Code Switch

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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Code Switch
3:12 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Police Respond To Criticism At NAACP Event

Credit WUIS/Rachel Otwell

Racial tension and profiling by police were among the topics discussed at a community meeting held at Southeast High School in Springfield on Thursday. Over 300 people were in attendance for the meeting put on by the local chapter of the NAACP. It was organized as a response to the situation in Ferguson, Missouri where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a police officer. One common refrain was that blacks in Springfield often feel targeted by police simply because of their skin color.

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Code Switch
8:35 am
Fri September 5, 2014

What's Your Take On #NPRTheTalk?

Many African-American parents feel it's essential to have "the talk" with their children.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:15 am

In the weeks since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., families across the country are discussing how they approach "the talk" — not the one about sex, but the talk about safety and how young people should conduct themselves in encounters with the police. This difficult conversation has been part of the black family experience for generations.

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Code Switch
5:38 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Does It Matter That Rosie Perez Is The First Latina Co-Host Of 'The View'?

Rosie Perez (above) becomes a regular co-host on The View Sept 15.
Phil McCarten Reuters /Landov

The View just made history in naming Rosie Perez as a new co-host of ABC's daytime chat show.

ABC revealed Wednesday that Perez would join former GOP strategist Nicolle Wallace, teaming with stars Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg when The View's new season debuts Sept. 15.

In hiring Perez, a Brooklyn-born daughter of Puerto Rican parents, ABC did something new: It named the first Latina as a regular co-host in The View's 17-year history.

Which raises an important question: Will it matter?

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Code Switch
10:23 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

NAACP Meeting On Youth, Racial Profiling & More

Members of the public address the panel at the NAACP meeting
Credit Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Over 300 people met at Southeast High School in Springfield on Thursday to talk about racial profiling and its effect on African American youth, among other things. It was hosted by the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as a response to the fatal shooting of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and its aftermath.

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Code Switch
3:09 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Scenes From The Ferguson We Didn't See On TV

Many of the shops on the protest route were temporarily closed. This cross is the third in a series of pictures on this store's wall. Together, they read: "Oh The Blood."
Eric Kayne for NPR

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 7:24 pm

Before I went to Ferguson, Mo., to cover the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, a reported friend who was already joked that he was certain that he was sure that every person in the town had already been interviewed. And sure enough, the media crunch on was intense on West Florissant, the main boulevard that was the site of protests and clashes with the police in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown.

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Code Switch
1:58 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

What Does It Mean To Prevent 'The Next Michael Brown'?

Demonstrators last month chanted on West Florissant, one of the main boulevards in Ferguson, Mo. According to a state report, nearly 9 in 10 people stopped by the police in 2013 were black.
Eric Kayne for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:38 pm

Since the recent unrest in Ferguson, Mo., there have been a host of changes to the way the local police do business that are meant to prevent another incident like the shooting death of Michael Brown. Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed Dan Isom, an African-American, as the state's new public safety director.

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Code Switch
12:55 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

To Model Manhood, Immigrant Dads Draw From Two Worlds

Lindolfo Carballo, an immigrant from El Salvador, meets his son, Raynel, outside school. In El Salvador, he says, families often "teach their boys one thing and their girls differently." He's trying to set a different example for his children.
Sarah Tilotta for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 3:53 pm

Lindolfo Carballo knows there's a stereotype about men like him. He grew up in San Miguel, El Salvador, he says, in a male-dominant culture.

"I'm coming from a so-called 'machista' country, right? I mean, in this country, we all think that Latin America, in general, is where machismo is promoted," Carballo says.

In many families in Latin America, he adds, "parents — fathers and even mothers — teach their kids that men are to be served by their sisters."

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Code Switch
11:00 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Native American Artists Reclaim Images That Represent Them

Jason Lujan "re-contextualizes" the word 'Apache' in his art.
Jason Lujan

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 3:59 pm

There's been a lot of discussion about the name of a certain Washington football team — with lawsuits arguing that it is disparaging, and media outlets choosing not to use it in their content.

