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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1:07pm

Wed July 29, 2015
Code Switch

On Wyatt Cenac, 'Key & Peele,' And Being The Only One In The Room

Onstage at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Last week, the Internet exploded after an episode of the WTF! Podcast with Marc Maron went online. The guest was the comedian Wyatt Cenac, who talked about being a writer and correspondent on The Daily Show for several years. He recalled getting into a heated argument with Jon Stewart, the show's host, over Stewart's impression of Herman Cain, which Cenac had found troubling:

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10:53am

Tue July 14, 2015
Code Switch

When The 'Heritage' In 'Heritage Not Hate' Is More Skynyrd Than Stonewall Jackson

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 5:35 pm

A man displays a Confederate flag tattoo as he participates in a rally to show support for the American and Confederate flags on July 11 in Loxahatchee, Fla. Organizers of the rally said that after the Confederate flag was removed from South Carolina's Statehouse, it reinforced their need to show support for the Confederate flag, which some feel is under attack.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Friday's ceremony to remove the Confederate battle flag from South Carolina's state Capitol grounds was scored by loud cheers and applause from the huge, largely black crowd who came to see it off. The contrast between the cheers and the official pomp — marching soldiers in dress grays funereally handling the furled flag — was yet another example of the wildly divergent orientations people have toward the Confederate flag.

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4:42pm

Fri June 26, 2015
Code Switch

'It's Like Having A Crazy Family Member': On Southern Black Folks And The Rebel Flag

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 1:30 pm

A Confederate flag is reflected in the window of a gift shop that sells them in Seligman, Ariz.
Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images

A few months ago, my girlfriend and I were driving south on Interstate 95 from D.C. to Richmond, Va., where we had tickets for a comedy show. On an otherwise nondescript stretch of highway not long into the drive, we were startled by the sight of an enormous Confederate flag billowing over the trees. It's hard to convey how huge this flag was; its bigness seemed to imply a middle finger.

We both reflexively broke out some blue exclamations, looking at each other like, "Is this for real?"

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6:44am

Mon June 22, 2015
Race

Is The Millennial Generation's Racial Tolerance Overstated?

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 9:32 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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2:28pm

Fri May 22, 2015
Code Switch

2 Biker Rallies: One White, One Black — One 'Badass,' The Other, Just 'Bad'

A biker leaves a biker bar in Murrells Inlet, S.C., in May 2012 after competing in a slow ride competition inside the bar. It was one of the events held during the annual Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Spring Rally in and around Myrtle Beach.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

In his column this week, Charles Blow of The New York Times broke down the difference between "bikers" and "thugs" in the wake of the deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas:

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12:06pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Code Switch

What It's Like Living On The Block That Philadelphia Bombed 30 Years Ago

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 1:20 pm

Connie and Gerald Renfrow outside their Osage Avenue home.
April Saul for NPR

Despite the fiery, complicated past of the 6200 block of Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia, Gerald Renfrow is bullish on its future.

He's one to know; he has lived here forever. His parents bought one of the bigger houses on the corner of 62nd and Osage Avenue and he grew up there. When it was time for him to buy his own home, he landed just up the block and raised his own kids there.

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12:01pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Code Switch

I'm From Philly. 30 Years Later, I'm Still Trying To Make Sense Of The MOVE Bombing

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 10:43 am

The neighborhood where the compound of the radical group MOVE was located.
Peter Morgan AP

Talk to some of the folks who lived through the bombing of 62nd and Osage Avenue in West Philadelphia 30 years ago, and you'll notice that they refer to the event by its full date. May 13, 1985.

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6:32pm

Fri April 3, 2015
Code Switch

Proposals To Diversify NYC's Top High Schools Would Do Little To Help, Study Finds

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 7:44 pm

Black and Latino students make up around 70 percent of the student population of New York City's public schools, but makeup a tiny percentage at the city's three elite specialized high schools.
New York City Department of Education

New York City's public school system is vast, with more than a million students spread across thousands of schools. And like the city itself, it's remarkably diverse — about 15 percent Asian, just under 30 percent black, about 40 percent Latino, and about 15 percent white, with all sorts of finer shadings of ethnicity, nationality and language in that mix.

