stokely Carmichael was better known as a rising young community organizer in the civil rights movement. The tall, handsome philosophy major from Howard University spent summers in the South, working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC, to get African-Americans in Alabama and Mississippi registered to vote in the face of tremendous, often violent resistance from segregationists.

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Code Switch
10:26 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Blood And Water: Illustrating Langston Hughes' 'Rivers'

Afua Richardson

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:22 pm

NPR Books and Code Switch are winding down Black History Month in style: We've asked three of our favorite comic artists to illustrate something — a person, a poem, a play, a book, a song — that inspires them. Afua Richardson is an award-winning illustrator who's worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics. She's chosen Langston Hughes' great poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers." And you can see Richardson's video, created from these panels, here.

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Code Switch
10:41 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Remembering Buddy Esquire, The King Of Hip-Hop Flyers

Buddy Esquire was a prolific handbill artist in hip-hop's early days in the South Bronx. He taught himself how to draw and different styles of lettering by checking out books from the local library — and his flyers are some of the only surviving documents from hip-hop's birth.
Courtesy of Cornell University Hip Hop Collection

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 5:12 pm

Forty years after its birth, hip-hop is everywhere, a global signifier of youthfulness and subversion and opulence and Americanness and blackness and menace, sometimes all at once.

But for all the glorification of hip-hop's early days in the South Bronx — the brilliant improvisation, the block parties — there isn't a whole lot of supporting documentation. A lot of what we know is from the fading memories of aging b-girls and b-boys who were present at the creation.

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Code Switch
9:03 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Quick! What Are The Origins Of 'Chop-Chop'?

A photograph of the Pearl River in Canton or Guangzhou, China, taken around 1870-1880.
UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 11:43 am

It takes a special kind of actor to mix bombast and fatuousness to comic effect — think Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock or Will Ferrell in Anchorman. But the all-time King of Pomposity was the late Ted Knight. He played the role of newscaster Ted Baxter in the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack.

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Black History
7:35 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Joseph Lowery

Joseph E. Lowery

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Black History
7:35 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Gwendolyn Simmons

Gwendolyn Simmons

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Black History
7:35 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Freeman Hrabowski on Birmingham Bombing (part 2)

The bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. But for Freeman Hrabowski, now president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, it was personal. The Birmingham native was part of the movement as a child, and knew Cynthia Wesley, one of the four girls killed that morning. Here, he explains how the events of that day and the aftermath not only forever changed him, but Birmingham as well, and eventually, the country.

Each morning at 7:30 in February, experience the unheralded histories and testimonials of individuals who participated in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Black History
7:54 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Freeman Hrabowski (part 1)

Freeman Hrabowski

  With so much on the line, one might think that everyone in the Black community would be on the same page when it came to fighting for civil rights. But Birmingham native Freeman Hrabowski explains that many middle-class African-Americans worried that there could be serious consequences for families of protesters. Now the president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Hrabowski was one of the few middle-class children who not only joined the protests, but was trained to lead and protect the younger children who were often the catalyst for change in the movement. 

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Code Switch
2:40 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Quarterback Russell Wilson Sets A Milestone, And Everyone Shrugs

Russell Wilson is only the second black quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:52 pm

It happened again.

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Black History
7:35 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Alfred Moldovan

Code Switch
12:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

How I Learned To Feel Undesirable

We asked writer Noah Cho to take self-portraits for this story. Here's one of them.
Courtesy of Noah Cho

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 5:14 pm

For the past few weeks, we've convened a conversation about romance across racial and cultural lines. Some of the most eloquent accounts we encountered came from a Bay Area junior high school teacher named Noah Cho. We asked him to expand on some of his experiences in this essay.

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Code Switch
3:20 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

That Cute Cheerios Ad With The Interracial Family Is Back

A triumphant Gracie smirks at the haters.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 7:27 pm

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Code Switch
3:20 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Does It Taste As Sweet To Say 'I Love You' In Another Language?

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Kaan Tanman Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 4:51 pm

Editor's Note: Code Switch is engaged in a month-long discussion and exploration of interracial and cross-cultural dating. Follow the conversation via the Twitter hashtag #xculturelove.

My first kiss was with an Albanian man I met in Venice, Italy; within hours, Jeta and I were telling each other, "Ti amo." I didn't mean it any more than I knew his last name (and I won't kid myself into thinking there was much sincerity on his end).

