Gene Demby http://wuis.org en Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race http://wuis.org/post/revisiting-pulitzer-nominees-touch-issues-race This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. Wed, 16 Apr 2014 13:32:00 +0000 Gene Demby 23117 at http://wuis.org Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race Step Behind Closed Doors And Into The LBJ Library's Time Machine http://wuis.org/post/step-behind-closed-doors-and-lbj-librarys-time-machine This week, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, <a href="http://www.civilrightssummit.org/">is holding a major conference on civil rights</a>. It's a big deal. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:22:00 +0000 Gene Demby 22720 at http://wuis.org Step Behind Closed Doors And Into The LBJ Library's Time Machine How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All http://wuis.org/post/how-stereotypes-explain-everything-and-nothing-all A few days ago,<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/04/02/297287958/why-arent-asian-americans-getting-their-one-shining-moment"> I wrote a post in which I was mulling just why so few Asian-Americans played</a> Division I basketball in the 2012-2013 season. The numbers were striking. Of the 5,380 men's players in the top tier of college basketball, only 15 were Asian-American. Asian-American ballers weren't just underrepresented. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:02:00 +0000 Gene Demby 22532 at http://wuis.org How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All Why Aren't Asian-Americans Getting Their 'One Shining Moment'? http://wuis.org/post/why-arent-asian-americans-getting-their-one-shining-moment While we were looking at some NCAA stats on student athletes for <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2014/03/27/295267672/poll-finds-big-racial-gap-on-compensating-college-athletes">a story last week</a>, we came across a couple of numbers that made our eyes bulge: of the 5,380 men's basketball players in Division I basketball last season, <a href="http://web1.ncaa.org/rgdSearch/exec/saSearch">only 15 were Asian-American</a>. <em>Fifteen</em>.<p>That's 0.2 percent of all men's players. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 22127 at http://wuis.org Why Aren't Asian-Americans Getting Their 'One Shining Moment'? Poll Finds Big Racial Gap On Compensating College Athletes http://wuis.org/post/poll-finds-big-racial-gap-compensating-college-athletes A decision yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board found <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/26/294885843/labor-board-rules-northwestern-players-are-employees">that football players at Northwestern University were, in effect, employees of their school</a>. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 18:23:00 +0000 Gene Demby 21763 at http://wuis.org Poll Finds Big Racial Gap On Compensating College Athletes Redskins' Team Owner Launches Program For Natives, Flotilla Of Side-Eyes http://wuis.org/post/redskins-team-owner-launches-program-natives-flotilla-side-eyes On Monday, Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins' polarizing owner, doubled down.<p>Snyder sent a letter to the team's fans in which he announced that he was starting a philanthropic project to aid Native American communities. He said he'd spent months traveling through Indian country, getting to know tribal leaders and becoming more cognizant of the challenges faced by many Native communities. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:51:00 +0000 Gene Demby 21593 at http://wuis.org Redskins' Team Owner Launches Program For Natives, Flotilla Of Side-Eyes Our Conversation On Race In 'World of Warcraft,' Unabridged http://wuis.org/post/our-conversation-race-world-warcraft-unabridged <a href="http://us.battle.net/wow/en/"><em>World of Warcraft</em> </a>is trying to reduce racial inequality. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:55:00 +0000 Gene Demby 20519 at http://wuis.org Our Conversation On Race In 'World of Warcraft,' Unabridged Remembering Buddy Esquire, The King Of Hip-Hop Flyers http://wuis.org/post/remembering-buddy-esquire-king-hip-hop-flyers 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.<p>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.<p>Some of the most important surviving documents from that period were the party flyers. Sat, 22 Feb 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 19487 at http://wuis.org Remembering Buddy Esquire, The King Of Hip-Hop Flyers Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage http://wuis.org/post/another-murder-case-florida-sparks-national-outrage The Michael Dunn case is of a type that we see with harrowing regularity. An unarmed black man is shot and killed by a police officer or a white person. The shooter says he felt threatened.<p>The way we talk about those cases follows a pattern, too. The conversation quickly becomes about politics, about race, and the messy intersection of the two. Stand Your Ground. Stop and Frisk. The War on Drugs. All these things snowball into each other, and while the trials of their shooters are about the particulars of their cases, they are also about all the other gruesome cases that came before them. