A version of this review originally published on JEA's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion blog.
One of the key points in Zaretta Hammond's book Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain is that becoming a culturally responsive teacher means educating ourselves — immersing ourselves in diverse perspectives. One of my favorite ways to do this is to listen to podcasts hosted and produced by people too often marginalized in mainstream media.
NPR’s Code Switch started as a blog, which I read regularly, so I was absolutely thrilled when it morphed into a podcast four years ago. The very first episode, “Can we talk about Whiteness?” debuted May 31, 2016, and I’ve been a devoted listener ever since. I was thrilled when they rebranded this year: their new tagline (“Race. In Your Face”) reflects an unflinching willingness to ask those hard questions and talk about them openly. Co-hosts Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji blend stellar reporting with personal anecdotes; they have an easy camaraderie that gives the podcast warmth and humor, even when they are exploring some of the darkest and most troubling topics. They are experts, yet they freely admit questions about race and identity aren’t easily answered — one of the most common refrains on the show is “It’s complicated.”
“And though she be but little, she is fierce!” -A Midsummer Night’s Dream