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Honoring my enslaved ancestors: Episode 1

A photo of Somerset Place plantation in North Carolina.
B.A. Parker
A photo of Somerset Place plantation in North Carolina.

Code Switch co-host B.A. Parker's family comes from Somerset Plantation in Creswell, North Carolina. It's a site she passes every summer when she goes to visit her family farm nearby, but for years she's avoided going in. As she navigates honoring the life of her Grandma Doris since her death a couple of years ago, Parker's been asking herself an even bigger question: How are descendants of slavery supposed to maintain the legacy of their ancestors?

This week, we revisit part one of two episodes, where Parker is invited to a symposium at the National Museum of African American History and Culture for "descendants of slavery who are stakeholders of culturally significant historic places." She meets people who, like her, are grappling with how to honor their enslaved ancestors. She asks herself: what kind of descendant does she want to be?

Copyright 2024 NPR

B.A. Parker
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Xavier Lopez
Xavier Lopez is a producer for Code Switch. He came to NPR from CNN Audio, where he helped produce shows such as Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and the inaugural season of Tug of War. Prior to that, Lopez worked at NPR member station WHYY in Philadelphia, where he worked on shows such as The Pulse, Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane and the daily news podcast, The Why.
Jess Kung
Jess Kung (they/them) is a production assistant on Code Switch. Previously, they interned with Code Switch and the podcast The Document from KCRW in Santa Monica. They are a graduate of Long Beach State University.
Christina Cala is a producer for Code Switch. Before that, she was at the TED Radio Hour where she piloted two new episode formats — the curator chat and the long interview. She's also reported on a movement to preserve African American cultural sites in Birmingham and followed youth climate activists in New York City.
Courtney Stein
Courtney Stein comes to NPR from the New York Times, where she helped to create the weekly podcast First Person. Prior to that, she spent over a decade at WNYC's Peabody Award-winning Radio Rookies, teaching young people to report radio documentaries about issues important to them. While at WNYC, Courtney also helped to pilot the podcast Nancy and was on the team that created the dupont-Columbia award-winning podcast Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice, which began as a radio workshop she started in a juvenile detention center in Queens.
Leah Donnella is an editor on NPR's Code Switch team, where she helps produce and edit for the Code Switch podcast, blog, and newsletter. She created the "Ask Code Switch" series, where members of the team respond to listener questions about how race, identity, and culture come up in everyday life.
Veralyn Williams
Veralyn Williams (she/her) is a Peabody and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who has been asking hard questions about our world since she picked up her first microphone in 2004. Now she brings her skills (and ears) to her role as executive producer of programming at NPR.
Lori Lizarraga
Award-winning journalist Lori Lizarraga is a co-host of NPR's Code Switch, the preeminent podcast about race and identity in America. Before joining NPR, she reported across the country in Texas, California, Colorado and internationally in Ecuador. She has a reputation for breaking news and a passion and energy for covering under-reported communities, civil rights and issues surrounding immigration and Latinos in the U.S.
Gene Demby is the co-host and correspondent for NPR's Code Switch team.