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2:30pm

Wed March 25, 2015
Code Switch

Takeaways From The Federal Report On Deadly Force By Philadelphia Cops

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 6:55 pm

Two years ago, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called for a federal review of the city's police practices. Ramsey called for a similar federal inquiry during his tenure as Washington, D.C.'s police chief.
Matt Rourke AP

Even before the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., or the Eric Garner incident in New York City last summer, Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia's police commissioner, called on the federal government to look into how the officers in his department used force, and how their use of force might contribute to the department's often strained relationship with the city's residents.

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1:07pm

Mon March 2, 2015
Code Switch

In The South, Way More People Are Identifying As Both Black And White

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:40 pm

AP

The number of people who identify as belonging to two or more races keeps climbing with each Census. The number of people identified as both black and white, for example, more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, from about 780,000 to 1.8 million.

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5:07pm

Tue February 3, 2015
Code Switch

Lots Of Confusion Over Teacher Firings At Howard University Middle School

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:41 pm

Students protest outside Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science.
Victoria M. Walker Howard University

Updated on Feb. 4 at 12:30 p.m. ET: The board of directors for the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science issued a statement on the dismissal of three social studies teachers, indicating that the school is governed by an independent nonprofit organization and regulated by the D.C. Charter School Board. Its also confirms that three teachers resigned from the university effective Jan. 27. From the statement:

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1:18pm

Fri January 30, 2015
Code Switch

What Research Says About The Consequences Of PC Culture

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 3:32 pm

One of the most popular arguments against political correctness is that it stifles speech, but a Cornell study found that it boosted creativity in mixed-gender groups.
Tamir Kalifa AP

By now, you've surely seen Jonathan Chait's sprawling takedown of what he describes as a dangerous resurgence of political correctness in the 21st century. In his telling, a "PC culture" that flourished on college campuses in the '90s is back, stronger than ever thanks to Twitter and social media, and it's been crippling political discourse — and maybe even democracy itself.

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12:43pm

Sun January 18, 2015
Code Switch

King's Family Builds Its Own Legacy Of Legal Battles

Bernice King is in a protracted legal battle with her brothers over control of their father's bible and Nobel Peace Prize.
John Bazemore AP

At the end of Selma, the new movie about a pivotal campaign in the Civil Rights Movement, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (played by David Oyelowo) rises to address a crowd in front of a courthouse.

It's a recreation of the moment in which King gave one of his most well-known speeches: "How Long? Not Long." You know the one: "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

But as the scene goes on, none of the actual language from that speech shows up.

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10:02am

Fri October 31, 2014
Code Switch

The Creepiest Ghost And Monster Stories From Around The World

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 4:32 pm

Popobawa promo.
Phoebe Boswell for NPR

It's Halloween — a time for Frankenstein monsters and vampires and werewolves. But many of us have our own monsters from different cultures, and When we threw out a call to our readers asking what ghost stories and folktales they grew up with in their own traditions, we got back stories of creatures stalking the shadows of Latin American hallways and vengeful demons from South Asia with backwards feet. (And that's before we get to the were-hyenas and the infernal bathroom stalls.) Below are some of the best we've found or that were told to us from Code Switch readers.

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6:06am

Wed October 8, 2014
Race

Videos Of Deadly Police Encounters Grab The Media Spotlight, But Why?

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 1:26 pm

The casket of Michael Brown sits inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, awaiting the start of his funeral in August.
Robert Cohen AP

Editor's Note: In an earlier version of this story, we had two videos of encounters with the police. They contained graphic language and violence, so we've removed them from the story. If you still want to see them, we've included links.

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