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HBCUs are building a new prison-to-college pipeline

Stanley Andrisse says his 21-year-old self, who was once facing 20 years to life in prison, could never have imagined his life today: Andrisse is now an endocrinologist, scientist and professor at Howard University's College of Medicine. He has a Ph.D., an MBA, and a lab full of students who affectionately call him Dr. Stan. When he was 21, Stanley Andrisse hit rock bottom. "I was sitting in a courtroom […]

todayAugust 22, 2022

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‘Cheat Codes’ is the solo album Black Thought couldn’t have made until now

Black Thought and producer Danger Mouse define a new lane for the rapper on the collaborative album Cheat Codes. For many years, the Black Thought solo album felt like an imaginary object, long rumored yet never revealed. It went by several names — Masterpiece Theatre, The Talented Mr. Trotter — and had many soft launches. The Philly rapper born Tariq Trotter had of course already displayed his otherworldly dexterity as […]

todayAugust 18, 2022 4

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Nonwhite Americans are eating less meat. Vegan activists of color explain why

Toni Okamoto started Plant-Based on a Budget to show people how affordable plant-based eating can be. Toni Okamoto Toni Okamoto became overwhelmed with frustration after she watched family members suffer severe health consequences from the food they ate. Her aunt suffered multiple amputations from Type 2 diabetes prior to dying, and her grandfather had multiple heart attacks before dying in a bypass surgery. She also saw how their financial situations […]

todayJuly 4, 2022 14

Music

How Elizabeth Cotten’s music fueled the folk revival

Left-handed, Elizabeth Cotten turned the guitar so the bass strings were at the bottom, therefore "backwards." She used her thumb to play the melody and her fingers for the low notes. John Cohen, courtesy Deborah Bell, New York/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution As a Black woman playing fingerstyle guitar, Yasmin Williams has been hailed as a "hero for a new generation." She says she often felt like an anomaly- until […]

todayJune 30, 2022 10

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A Woman’s Rage: Songs About Being Fed Up

Some anniversaries are hard to celebrate. How should we greet the arrival of October, a year after the stories broke initiating the reckoning that soon became known as #MeToo? Since The New York Times and The New Yorker published their exposés — on Oct. 5 and Oct. 10 of last year, respectively — of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's long career as an alleged serial rapist, a new nationwide discussion has […]

todayJune 25, 2022 12 1

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Ravyn Lenae: Tiny Desk Concert

This year, NPR Music is celebrating Black Music Month with an array of brand new Tiny Desk concerts — both from home and from behind our beloved Desk. Together, these artists represent the past, present and future of Black music. This month of carefully curated shows is a celebration of Black artists expressing themselves in ways we've never seen before, and of the Tiny Desk's unique way of showcasing that […]

todayJune 22, 2022 13 1

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Poet Amanda Gorman celebrates the gift of Blackness for Juneteenth

Updated June 17, 2022 at 1:13 PM ET Amanda Gorman was the youngest inaugural poet when she read "The Hill We Climb" at President Joe Biden's inauguration in January 2021 at the age of 22.Danny Williams/Sun Literary Arts Growing up in Los Angeles, Amanda Gorman's family would mark Juneteenth by going to an African American history museum or celebrating and reflecting with her church and community. For the second year, the U.S. […]

todayJune 18, 2022 12

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Chef Nicole A. Taylor talks red birds, red drink, and Juneteenth

2022 is the second year Juneteenth is being observed as a federal holiday — so it's ripe to become another part of the American summer calendar, like Memorial Day and July 4th and Labor Day. Translation? A day for mattress sales, limited edition merchandise, copious drinking and – if you're lucky – an actual day off work. But here on Code Switch, we are big fans of acknowledging actual history. […]

todayJune 18, 2022 11

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Songs to believe in: A Juneteenth playlist

USA. New York City. 1987. Harlem street scene. Child playing in an abandoned car.© Eli Reed/Magnum Photos This Juneteenth, I'm finding it hard to celebrate. It's hard to reflect on freedom in this deafening swell of discord, this crescendo of threats to our most basic human and civil rights. It's hard to stand upright in this storm of unending violence, to find footing on ground riven by such deep and […]

todayJune 17, 2022 12 2

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