Gene Demby gives Black writers a voice with ‘PostBourgie,’ and more

Gene Demby Photo credit: Twitter — @GeeDee215

Gene Demby

NPR’s Code Switch

Hofstra University

Gene Demby is the podcast host and lead blogger for NPR’s Code Switch.The team of journalists of color are putting exploring stories that highlight the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, but with the idea of bringing in a broad audience.

“Many of us subtly, reflexively change the way we express ourselves all the time. We’re hop-scotching between different cultural and linguistic spaces and different parts of our own identities—sometimes within a single interaction,” Demby told Complex when the blog first launched in 2013.

The podcast, which launched a few months ago expands on Code Switch’s multi-platform approach to storytelling. Though it’s focus is on how race intersects with other facets of our society, Code Switch is for everyone.

“When you watch The Wire, you’re jumping around to all these different places, and maybe at first you don’t understand the jargon of the police, and you don’t understand the jargon of the corner boys. But you watch it, and you start to figure out what they mean. In context, things start to make sense,” Demby explained to the Nieman Lab.

The Path

Demby joined Code Switch from Huffington Post’s BlackVoices where he served as managing editor before covering politics there. He spent the previous six years at the New York Times where he was a news assistant and writer.


In 2007, Demby created a blog about race, culture, politics and media, which won the 2009 Black Weblog Award for Best News/Politics Site. PostBourgie amassed an impressive roster of contributors, including other YGB honorees BuzzFeed executive editor of news, Shani O. Hilton, and Another Round host, Tracy Clayton. “Even if you were working for traditional media, you didn’t have the opportunity to offer your perspective, to tell the unvarnished version of the truth that you see every day,” MTV’s Jamil Smith said the blog made space available for Black writers.

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