Code Switch

Code Switch
1:08 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

The Korean Fan Who Sparked Kansas City's Playoff Run

SungWoo Lee is a fan who has become a fan favorite. In August, he even got a chance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before a Royals game.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 12:47 pm

The Major League Baseball playoffs begin in earnest Thursday night, and this year's postseason offers a story so far out of left field that even the most ardent stats heads find themselves forced to consider the possibility that not only are the baseball gods real, they are also insane. Or perhaps secretly Korean.

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Code Switch
8:14 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Can NBC's New Tiger Lily Overcome The Character's History?

Actress Alanna Saunders was recently cast as Tiger Lily in NBC's Peter Pan LIVE!
Bloc Academy

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 1:38 pm

Across many stage and screen adaptations of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan over the past century — such as Walt Disney's Peter Pan and Hook — the portrayal of the story's Native American characters has been an ongoing point of contention.

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Code Switch
6:03 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Mexico Pays To Help Its Citizens Avoid Deportation From The U.S.

Mexican consulates, like this one in Houston, are helping some unauthorized immigrants from Mexico pay application fees for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
WhisperToMe Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 7:08 pm

Mexico is helping some of its citizens apply for a controversial immigration program in the U.S. called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Since the Obama administration created the program in 2012, more than 580,000 unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors have received temporary relief from deportation and been given work permits that last for at least two years.

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Code Switch
1:47 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

People Be Triflin', From 'Bills, Bills, Bills' To The Bible

Yes, this ad was really in the newspaper – from the October 1, 1922 New York Tribune.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 10:10 am

In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sun September 28, 2014

In 'Selfie', John Cho Gets An Unlikely Shot As A Romantic Lead

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 2:49 am

Survey the current TV landscape and you'll see more Asian-American men than ever. (Which is to say, still not very many, but more than there used to be.) Most visibly, there's Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee on The Walking Dead. There's Ken Jeong as Señor Ben Chang on Community, leering and creeping like a modern-day Fu Manchu, only weirder and less smart. There are Kumail Nanjiani, Aly Mawji and Jimmy O. Yang on Silicon Valley.

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Code Switch
11:26 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Marriage Rates Are Falling, And For Some Faster Than Others

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 4:41 pm

The biggest takeaways from a new study on marriage by the Pew Research Center are these: Fewer Americans who are older than 25 are married than ever before, and by the time they're middle-aged, a record 25 percent will have never tied the knot.

That might not be too much of a surprise, since marriage rates have been sliding for decades.

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Code Switch
7:51 am
Wed September 24, 2014

The Pre-Huxtable Golden Age Of The Black Family Sitcom

Sanford and Son averaged around 20 million viewers a week for NBC during the 1974-75 season.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:16 pm

A lot has been made of the suite of shows featuring families of color set to hit the airwaves this fall — ABC's Black-ish, the CW's Jane the Virgin, ABC's Cristela and the network's midseason replacement, Fresh Off the Boat.

This season happens to dovetail with the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, a seminal moment for families of color on the small screen that many credit with resurrecting the moribund sitcom genre.

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Code Switch
7:16 am
Tue September 23, 2014

How Not To Handle A New Voice In TV

Shonda Rhimes (left) with Scandal star Kerry Washington at a 2012 press conference.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 11:26 am

This is what happens when voices that have normally been pushed to the background take center stage.

That's the reaction I usually offer these days whenever someone asks me about a race-based media firestorm — this time, in reference to the nuclear-sized backlash against New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley's bewildering commentary on Shonda Rhimes, one of the most successful showrunners in television history.

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Television
4:13 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Meet The Johnsons, TV's 'Black-ish' Family

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 12:20 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Code Switch
2:56 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

MacArthur Fellow Trains Lawyers To Work For Clients, Not Judges

Jonathan Rapping, president and founder of Gideon's Promise.
MacArthur Foundation The John D. and Catherine T. Mac

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Code Switch
10:17 am
Sun September 21, 2014

A Forgotten Referendum On The Union Of Scots And English

The publication of the King James Bible was among the events that diminished Scots' standing as a literary tongue in Scotland.
Jemimus Flickr

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Code Switch
6:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Adding Color To 'The Great White Way'

Sharp observations about race, class and gender plus pure passion for the theater: That's what get when you ask a distinguished panel of playwrights whether "The Great White Way" is still too white.
Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 10:15 am

Sharp observations about race, class and gender plus pure passion for the theater: That's what you get when you ask a distinguished panel of playwrights whether "The Great White Way" is still too white.

