Gene Demby at NPR’s ‘Code Switch’: As Our Demographics Change, Will Our Stories Follow?

NPR's new race-and-ethnicity team makes its debut with real talk about race, language, and the ways our kids will power their identities.

By Channing Kennedy Apr 16, 2013

Yesterday, NPR officially launched its new [‘Code Switch’]( blog, a team of folks dedicated to the evolving relationship between race and culture as it plays out in the headlines. And while they’ve been posting for a few days already — listen to their conversation about [Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s ‘Accidental Racist’ debacle]( — things got serious this morning with lead blogger Gene Demby’s inaugural multimedia longread for the site, the must-read 4,000-word ["When Our Kids Own America."]( Demby, who also runs the indispensable [](, lays out reporting from across the nation and the Internet, from communities where appropriation and gentrification can no longer be thought of as black-and-white. In talking with linguists and teenagers alike about everything from Macklemore on the Billboard charts to Egyptian protesters getting arrested for doing the Harlem Shake, the story is complicated at minimum.