Derek Bridges

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

Alyssa Kapnik Portraiture

We are always adjusting the way we sound. It especially depends on the social situation we are in. Linguists call it "code switching," a term originally used for people who would switch between two different languages like Spanish and English. But the term has evolved to embrace the tone, accents, and inflections that we use when talking to people. Many of us do it.

Growing up, I heard plenty of jokes about the way I spoke. But I couldn't help the way I sounded. It’s a default voice, just how I speak. You see where I grew up, in Las Vegas, there were two types of black kids in school: those who hung out only with other black kids and those who bounced back and forth between black and non-black friends. I was in the second group. With all of that switching back and forth, my voice switched too. And it still does. For example, when I’m on the phone with my sister, the “sistah” comes out. It's not something I’m always conscious of. Sometimes it just sort of happens.

Now as an adult I have fun with it, but as a kid it wasn’t always this way. Finding my voice was just painful. At school, being told I “sounded white” meant only one thing. I wouldn’t be eating my corndog and tater tots at the black kids’ lunch table.

But that was then. Nowadays, in some schools, corn dogs and tater tots have been replaced with tofu dogs and green salad. It got me wondering if the conversation among teens may have changed too. So, I went to a place where I thought I might find some black teens who’ve been accused of “talking white”: the skate park.

Philosophy Talk asks: Why believe in Reincarnation?

May 1, 2015

According to Buddhist tradition, all people must suffer illness, aging, and death. Yet the universe is seen as a vast living entity, in which cycles of individual life and death are repeated without cease. Therefore death is a necessary part of the process of life, making renewal and new growth possible. So what does this view mean about the eternality of the self? Is there a single subject or consciousness that persists through all the cycles of death and rebirth? What are the karmic consequences of one’s moral acts for future lives?

Staying in the Gray

Jan 27, 2015


Many spaces are designated for either men or women: bathrooms, clothing stores, hair salons. But some people don’t subscribe to being a man or a woman. This is true for Clem Breslin, who identifies as being genderqueer. 

Commentary: Washington High School students on being "American"

Feb 6, 2013

Students at Washington High School in San Francisco’s outer Richmond neighborhood were recently asked to respond to the question: what was a time your identity mattered? KALW producers went out to Washington to hear their answers.

On today's Your Call, we’ll speak with the authors of Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women.  25 women share their stories of reconciling who they are with where they have come from.  One writes “I fear being forced to choose between two integral components of my identity: my faith and my sexuality.”  Join us at 10am PST or post a comment here.  What are your stories of self-discovery in the conte