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:58:00 +0000 Gene Demby 19255 at http://wuis.org Another Murder Case In Florida Sparks National Outrage Coke Ad Sparks Cries On Social Media To 'Speak English' http://wuis.org/post/coke-ad-sparks-cries-social-media-speak-english Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>At some point during tonight's opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, NBC will run a much-talked about television ad for Coca-Cola.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF AD)<p>UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Singing) Oh, beautiful, for spacious skies...<p>UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: (Singing in foreign language)<p>GREENE: This will be an extended version of the commercial that ran during the Super Bowl. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 10:27:00 +0000 Gene Demby 18491 at http://wuis.org Who Gets To Be A Superhero? Race And Identity In Comics http://wuis.org/post/who-gets-be-superhero-race-and-identity-comics The <em>X-Men</em> comic franchise has proven remarkably sturdy in the half-century since its launch. They've spawned dozens of animated series and four major Hollywood films with a fifth due out this summer. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 10:25:00 +0000 Gene Demby 16722 at http://wuis.org Who Gets To Be A Superhero? Race And Identity In Comics The Best Of Code Switch In 2013 http://wuis.org/post/best-code-switch-2013 <em>Everyone else is doing their year-end lists, and we didn't want to be left out. The Code Switch crew compiled our favorite and best-received coverage from the past year: a novel revisiting of a pivotal year a half century ago; attending homecoming at a historically black college that is now nearly all-white; and rounding up some alternately hilarious and excruciating stories our readers told us about race. </em><p><strong>When Our Kids Own America</strong><p>America's seismic demographic shifts is upending life in our suburbs, cities and our popular culture. Wed, 25 Dec 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 15696 at http://wuis.org The Best Of Code Switch In 2013 Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern? http://wuis.org/post/pathway-citizenship-right-concern Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.<p>That finding comes from a Pew report based on <a href="http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/12/19/on-immigration-policy-deportation-relief-seen-as-more-important-than-citizenship/">new surveys of Latinos and Asian-Americans</a>, who together make up about two-thirds of all the legal immigrants in the U.S. Thu, 19 Dec 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Gene Demby 15358 at http://wuis.org Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern? Immigrants Are Sending More Money Back To Less Poor Countries http://wuis.org/post/immigrants-are-sending-more-money-back-less-poor-countries More and more people are sending money from places like the United States to places like the Dominican Republic, according to <a href="http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/12/17/changing-patterns-of-global-migration-and-remittances/">a new analysis</a> from the Pew Research Center.<p>Last month, my blog mate Kat Chow wrote about <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/11/13/244986250/a-windfall-for-a-new-jersey-man-and-the-dominican-republic">a New Jersey lottery winner named Pedro Quezada</a> who sent a staggering $57 million of his winnings back to the Dominican Republic, where his Thu, 19 Dec 2013 14:35:00 +0000 Gene Demby 15335 at http://wuis.org Immigrants Are Sending More Money Back To Less Poor Countries Taking A Magnifying Glass To The Brown Faces In Medieval Art http://wuis.org/post/taking-magnifying-glass-brown-faces-medieval-art The Tumblr sounds a bit like a college course: <a href="http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/">People of Color in European Art History</a>.<p>And its goal is pretty ambitious. The blog's author, Malisha Dewalt, says that her goal is to challenge the common perception that pre-Enlightenment Europe was all white, which she argues is a much more recent and deliberate invention.<p>"All too often, these works go unseen in museums, Art History classes, online galleries, and other venues because of retroactive whitewashing of Medieval Europe, Scandinavia, and Asia," she writes. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 14916 at http://wuis.org Taking A Magnifying Glass To The Brown Faces In Medieval Art 'Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday' And Other Black Bons Mots http://wuis.org/post/go-shorty-its-your-birthday-and-other-black-bons-mots A press copy of a 3-pound book recently came over the wholly metaphorical Code Switch transom. It's called <em>Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations, </em>and it's kind of amazing.