Award-winning dramatists David Henry Hwang, Lydia Diamond, Kristoffer Diaz and Bruce Norris are some of America's most critically acclaimed contemporary playwrights. Their work captures the tensions and aspirations of an increasingly diverse America, but they all acknowledged that it was a challenge to bring a more diverse audience to theaters.

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Code Switch
4:13 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Bill Cosby's Huge, Complicated Post-'Cosby Show' Legacy

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 12:13 pm

Sept. 20 marks the 30th anniversary of the premiere of The Cosby Show, the wildly successful sitcom starring Bill Cosby. Depending on whom you ask, that show can be credited with recasting the popular image of black family life, saving the flailing NBC network, or resurrecting the sitcom format itself. In the 1980s, Bill Cosby became one of the biggest non-Michael Jackson figures in American pop culture.

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Code Switch
3:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Examining Bill Cosby's Legacy As 'The Cosby Show' Turns 30

The Cosby Show starred Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad as Cliff and Clair Huxtable, an upper-middle-class couple in New York. Tempestt Bledsoe, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet and Keshia Knight Pulliam played four of their five children.
Frank Carroll AP

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:59 pm

The Cosby Show celebrates its 30th birthday on Saturday.

It was a monster hit inspired by the comedy and life experiences of its star, Bill Cosby, as shown in the new biography Cosby: His Life and Times. In the book, author Mark Whitaker makes a strong argument that Cosby's comedic style and approach to race issues turned The Cosby Show into television's most quietly subversive program.

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Code Switch
9:29 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Is Corporal Punishment Abuse? Why That's A Loaded Question

Adrian Peterson (right) was ordered to stay away from his team, the Minnesota Vikings, while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 12:10 pm

Over the past week, Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings' all-world running back and one of the NFL's biggest stars, has become the face of corporal punishment in America. Peterson turned himself in to police over the weekend on charges of child abuse after he allegedly hit his son with a switch that left welts on his body.

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Code Switch
4:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

Broadway, New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:56 am

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

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Race
6:50 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15.
Kat Chow NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 1:37 pm

The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.

"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."

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Code Switch
3:12 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina.
Manuel Rodriguez UniMás

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:50 pm

How do you remake the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad in Spanish?

Well, all you need — as the show's chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer, Walter White, might say — is "a little tweak of chemistry."

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Code Switch
3:34 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried

Alain Locke is buried at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He lies near many of the nation's early congressmen and next to the first director of the Smithsonian's Museum of African Art.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:02 am

Inside the cemetery, beneath the stained glass, the chapel is full. Mourners line the walls and spill out the door into the rainy day.

About 150 people are gathered for the funeral of a man who died 60 years ago.

Author and philosopher Alain Locke is widely known as the father of the Harlem Renaissance. He inspired Martin Luther King Jr., who praised him as an intellectual leader on par with Plato and Aristotle.

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Code Switch
8:38 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Who Determines Whether Someone Has A 'Latino Heart'?

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (right) talks about the state's green chile during a visit to a restaurant in Bernalillo.
Susan Montoya Bryan AP

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:03 pm

When New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gary King told the crowd at the Democratic Party of Valencia County annual fundraiser on Sept. 6 that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez "does not have a Latino heart," he was reportedly paraphrasing previous remarks made by famous labor icon and native New Mexican Dolores Huerta. King probably meant to say that Gov.

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Code Switch
4:27 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Overthinking It: Using Food As A Racial Metaphor

This is a Twinkie.
Christian Cable Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 1:02 pm

In February, a state-run media outlet in China mocked Gary Locke, who was signing off as U.S. ambassador to that country. "Gary Locke is a U.S.-born, third-generation Chinese-American, and his being a banana — 'yellow skin and white heart' — became an advantage for Obama's foreign policy,' " the editorial read.

Years ago, a (possibly apocryphal) story circulated about Democratic activists throwing Oreos at Michael Steele, the black former head of the Republican party.

