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
2:28 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

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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Code Switch
12:06 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

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

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

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

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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Code Switch
12:01 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

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

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

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

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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Code Switch
1:52 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Ben Affleck (Kinda) Apologizes For Asking PBS Program To Hide Slave-Owning Ancestor

"We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery," Affleck wrote.
John Shearer AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:09 am

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Code Switch
6:32 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

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

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

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

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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Code Switch
2:30 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Takeaways From The Federal Report On Deadly Force By Philadelphia Cops

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

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

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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Code Switch
12:22 pm
Wed March 11, 2015

Earl Lloyd Was Basketball's Jackie Robinson. Why Isn't He Famous?

Earl Lloyd of the Syracuse Nationals poses for a portrait circa 1950 in Syracuse, N.Y.
The Stevenson Collection/NBAE Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 1:55 pm

Jackie Robinson is a household name, a book report staple, an American hero. News of his 1947 debut in the major leagues appeared on the front page of the New York Times, above the fold. Fifty years after he first took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, teams across the MLB held moments of silence on the field, and the league's commissioner retired Robinson's number across baseball.

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Code Switch
4:12 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Supreme Court Looks At Abercrombie & Fitch's Hijab Discrimination Case

Samantha Elauf was not hired by the preppy retailer Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a headscarf during her job interview, which the company said conflicted with its dress code.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 8:27 pm

A closely watched case before the Supreme Court Wednesday could have big consequences for religious rights in the workplace. It involves Abercrombie & Fitch, the preppy, mall-based retailer, and a young Muslim woman who wore a headscarf to a job interview at the company seven years ago.

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Code Switch
5:04 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Lots Of Confusion Over Teacher Firings At Howard University Middle School

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

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

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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Code Switch
2:00 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

What Research Says About The Consequences Of PC Culture

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

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

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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