453 episodes

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.Want to level up your Code Switch game? Try Code Switch Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/codeswitch

Code Switch Code Switch

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 14K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

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.Want to level up your Code Switch game? Try Code Switch Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/codeswitch

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Why menthol cigarettes have a chokehold on Black smokers

    Why menthol cigarettes have a chokehold on Black smokers

    In the U.S., flavored cigarettes have been banned since 2009, with one glaring exception: menthols. That exception was supposed to go away in 2023, but the Biden administration quietly delayed the ban on menthols. Why? Well, an estimated 85 percent of Black smokers smoke menthols — and some (potentially suspect) polls have indicated that a ban on menthols would chill Biden's support among Black people. Of course, it's more complicated than that. The story of menthol cigarettes is tied up in policing, advertising, influencer-culture, and the weaponization of race and gender studies. Oh, and a real-life Black superhero named Mandrake the Magician.

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    • 35 min
    Before the apps, people used newspapers to find love

    Before the apps, people used newspapers to find love

    To celebrate the history of Black romance, Gene and Parker are joined by reporter Nichole Hill to explore the 1937 equivalent of dating apps — the personals section of one of D.C.'s Black newspapers. Parker attempts to match with a Depression-era bachelor, and along the way we learn about what love meant two generations removed from slavery.

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    • 37 min
    How college footballers led the fight against racism in 1969

    How college footballers led the fight against racism in 1969

    It's 1969 at the University of Wyoming, where college football is treated like a second religion. But after racist treatment at an away game, 14 Black players decide to take a stand, and are hit with life-changing consequences. From our play cousins across the pond, our own B.A. Parker hosts the BBC World Service's Amazing Sport Stories: The Black 14. Listen to the rest of the series wherever you get your podcasts.

    *This episode contains lived experiences which involve the use of strong racist language.

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    • 32 min
    What it's like to be a Black woman with bipolar disorder

    What it's like to be a Black woman with bipolar disorder

    "Three springs ago, I lost the better part of my mind," Naomi Jackson wrote in an essay for Harper's Magazine. On this episode, Jackson shares her experience with biopolar disorder. She talks about how she's had to decipher what fears stem from her illness and which are backed by the history of racism.

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    • 29 min
    Taylor Swift and the unbearable whiteness of girlhood

    Taylor Swift and the unbearable whiteness of girlhood

    Taylor Swift has become an American icon, (and she's got the awards, sales, and accolades to prove it.) With that status, she's often been celebrated as someone whose music is authentically representing the interior lives of young women and adolescent girls. On this episode, we're asking: Why? What is it about Swift's persona — and her fandom — that feels so deeply connected to girlhood? And, because this is Code Switch, what does all of that have to do with race?

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    • 35 min
    A former church girl's search for a new spiritual home

    A former church girl's search for a new spiritual home

    After leaving the Pentecostal Church, reporter Jess Alvarenga has been searching for a new spiritual home. They take us on their journey to find spirituality that includes the dining room dungeon of a dominatrix, Buddhist monks taking magic mushrooms and the pulpit of a Pentecostal church. This episode is a collaboration with our friends at LAist Studios. Special thanks to the Ferriss, UC Berkeley's Psychedelic Journalism program for their support.

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    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
14K Ratings

14K Ratings

Injeel H ,

Code Switch: The Black 14

Absolutely amazing. Football is my thing! Has been all my life. As a player, coach, student and historian of the game, this is a story I never knew. Thank you BA Parker and the whole team for bringing this piece of history to the world.
Moreover, thank you to all the hosts and team for the amazing work you do with the Code Switch podcast. Your excellent work on a myriad of subjects is vitally necessary and so appreciated!

Keep doing what you’re doing! We hear you and thank you!

JuicyJ_NY ,

B.A. Parker Sta

I’m here for all B.A. Parker journalism. She’s so authentic and unique. Her storytelling leaves you wanting more.

JO Robinson1 ,

Very Enjoyable

I have enjoyed the show and topics of this show. I love the variety of the topics and subject matter and how informative it is.

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