NPR’s Not-So-Black-And-White Race Series

When regular listeners of NPR turn on the radio there’s a relatively high chance they’re going to hear about something they’ve never heard before. Like an extensive story about the creation and evolution of the Barbie doll.

NPR is taking that classic approach and putting it toward race in America. On Monday the radio network launched its “Code Switch” series, an in-depth look at the changing demographics in America. The multimedia project includes the NPR blog “Code Switch,” and on-air on “All Things Considered,” “Talk of the Nation” and “Tell Me More.” The series ends Friday.

Whereas most publications say “race” and mean “black and white,” NPR’s Code Switch series looks at more than that. Subjects include… code switching, the racially universal technique in which people change the way they talk depending on who their audience is; the emergence of Korean-American rappers and “the subject of forming and trying on ethnic identities,” according to a release. “Trying on ethnic identities” is the tendency to adapt when faced with different cultures and ethnicities.

The series is headed up by NPR’s Gene Demby, joined by Matt Thompson, Shereen Marisol Merajiwith, Karen Grigsby Bates, Hansi Lo Wang, Katelin Chow, and Luis Clemens.