<p>On the face of it, the book might seem like an odd, unwieldy exercise. Jokey alternate titles for the book immediately presented themselves: <em>Black People Say the Darnedest Things;</em> <em>#%$! Black Folks Say;</em> <em>Bartlett's Big Book of Black-Ass Quotes</em>. I opened it half expecting to see some gems my aunts or cousins might have offered up. Wed, 20 Nov 2013 17:08:00 +0000 Gene Demby 13414 at http://wuis.org 'Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday' And Other Black Bons Mots Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food http://wuis.org/post/code-switch-roundup-status-symbols-sriracha-and-soul-food <em>Here are some things we've been musing on over the last few days. Share yours on Twitter or shout us out in the comments below.</em><p><strong>"We shine because they hate us/floss 'cuz they degrade us.</strong>" After two young, black customers accused the high-end retailer Barneys of racially profiling them after they made expensive purchases there, those customers themselves came in for criticism. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 17:09:00 +0000 Gene Demby 12081 at http://wuis.org Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'? http://wuis.org/post/when-will-we-stop-side-eyeing-relatives-who-dont-match Last week, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/25/240865629/roma-children-removals-make-us-wonder-what-family-looks-like">folks told us that that they found odd resonances in their lives</a> with the stories of several Roma children in Europe who'd separated from their families. Like those blond, blue-eyed Roma children in darker-skinned, dark-haired families, people said that their own familial bonds had occasionally come under suspicion from strangers, who thought there was a "racial mismatch" between parent and child. Tue, 29 Oct 2013 18:22:00 +0000 Gene Demby 11925 at http://wuis.org When Will We Stop Side-Eyeing Relatives Who Don't 'Match'? Ask Me Anything: On Bluefield State, America's Whitest Black College http://wuis.org/post/ask-me-anything-bluefield-state-americas-whitest-black-college On Monday, the folks over at Reddit were kind enough to have my colleague Shereen Marisol Meraji and me on to do an Ask Me Anything on <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/10/18/236345546/the-whitest-historically-black-college-in-america">our recent reporting on Bluefield State College in West Virginia</a>. Bluefield State is a historically black college, but today it's nearly 90 percent white.<p><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1owzcd/were_npr_journalists_who_just_reported_on_the/">Shereen and I took turns answering Redditors' questions</a>. Tue, 22 Oct 2013 18:23:00 +0000 Gene Demby 11457 at http://wuis.org Ask Me Anything: On Bluefield State, America's Whitest Black College Recent Findings Question State Support Of Black Colleges http://wuis.org/post/judge-says-maryland-promoted-separate-equal-colleges This week, a federal judge <a href="http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-08/news/bs-md-black-colleges-rulling-20131007_1_black-institutions-black-colleges-hbcus">found</a> that historically black colleges in Maryland were harmed when better-funded traditionally white institutions offered up the same degree programs in the state.<p>Tricia Bishop of <em>The Baltimore Sun</em> summed up the judge's ruling this way:<p><blockquote><p>"The 60-page opinion ... Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 10638 at http://wuis.org Recent Findings Question State Support Of Black Colleges Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty http://wuis.org/post/howards-president-steps-down-amid-tumult-and-uncertainty Is Howard University facing an existential crisis?<p>The Washington, D.C., institution, which is arguably the country's most prominent historically black university, has been buffeted by a tough economy and seeming dissent amongst its leadership. Tuesday, Sidney Ribeau, who'd been the university's president since 2008, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/howard-university-president-ribeau-retires/2013/10/01/8d2f4004-27ac-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html">announced he was stepping down</a> but maintained that Howard was in solid shape. Wed, 02 Oct 2013 20:50:00 +0000 Gene Demby 10128 at http://wuis.org Howard's President Steps Down Amid Tumult And Uncertainty What Parents Tell Their Kids About Race http://wuis.org/post/what-parents-tell-their-kids-about-race Like so much of the advice that parents give their children, conversations about race often say a great deal about the values parents hold most dear. And like so much other parental advice, kids are often keen to reject it outright — or remix it for themselves. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 16:10:00 +0000 Gene Demby 9704 at http://wuis.org What Parents Tell Their Kids About Race Who's Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle http://wuis.org/post/whos-really-left-out-crossfit-circle Last week, the headquarters for CrossFit, the popular — and polarizing — workout genre, shared an item on its Facebook page from a blog called Stuff Black People Don't Like.