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Black History
7:35 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Matthew Perry

Black History
10:12 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Moments of the Movement: Shirley Sherrod

Code Switch
12:12 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Poll Of U.S. Latinos Offers Snapshot Of Immigrant Vs. Nonimmigrant Experience

Spectators react as they watch the Dominican Day Parade in New York City last summer.
Tina Fineberg AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 12:29 pm

Our poll on the life experiences of Latino Americans underscored just how different those experiences can be. But many of the most interesting comparisons among our respondents were between folks who were born here in the United States or Puerto Rico and those who were born elsewhere and came here later.

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Code Switch
12:12 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

What Does 'Sold Down The River' Really Mean? The Answer Isn't Pretty

Slave auction in New Orleans, 1842, "Sale of Estates, Pictures and Slaves in the Rotunda, New Orleans." The nation's most active slave market was in New Orleans. Slaves who had been "sold down the river" were auctioned off to plantation owners.
Encyclopaedia Britannica UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:15 pm

For generations, the phrase "sold down the river" has been used to signify a profound betrayal.

"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the 19th century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave-trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves would be taken to Louisville to be "sold down the river" and transported to the cotton plantations in states further south.

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Code Switch
9:19 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What Sami Discovered On The Way To Becoming A Man Of Color

Sami Younes, 26, began his physical transition three years ago. "Transition didn't solve everything for me. I still have a lot of growing to do as person. But I think I'm in a better position to face it now," he said. One of the things that Younes navigates now is how people react to him as a transgender Lebanese and Puerto Rican man.
Erica Yoon NPR

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 7:20 pm

Not many people can say they've experienced the world both as an Arab-Latino woman and as an Arab-Latino man. Sami Younes can.

Younes, 26, was once Mariam, a Lebanese and Puerto Rican woman. When he began his physical transition three years ago to become a man, the way people reacted to his change surprised him.

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Code Switch
2:26 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

'Hispanic' Or 'Latino'? Polls Say It Doesn't Matter — Usually

Comedian Carlos Mencia performs during the Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más Upfront in May 2010.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Carlos Mencia is well-known for his standup humor, which is slyly good-natured and often focuses on race and ethnicity. The 46 year-old Mencia has had a successful series on The Comedy Channel (Mind of Mencia) and draws huge crowds when he tours the country. When he was starting out in the business, he spent a lot of time on college campuses. And he learned pretty quickly that how he talked about the ethnicity he thought he shared with his audience could get him into trouble.

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Code Switch
2:00 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

When King And Johnson Joined Forces To Fight The War On Poverty

Martin Luther King, Jr. (center), with Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, and Whitney Young, met with President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1964.
Lyndon B. Johnson Library

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 9:05 am

When President Lyndon B. Johnson met at the White House with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 18, 1964, the two men were near the peak of their powers and the country was in a maelstrom.

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History
2:38 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

A Promise Unfulfilled: 1962 MLK Speech Recording Is Discovered

A recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering this address to the New York State Civil War Centennial Commission in 1962 was recently discovered by the New York State Museum.
Courtesy of New York State Education Department

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Last fall, curators and interns at the New York State Museum were digging through their audio archives in an effort to digitize their collection. It was tedious work; the museum houses over 15 million objects. But on this particular day in November, they unearthed a treasure.

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Code Switch
4:29 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Twitter Recap: A Chat On Interracial And Cross-Cultural Romance

Two hands of different skin colors creating a heart, two hands of different skin colors intertwined. These are the types of images found in stock photo databases that are tagged "interracial romance."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 7:51 pm

What questions do you have about interracial and cross-cultural romance?

That's one of the first things we asked participants on Wednesday in our first #xculturelove chat, which is part of our month-long exploration of interracial and cross-culture romance. We're using #xculturelove to anchor our discussions. (Code Switch's Matt Thompson says more about the month-long conversation.)

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Code Switch
4:28 am
Sat January 18, 2014

Is There Room For Only One Black Film At The Top Of The Heap?

Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated in the category of best actor for his role in 12 Years a Slave as the 86th Academy Awards nominations are announced Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:51 pm

First, let's acknowledge one thing: 12 Years a Slave has achieved something amazing and wonderful.

With nine Oscar nominations, it has proven a brutal story about the worst degradations of American slavery can attract the biggest accolades Hollywood has to offer.

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