Gene Demby

Gene Demby is the lead blogger for NPR's Code Switch team.

Before coming to NPR, he served as the managing editor for Huffington Post's BlackVoices following its launch. He later covered politics.

Prior to that role he spent six years in various positions at The New York Times. While working for the Times in 2007, he started a blog about race, culture, politics and media called PostBourgie, which won the 2009 Black Weblog Award for Best News/Politics Site.

Demby is an avid runner, mainly because he wants to stay alive long enough to finally see the Sixers and Eagles win championships in their respective sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @GeeDee215.

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Code Switch
10:29 am
Tue August 20, 2013

The Dream 9 Pushes The Envelope (And Their Allies' Buttons)

The immigration activists known as the Dream 9 were arrested after attempting to re-enter the United States.
Samantha Sais AP

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 3:11 pm

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.

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Code Switch
8:01 pm
Sat August 17, 2013

Hip-Hop Enters Middle Age

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 8:10 pm

Hip-hop's Big Bang exploded four decades ago this week at a party that Kool Herc threw at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx, N.Y. The legend goes that this was the first time someone had ever scratched turntables while an MC rhymed over a breakbeat.

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Code Switch
4:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

For a Stop-And-Frisk Plaintiff, A 'Heartbreaking' Birthday

Nicholas Peart, far left, was stopped by police on his 18th birthday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 12:54 pm

Not long ago, we wrote about The Talk, the conversation that many young men of color get from their parents about how to manage being seen as suspicious and navigate fraught encounters with police officers. It's why Nicholas Peart's story resonated with us. Peart, who lives in Harlem, was one of the plaintiffs in New York City's big stop-and-frisk case.

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Race
3:11 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Read The Most Important Bits From NYC's Stop-And-Frisk Ruling

U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled New York City's stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional, and said the practice, as applied, unfairly targeted blacks and Latinos.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:33 pm

Judge Shira Scheindlin has earned a reputation 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.

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Code Switch
7:08 am
Tue August 13, 2013

How Would You Kill The N-Word?

In 2007, the NAACP held a mock burial for the N-word to symbolize its campaign to stamp out the word's usage. But it's proved to be a hardy foe.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 9:10 am

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.

NOTE TO READERS: 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

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Code Switch
9:22 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Steve King Doubles Down

King said that most immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border "weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 6:55 pm

Last week, a group of young people who'd been deported to Mexico made a big show of their ultimately futile attempt to re-enter the United States. They were pushing for legislation nicknamed the DREAM Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people who were brought to the United States when they were very young.

But Steve King, a longtime Republican representative from Iowa and an outspoken opponent of immigration reform, wasn't having it.

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Code Switch
7:11 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

The Talk: What Did You Tell Your Kids After The Zimmerman Verdict?

Demonstrators gather outside the Seminole County Courthouse Saturday in Sanford, Fla. The verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman was announced late that night.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:10 am

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Who Will Be Our First Fake Latina President?

There have been more black Hollywood presidents — see Jamie Foxx, above — than there have been real-life black U.S. senators. WOMP.
Reiner Bajo Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 10:59 am

Jamie Foxx is Hollywood's latest black president.

In White House Down, 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 points out, this is at least the third time that director Roland Emmerich has laid waste to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.)

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Code Switch
9:11 pm
Sat June 22, 2013

LeBron James — 'Up, Up And Away'

LeBron James could win his second NBA title tonight, but his cartoonish abilities are constantly overshadowed by a certain retired Chicago Bull.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 11:14 am

LeBron James is Superman to Michael Jordan's Lex Luthor.

That's going to sound blasphemous, but more than the San Antonio Spurs, whom he faces for all of the marbles in tonight's NBA finals, or any other team he might face in the future, James' biggest foil is actually Michael Jordan, The Greatest Basketball Player Ever.™

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Code Switch
11:12 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

For People Of Color, A Housing Market Partially Hidden From View

Barriers to housing are a major reason for the disparity in household wealth between people of color and whites.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 5:53 pm

We've written before about the wealth gap between whites and people of color — a divide that's only grown wider over the past half decade. And since so much of Americans' household wealth is wrapped up in homes, a significant amount of that wealth gap has been chalked up to an array of barriers to homeownership for people of color.

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