<p>And according to an <a href="http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2013/02/787-crossfit.html">entry from February</a> on the Stuff Black People Don't Like blog, CrossFit is anti-black:<p><blockquote><p>"Crossfit 'boxes' usually charge expensive membership fees and boast a mostly white clientele. A list of Crossfit Games champions and competitors reveals a veritable whitopia. Sun, 15 Sep 2013 20:26:00 +0000 Gene Demby 8926 at http://wuis.org Who's Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle New York Man Killed By Attacker In Possible Hate Crime http://wuis.org/post/new-york-man-killed-attacker-possible-hate-crime Jeffrey Babbitt <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/nyregion/friends-mourn-man-fatally-assaulted-in-union-square-park.html">was walking through Union Square last Wednesday</a>, near the Manhattan comic book store that he'd been going to for years, when he had a fatal chance encounter with a stranger.<p>The stranger was a man named <del>Lashawn Marten</del>Martin Redrick, who had a history of trouble with the law and had been living in a facility for homeless people with mental illnesses. Tue, 10 Sep 2013 19:36:00 +0000 Gene Demby 8657 at http://wuis.org New York Man Killed By Attacker In Possible Hate Crime The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons) http://wuis.org/post/dream-9-pushes-envelope-and-their-allies-buttons The national conversation around immigration has shifted dramatically over the past decade. That's in large part because of activists who have pushed to change the narrative around the undocumented.<p>"If you asked your typical soccer mom what she thought of an unauthorized immigrant, she says, 'Well, I think of Mexicans running across the border on Fox News,' " said Tamar Jacoby, who runs <a href="http://www.immigrationworksusa.org/">ImmigrationWorks USA</a>, a think tank that advocates for changes to immigration law. Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:29:00 +0000 Gene Demby 7566 at http://wuis.org The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons) Read The Most Important Bits From NYC's Stop-And-Frisk Ruling http://wuis.org/post/read-most-important-bits-big-stop-and-frisk-ruling Judge Shira Scheindlin <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/05/27/130527fa_fact_toobin">has earned a reputation</a> as an outspoken defender of civil liberties and a recurring foil for the New York City police. In her ruling in the closely watched stop-and-frisk case, Scheindlin criticized the police, and said the department discriminated against blacks and Latinos. She also said the police force has long ignored complaints about the way the tactic has been carried out. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:11:00 +0000 Gene Demby 7231 at http://wuis.org Read The Most Important Bits From NYC's Stop-And-Frisk Ruling How Would You Kill The N-Word? http://wuis.org/post/how-would-you-kill-n-word <em>We've decided to take a weekly 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. </em><strong></strong><p>NOTE TO READERS:<em> This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now</em><p>You can set your watch to it. Tue, 13 Aug 2013 12:08:00 +0000 Gene Demby 7203 at http://wuis.org How Would You Kill The N-Word? Who Will Be Our First Fake Latina President? http://wuis.org/post/who-will-be-our-first-fake-latina-president Jamie Foxx is Hollywood's latest black president.<p>In <em>White House Down</em>, which opened last Friday, Jamie Foxx plays the president of the United States, who teams up with a Capitol police officer, played by Channing Tatum, and battles terrorists who have taken over the White House. (As the A.V. Club <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/white-house-down,99467/">points out</a>, this is at least the third time that director Roland Emmerich has laid waste to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)<p>The list of black presidents in Hollywood is actually pretty long. Fri, 05 Jul 2013 11:03:00 +0000 Gene Demby 5264 at http://wuis.org Who Will Be Our First Fake Latina President? Jeah! We Mapped Out The 4 Basic Aspects Of Being A 'Bro' http://wuis.org/post/jeah-we-mapped-out-four-basic-aspects-being-bro <em>What up, bro? What's good, brah?</em><p>This is the chant of the bro, an equally parodied and celebrated genus of young men. (They've been designated "bros" mostly because, well, they say "bro" a whole lot.)<p>The usage of "bro" as a term of endearment isn't new, obviously. Fri, 21 Jun 2013 11:44:00 +0000 Gene Demby 4632 at http://wuis.org Jeah! We Mapped Out The 4 Basic Aspects Of Being A 'Bro' The Many Different Faces Of Marijuana In America http://wuis.org/post/many-different-faces-marijuana-america On Tuesday, Vermont moved to decriminalize the possession of marijuana for quantities up to an ounce, replacing potential prison time for arrests with fines.<p>Peter Shumlin, the state's governor, made a telling <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/vermont-moves-toward-decriminalizing-small-amounts-marijuana-185348721.html">distinction between weed and "harder" drugs</a> when he announced the move. Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:26:00 +0000 Gene Demby 4161 at http://wuis.org The Many Different Faces Of Marijuana In America