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Code Switch
4:40 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Why Michael Che's New Role Could Change More Than 'SNL'

Daily Show correspondent Michael Che will become the first black co-anchor of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.
Paul Marotta Courtesy of Michael Che

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 12:27 pm

It seems some TV networks have gotten the message on late-night diversity and others have not.

Friday's news — that Saturday Night Live hired comic Michael Che to join Colin Jost behind the anchor desk on its popular "Weekend Update" segment — shows NBC's venerated late night comedy franchise may, finally, stand among those in the first group.

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Code Switch
8:39 am
Fri September 12, 2014

We've Been In 'The Era Of The Booty' For A Long Time

kyz Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 1:19 pm

To commemorate New York Fashion Week, we're looking at some current perspectives on fashion and beauty. On Thursday, we examined a fashion that many regard as "dangerous" and deplorable. Today, contributor Erika Nicole Kendall looks at a phenomenon more and more are trying to claim.

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Code Switch
7:19 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Sagging Pants And The Long History Of 'Dangerous' Street Fashion

Plenty of fashions adopted by young people get under the skin of adults, but the opposition to sagging often has the feel of a moral panic.
Robert Mecea AP

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 9:16 am

Mary Sue Rich finally had enough.

The council member from Ocala, Fla., was tired of seeing the young people in her town wearing their pants low and sagging, and successfully pushed to prohibit the style on city-owned property. It became law in July. Violators face a $500 fine or up to six months in jail.

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Code Switch
1:50 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

'Ask The White Guy' About The Hawks

Bruce Levenson's racially charged comments about the Atlanta Hawks' diversity — including their cheerleaders — got him in trouble.
Jason Getz AP

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:58 am

The Atlanta Hawks are in the headlines again after General Manager Danny Ferry apologized and received an undisclosed punishment for disparaging comments he made about prospective player Luol Deng — who was born in Sudan — were made public. Ferry reportedly said that Deng "has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he's like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back."

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Code Switch
12:25 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

"Ferguson And Beyond" Special With NPR's Michel Martin

Image by: Photo credit: Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

The recent shooting death of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked renewed national discussions about racial tensions, police actions and more.

NPR’s Michel Martin moderates a much needed and serious conversation with community leaders.

The audience also participates in the discussion, recorded August 29, 2014.

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Code Switch
6:48 am
Tue September 9, 2014

In Korea, Adoptees Fight To Change Culture That Sent Them Overseas

Dain Suh/NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 9:32 am

In the Gwanak-gu neighborhood of Seoul, there is a box.

Attached to the side of a building, the box resembles a book drop at a public library, only larger, and when nights are cold, the interior is heated. The Korean lettering on its front represents a phoneticized rendering of the English words "baby box." It was installed by Pastor Lee Jon-rak to accept abandoned infants. When its door opens, an alarm sounds, alerting staff to the presence of a new orphan.

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Code Switch
2:30 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Misty Copeland On Broadening 'Beauty' And Being Black In Ballet

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 9:53 am

For ballerina Misty Copeland, the role of the Firebird is a personally symbolic one. "It was one of the first really big principal roles I was ever given an opportunity to dance with American Ballet Theatre," she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "It was a huge step for the African-American community."

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Code Switch
4:35 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Bruce Morton Tribute: Veteran Journalist Reached Beyond Race

CBS News correspondent Bruce Morton on the set of the CBS newsroom in New York in 1988. Morton, an award-winning political correspondent for CBS News, died Friday at the age of 83.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 12:06 pm

I had just gotten home from another long, exhausting, but exhilarating day as a White House correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. I don't think I had even taken off my shoes when I decided to check the messages on my answering machine. The very first message came from a very familiar voice.

"Michel, this is Bruce Morton. I know you've been offered a job at CBS News but unless you really, really want to be in television — I mean you really want to be in television — that's not a good job for you. Not a good job. OK. Bruce Morton. Goodbye."

Just like that.

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Code Switch
1:18 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Black, Gay Cowboy: Michael Sam Steps Up

Dallas Cowboys practice squad player defensive end Michael Sam at the team's headquarters on Wednesday in Irving, Texas.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 8:17 am

It's unclear what Michael Sam's future in the NFL will bring. He is only on the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys, which means he's unlikely to take the field any time soon. As everyone has heard many times by now, he will be the first openly gay player in the league. No matter how exhausted some are with reports about Sam, his sexuality and what it does or does not mean for his football career, his story matters.

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