Gene Demby

Gene Demby appears in the following:

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

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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 ...


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

Friday, June 26, 2015

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 ...


Is The Millennial Generation's Racial Tolerance Overstated?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dylann Roof, the white man accused of the deadly church shooting, is 21-- making him a millennial. That generation is often pointed to as a harbinger of U.S. future racial diversity and tolerance.


Dylann Roof And The Stubborn Myth Of The Colorblind Millennial

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The young age of Dylann Roof, who's charged with sitting alongside nine black churchgoers for an hour before standing up and shooting them dead, is sure to inspire some head-scratching in the wake of his attack. He's 21, which means he's a millennial, which means he's not supposed to be ...


Who Gets To Be Black? Honor The Struggle, But Don't Forget The Jokes

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The story of Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who has been living as a black woman, offers a 20-in-1 construction kit of ways to be offended. A popular one is the seemingly unimpeachable complaint that Dolezal hasn't paid her dues: She didn't grow up black, in a black family or ...


Should Rachel Dolezal's Story Change How We Think About Race?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rachel Dolezal has stepped down as the president of Spokane's chapter of the NAACP. But the discussion about race and identity sparked by her story continues.


The Rachel Dolezal Case Challenges The Definition Of Race

Sunday, June 14, 2015

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Coping With Calamity In Shimmering 'Cathedral'

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Back when I was losing sleep over various scenarios that could befall my aging parents, a friend would try to calm me with assurances that at most one of those things would happen, so they weren't worth worrying about in advance.

This came to mind as I read Kate Walbert's ...


Who Gets To Hang Out At The Pool?

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

It was an ugly scene. A fight broke out at a pool party in a McKinney, Texas, subdivision on Friday, allegedly after a white resident told a group of black teenagers to "go back to their Section 8 housing." Local cops show up in force. At some point, a ...


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

Friday, May 22, 2015

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:

"The words 'outlaw' and 'biker,' while pejorative to some, still evoke a certain romanticism ...


Who Remembers the MOVE Bombing?

Friday, May 22, 2015

In 1985, Philadelphia police bombed a city block and killed 11 people. This month, NPR's Gene Demby reported on the anniversary and discovered much of his audience had never heard of it.

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Why Have So Many People Never Heard Of The MOVE Bombing?

Monday, May 18, 2015

After my stories last week on the 30th anniversary of the MOVE siege in West Philadelphia in 1985, in which Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on a residential neighborhood, leaving 11 dead — including five children — we were surprised by how many people told us they'd never heard ...


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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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 ...


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

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Philadelphia native Gene Demby was 4 years old when city police dropped a bomb on a house of black activists in his hometown. Thirty years later, he's still trying to make sense of it all.


Baltimore's Marilyn Mosby Introduces Plot Twist With Surprise Charges Against Cops

Friday, May 01, 2015

It was a few days after the funeral for Freddie Gray, and the Baltimore streets that had exploded into violence this week had mostly calmed down.

But Lester Davis, a top aide to a Baltimore councilmember, told me that there were real, lingering concerns among the city's elected officials and ...


Councilman's Star Rises Fast Amid Baltimore Unrest

Thursday, April 30, 2015

It's really hard to catch up with Nick Mosby.

The young Baltimore Democrat walks fast, which I discovered when I finally managed to catch up with him. It was early Wednesday afternoon, and Mosby was in the lunchroom of Carver Vocational-Technical High School in West Baltimore, fresh from a ...


Chris Rock On The Whiteness Of Baseball: 'Baseball Should Be Terrified'

Thursday, April 23, 2015

On the most recent episode of HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Chris Rock talked about the loneliness of being a black baseball fan in 2015, at a time when less than 10 percent of baseball's players and fans are black.

"Last year, the San Francisco Giants won it ...


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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Academy Award-winning actor has been at the center of media storm after the release of hacked emails show that he asked a TV show about genealogy to avoid mentioning an ancestor who owned slaves.


It Took Two Centuries, But The Native Hawaiian Population May Be Bouncing Back

Saturday, April 18, 2015

In 1778, the British explorer Capt. James Cook became probably the first European to encounter the Hawaiian Islands. Things got really ugly, really fast: Not too long after their first encounter, Cook died in a skirmish with the Native Hawaiian population in which dozens of Natives were killed.

While ...


Some Key Facts We've Learned About Police Shootings Over The Past Year

Monday, April 13, 2015

We've done a lot of writing and reporting at Code Switch over the past year on deadly police shootings of unarmed black people, cases that have become such a part of our landscape that they have a tendency to melt into each other. Indeed, sometimes the pattern of facts seems ...