Rohulamin Quander's ancestors were slaves.

However, unlike a majority of the enslaved population, Sucky Bay and Nancy Carter Quander served George and Martha Washington, the first First Family, and worked on their Mount Vernon farms.

Now, hundreds of years after they worked as spinners on the estate's River Farm, Sucky Bay, Carter Quander and the rest of the 317 slaves who inhabited Mount Vernon are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Kalena Bowler remembers exactly where she was during Barack Obama's first presidential inauguration: at work. "I was the only Black person in the entire pre-production room."

This week, the Code Switch team tackled this question: What do you do when a friend, loved one or stranger makes a comment that falls somewhere on the racism spectrum? On the blog and on the podcast, we and friends of Code Switch shared stories about those uncomfortable moments and how we reacted.

When the test scores came out, Lucas Siqueira, 27, was really excited. His high mark on the Foreign Service exam earned him a coveted position at Brazil's highly competitive Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"They hire 30 diplomats a year and thousands of people sign up," he says in fluent English from his home in the capital Brasilia.

It was, he says, a great day.

Siqueira considers himself to be mixed race, known in Brazil as pardo, or brown.

More Black Families Are Opting To Homeschool

Sep 26, 2016

Homeschooling entered the mainstream in the 1980s and was led largely by white evangelical Christians. Today, the U.S Department of Education says approximately 1.7 million students in the U.S are homeschooled—more than 84,000 of them in Florida.

The fastest growing demographic choosing to leave traditional schools behind are African-Americans.

Michelle Scott, 38, has been arrested at least five times from 2000 to 2007 in Florida, according to court records. Most of her charges stem from stealing cars or some other type of theft. Since her last arrest, Scott has struggled to pull her life together. The mom of a 12-year old boy and an adult daughter, Scott, who is black, struggles with depression, and currently lives in a homeless shelter working less than 20 hours a week as a housekeeper. Because of her criminal history, stable jobs and housing are hard to come by.

On the final night of the Republican National Convention last month, as Donald Trump formally accepted his party's nomination for president, my Code Switch co-host Shereen Marisol Meraji fired off a tweet about how unnerved she was watching Trump's address, with its angry denunciations of Muslims and Mexican immigrants.

"This speech is difficult to listen to as a Latina and an Iranian," she wrote. "So much fear-mongering."

What does it mean to be black in Russia?

Jul 14, 2016
Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Russians have watched shootings of and by police in the US — most recently in Baton Rouge, outside St. Paul and Dallas — with a mix of reactions.

Moscow reporter Charles Maynes says Russians are generally supportive of the victims of shootings — law enforcement and civilians — however in many cases the Russian government is fostering a different reaction.

“I think there is this sense of their own problems, and to distract from them [the Russian government] tends to celebrate some of America’s problems,” Maynes said.  

Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

Feb 4, 2016

  When people think of famous Latina women, Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara come to mind.

Not Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson.

Can Health Care Be Cured Of Racial Bias?

Aug 20, 2015

Jane Lazarre was pacing the hospital waiting room. Her son Khary, 18, had just had knee surgery, but the nurses weren't letting her in to see him.

"They told us he would be out of anesthesia in a few minutes," she remembers. "The minutes became an hour, the hour became two hours."

She and her husband called the surgeon in a panic. He said that Khary had come out of anesthesia violently — thrashing and flailing about. He told Lazarre that with most young people Khary's age, there wouldn't have been a problem. The doctors and nurses would have gently held him down.

If you want to get a sense of how complex racial identity is in Brazil, you should meet sisters Francine and Fernanda Gravina. Both have the same mother and father. Francine, 28, is blond with green eyes and white skin. She wouldn't look out of place in Iceland. But Fernanda, 23, has milk chocolate skin with coffee colored eyes and hair. Francine describes herself as white, whereas Fernanda says she's morena, or brown-skinned.

It's been nearly a year since a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year-old, in Ferguson, Mo. Since then, more deadly police encounters across the country have prompted anger, activism and reform.

Many of those incidents began with traffic stops — routine events that quickly turned deadly. And attorney Eric Broyles says that the risks for citizens are not distributed evenly.

A Hate Crime Haunts Jupiter And Its Latino Community

Jul 13, 2015
Maria Murriel / WLRN

JUPITER, FLA. -- Onesimo Lopez-Ramos immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala -- one of the most violent countries in the western hemisphere. But even living in the quiet town of Jupiter, Fla., at the northern end of Palm Beach County, he couldn't escape lethal brutality.

The 18-year-old Lopez-Ramos was killed this past April, allegedly by three young white men who said they were targeting immigrants -- or "Guat-hunting" as one of them told police afterward in a disturbing confession.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

Geetha Balakrishnan grew up in what she calls a “very white Australia.”

“I’m grateful for my education, but there are certain things you can’t explore in an environment where you’re the only person, or very few of you are from different backgrounds,” she says.

Alexia Fodere / El Nuevo Herald

The U.S. Census Bureau considers Hispanics an ethnic group only and not a racial group. But a growing number of Hispanics have urged the census to allow them to be defined as both - and a new survey out today gives them more ammunition.

The Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. has released a new report called “Multiracial in America.” As part of the study it examined how U.S. Hispanics view themselves in terms of race.