Gene Demby

Gene Demby appears in the following:

Buffalo Abandoned Homes Selling For $1

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Like many cities, Buffalo, New York, is facing a glut of abandoned homes and lots. There are roughly 16,000 vacant lots and 4,500 vacant homes throughout the city.

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1. They’re calling it the Urban Homestead Program. The program ...

Comments [3]

Code Switch Roundup: On Race, Policing And Ferguson

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Over the past week, much of the nation's attention has been trained on the town of Ferguson, Mo., following an incident there in which a police officer shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown. Like similar stories, the Michael Brown shooting has become a flashpoint for conversations about race ...


For People Of Color, Relationships With Police Are Complicated

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tensions in Ferguson, Mo., have become a flashpoint in an ongoing national conversation about race and police tactics. Depending on their race, people may have different relationships with police.


'Are You, Like, African-AMERICAN Or AFRICAN-American?'

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Over at NewsOne, Donovan X. Ramsey contrasted two approaches President Obama has taken with black audiences: 1) the finger-wagging, pull-up-your-pants approach that he often takes with African-Americans, like the graduates at all-male Morehouse College ("We've got no time for excuses ... nobody is going to give you anything you ...


Art From Death: Taxidermy As A Creative Hobby

Saturday, August 09, 2014

First it was knitting; then came excessive facial grooming, vegan baking and urban beekeeping. You thought hipster hobbies couldn't get weirder? Brace yourself.

Now think: taxidermy. From DIY stuffing kits to workshops and homemade skull jewelry, this old craft is getting a revival from the hands of artists, designers and ...


In Chicago, Neighborhoods That Are More Black Don't Gentrify

Friday, August 08, 2014

So here's one way folks tend to think about gentrification in big cities: Poorer (therefore: browner) neighborhood becomes more attractive to folks of more means (therefore: whiter) who are in search of lower housing costs. As more and more better-off folks move in, new amenities and fresh investment follow. And ...


A State Court Says Rap Lyrics Can't Be Used As Evidence In A Criminal Trial

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Just a few days ago, Code Switch wrote about the use violent hip-hop lyrics as evidence in criminal cases, a practice that some critics say violates defendants' First Amendment rights and plays up jurors' misunderstandings of the use of hyperbole in hip-hop.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of ...


What We See In The Eric Garner Video, And What We Don't

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The rough grooves of the Eric Garner story probably feel familiar to lots of folks by now: an unarmed black man dies after an encounter with the police, agitating old tensions between residents and the officers who patrol their neighborhoods.

The Garner case is already rippling out into ...


Code Switch Roundup: Big Stories On Race And Criminal Justice

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The past few days have brought a whole lot of important (and pretty sobering) news around race and policing. Here are some of the biggest stories that have landed on our radar.

Three-quarters of all stops by Newark police deemed unconstitutional

The tensions between residents and the police in ...


Americans Really Like Jews. Muslims And Atheists? Not So Much.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Late last week, the Pew Research And Public Life Project dropped a fascinating new survey on Americans' feelings toward different religious groups.

The pollsters used a "thermometer" that went up to 100 for respondents to plot just how warmly they felt toward different communities. They deemed a rating of ...


Study Reveals Worse Outcomes For Black And Latino Defendants

Thursday, July 17, 2014

There are a lot of steps that come between an arrest and a conviction, and between conviction and sentencing. And throughout that winding process, a prosecutor's decisions carry enormous weight.

Does the prosecutor accept the case? Does she have the defendant jailed before trial? Is a plea bargain offered to ...


The George Zimmerman Trial, One Year Later

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

George Zimmerman's trial for killing Trayvon Martin became a flashpoint for raucous, heated debates — conversations about racial profiling, gun laws and the criminal justice system. Zimmerman's acquittal was seen by many as an outrage, but any outcome would have been unsatisfying for many people, since criminal trials are ...


Kerry Cites Progress In Iran Nuclear Talks But Says Gaps Remain

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Update at 11:59 p.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is returning to Washington today to brief President Obama on talks with Iran about its nuclear program, and about the possible need to extend negotiations past a July 20 deadline.

NPR's Peter Kenyon, who is reporting on the talks ...


What We Talk About When We Talk About Violence In Chicago

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We have a default template for the way we process mass shootings. We scour through every available scrap of the perpetrators' interior lives – Facebook postings, YouTube videos, interviews with former roommates — to try to find out what drove them to kill. The sites of the massacres become a ...


Dress Codes Are Open To Interpretation — And A Lot Of Contention

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Minneapolis nightspot called Bar Louie landed in the news after some local residents took issue with its new dress code.

No flat-billed hats. No long white T-shirts. No large chains. No sleeveless under shirts. No athletic apparel. No sports jerseys without collars. No excessively baggy clothing.

(Either Bar ...


The Elusive Dave Chappelle Re-Emerges, But For How Long?

Friday, June 27, 2014

The comedy superstar has been headlining a series of sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall. His routine was a reminder of a singular perspective on race that vanished when he went on hiatus.


A Latino Political Machine Dawns In Harlem. (Well, Not Yet. Soon. Maybe)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

People have been waiting for Latinos to supplant blacks at the top of Upper Manhattan's political structure for some time. They're still waiting.

Back in 2012, Adriano Espaillat, the state senator who represents much of the West Side of Manhattan — including the heavily Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights — ...


Some Of Us Sacrifice More To Stay In Home Sweet Home

Saturday, June 21, 2014

If it seems like we talk about housing a lot on Code Switch, it's because we do. But the fact is it's really hard to talk about all the ways race correlates to different outcomes — in health or education, say— without talking about where people live. Take household wealth, ...


Cute Middle-Schoolers Make A Hit. Cue The Drama

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Y.N. RichKids, that crew of school-age rappers from Minneapolis, just dropped another age-appropriate banger called "The Business." Like their previous songs — they were also back last year with a minor hit called "My Bike" — "The Business" is slickly produced and thoroughly unthreatening. (Sample lyric: Don't worry ...


On The Census, Who Checks 'Hispanic,' Who Checks 'White,' And Why

Monday, June 16, 2014

We've been talking a lot lately about how who fills out the Census in what way. It's an ongoing preoccupation of Code Switch, and one shared by Julie Dowling. Dowling, a University of Illinois sociologist, whose book, Mexican Americans and the Question of Race, came out earlier this ...