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Code Switch
9:09 am
Sun August 31, 2014

How 'Sassy' Came To Mean Something Both Sweet And Sour

Jazz singer and pianist Sarah Vaughan reportedly earned the nickname "Sassy," from pianist John Malachi. Apparently she liked it.
AFP/Getty Images

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Code Switch
9:25 am
Sat August 30, 2014

How Are Different Asian-American Groups Faring Economically?

J.D. Hancock

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:54 am

The United States Department of Labor recently published a report with a detailed breakdown of the different economic outcomes that various Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have faced.

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Code Switch
8:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Photographer Captures The Often-Overlooked 'Aunty' Couture

Poonam Aunty
Meera Sethi Upping the Aunty

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:07 pm

"Ugh, she dresses like SUCH an aunty!" is usually not something you'd want to hear about your style, if you're South Asian.

An "aunty" or "aunty-ji" (depending on where you want to fall on the graph of respect and familiarity) is what you call a lady roughly around your mother's age. So, the family friend who has seen you grow up, your mom's co-worker, the lady next to you in the grocery line or the nosy neighbor whose questions about your love life you endure because she makes a killer biryani — they all qualify.

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Code Switch
8:04 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt

The Rev. Willis Johnson (left), pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, speaks to the Rev. Michele Shumake-Keller after the panel discussion in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday. Johnson said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:13 am

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

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Code Switch
3:58 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Michel Martin Goes #BeyondFerguson

A demonstrator raises his arms before police officers move in to arrest him on Aug. 19 in Ferguson, Mo.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 11:15 am

We are in Ferguson, Mo., at Wellspring Church to hear from the community in the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Together with St. Louis Public Radio, we are also hosting a Twitter chat using #BeyondFerguson. This is an opportunity to share your reactions, ideas and frustrations, as well as talk about ways to move forward. (Scroll down to see participants.)

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Code Switch
3:23 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Sexist Depictions Of Latinas Aren't Just A Hollywood Thing

Sofía Vergara in Modern Family.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 4:54 pm

After Sofía Vergara's controversial appearance at the 2014 Emmy Awards, we wanted to see more perspectives exploring the cultural dimensions of the controversy. You can read Juan Vidal's reaction here. Here's a response from contributor Daisy Hernandez.

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Code Switch
3:18 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Controversy Over Sofía Vergara Obscures An Industry's Failings

Sofía Vergara and Television Academy CEO Bruce Rosenblum enact the notorious pedestal stunt at the 2014 Emmy Awards.
Vince Bucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:24 pm

After Sofía Vergara's controversial appearance at the 2014 Emmy Awards, we wanted to see more perspectives exploring the cultural dimensions of the controversy. Make sure to read Daisy Hernandez's reaction. Here's a response from contributor Juan Vidal.

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Code Switch
12:19 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Springfield Performs ‘The Mikado’ – Is It Racist?

Actors in The Hoogland's version of The Mikado
Credit Courtesy of The Hoogland Center for the Arts

Putting on older theater productions can be a dilemma for those who want to preserve the art in its original form. Some production groups may decide to reinvent pieces that could be seen as problematic in modern times. An operetta currently being performed in Springfield by local actors has sparked controversy for what many consider to be racist qualities.

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Code Switch
2:42 am
Thu August 28, 2014

How The 'Kung Fu Fighting' Melody Came To Represent Asia

Carl Douglas strikes a pose as he promotes his 1974 song, "Kung Fu Fighting."
Michael Putland Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 8:33 am

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Code Switch
4:29 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Which Outlets Aren't Calling The Redskins 'The Redskins'? A Short History

Many Native American groups have called for the Redskins to change its name, which is an old slur for American Indians.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:56 am

Football season is upon us once more, which means another year of swirling debate around just what to do about the Washington Redskins' name.

Now, the Redskins' hometown paper, The Washington Post, has waded into the fray: Its editorial board announced Friday that the nickname would no longer appear on its op-ed pages.

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Code Switch
8:59 am
Sun August 24, 2014

50 Years Before Ferguson, A Summer Of Riots Racked The U.S.

Police officers struggle with a man dripping wet from the blast of a fire hose during rioting in Rochester, N.Y., in 1964.
Dozier Mobley AP

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 11:02 am

Fifty years ago this summer — a half-century before the protests in Ferguson, Mo. — riots broke out in seven cities in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania, sparked by confrontations between black residents and their predominantly white police forces.

In Philadelphia, the violence began after dark, in late August.

"It was a hot day and just wasn't too much activity in the hood, as they say," remembers Kenneth Salaam, who was 15 years old in 1964.

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Code Switch
5:24 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police

Police officers and other first responders attend a 2012 autism information training session in Wrentham, Mass. Several cities are working to reduce the risk of miscommunication between police officers and people with autism.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 10:51 am

Lorraine Spencer has been watching the news from Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed by police, and worrying about her own son's safety. Jermaine is 16 years old and bi-racial, with a dark complexion. He also has autism and wants to be more independent, especially as he nears adulthood.

"It's my worst nightmare," she says. "I have the issue with him not understanding, possibly, a command to put your hands up or to get on the ground. So, yes, it's scary."

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Code Switch
5:08 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

To Pitbull's Fans Around The World, 'Dale' Is A Way Of Life

Cuban-American rapper Pitbull has popularized the Spanish expression "dale" among fans all over the world, including non-Spanish speakers.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 8:25 am

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NPR Story
3:56 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Emotional Distress A Worry As Kids Go Back To School In Ferguson

Children watch from their home in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday as people march to the police station to protest the shooting of Michael Brown. The school year was delayed in the St. Louis suburb amid protests, riots and looting in the wake of the police shooting. But classes are expected to start Monday.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:32 pm

This story is one that is meant to be heard. Click on the audio player above to give it a listen. (We have more radio stories from Ferguson that are worth a listen.)

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Code Switch
3:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

How To Sell Diverse Books: A Bookstore Owner's Advice

How should book sellers promote diverse content? Examine their biases, and get other folks to examine their biases, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 5:24 pm

This week we've been exploring the question of diversity in the publishing industry.

From the classrooms of M.F.A. writing programs to the corporate offices of the big Manhattan publishers, NPR's Lynn Neary has reported on why there is an absence of people of color across the industry. Publishers agree that as the country's readers become more diverse, reflecting a diverse readership is increasingly becoming smart business for those who make and sell books.

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Code Switch
12:17 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Sleepy Road Near Our National Conversation On Race

Linda Owen takes a photo of her husband, Al, in front of Ferguson Brewing Co. near the city's historic district. The couple are from an unincorporated section of St. Louis County and were visiting Ferguson. They don't get down to West Florissant much anymore, although Linda, a retired teacher, has former students who live there and said she worries about how they're doing.
Eric Kayne for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:25 pm

On television, it's hard to get a sense of just how small the stretch of West Florissant Avenue — the thoroughfare in Ferguson, Mo., that's drawn international attention after the killing of Michael Brown — really is.

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Code Switch
9:18 am
Thu August 21, 2014

An Officer Shot A Black Teen, And St. Louis Rioted — In 1962

News outlets in 1962 paired this image of injured police officers with a story about the aftermath of a riot in a St. Louis suburb.
Proquest Historical Newspapers Archive

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:34 am

Amid the flurry of coverage about Michael Brown's death and the reaction in Ferguson, Mo., journalists have been unpacking St. Louis' long, tense history of racial unrest. In some of these stories, the parallels between the events of years past and those of the past few weeks are striking.

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Code Switch
3:52 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence

Author Junot Diaz says the publishing industry must have uncomfortable conversations about diversity. The alternative, he believes, is "utter, agonizing silence."
Rick Reinhard Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:30 pm

Last spring, a group calling itself We Need Diverse Books launched a Twitter campaign to press for greater diversity in children's books. Writer Daniel José Older supports the campaign, but he doesn't think it goes far enough.

"We need diverse agents, we need editors, we need diverse book buyers, we need diverse illustrators, and we need diverse executives and CEOs at the top, too."

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Code Switch
11:35 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Two Miles From Protests, Residents Want Calm To Return To Ferguson

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