Kat Chow

Kat Chow is a journalist covering race, ethnicity, and culture for NPR's new Code Switch team. In this role, Chow is responsible for reporting and telling stories using social media, sparking conversations online, and blogging.

Prior to coming to NPR, Chow worked with WGBH in Boston and was a reporting fellow for The Cambodia Daily, an English-language newspaper in Phnom Penh.

While a student at the University of Washington in Seattle, Chow was a founding member of a newsmagazine television show and freelanced for the Seattle Weekly. She also interned with the Seattle Times and worked on NBC's Winter Olympics coverage in Vancouver, B.C. You can find her tweeting away for Code Switch at @NPRCodeSwitch, and sharing her thoughts at @katchow.

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4:47pm

Tue February 24, 2015
Code Switch

Here's Where Emoji Skin-Tone Colors Come From

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 8:14 pm

Here are the latest set of emoji.
AP

In emoji news (one of my favorite types of weird news, ever): Apple this week released a beta operating system to its testers that finally includes noticeably browner — and, um, yellower — choices.

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4:20pm

Thu February 19, 2015
Code Switch

Oscars Voter Says 'Selma' Cast's 'I Can't Breathe' Tees Were 'Offensive'

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:18 pm

A scene from Selma.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

The Hollywood Reporter is doing a series of interviews with voting members of the academy, the folks who decide who gets an Oscar. Yesterday's (anonymous) interviewee had this to say about why Selma didn't get a nod:

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4:08pm

Wed February 18, 2015
Code Switch

After a Racial Attack, A South Philly School Tries to Heal

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 4:21 pm

Duong Nghe Ly, center, at a news conference in 2011, in which Asian and community leaders discussed a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into a series of racial attacks, in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke AP

In December 2009, 30 students at a high school in South Philadelphia, mostly recent Asian immigrants, were beaten up at school by their peers. Several had to be hospitalized.

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4:24pm

Tue February 17, 2015
Code Switch

Some Thoughtful Words — And Many Unanswered Questions — After Chapel Hill

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 6:49 pm

Kheira Benkreira and Hasnia Bekkadja attend a vigil for the slain Chapel Hill victims in Washington, D.C., last week.
Win McNamee Getty Images

2:12pm

Thu February 12, 2015
Code Switch

'Community' Actor Ken Jeong Might Be Getting His Own Show

There's more good news in Asian-American TV land.

ABC recently greenlighted a pilot starring Ken Jeong, best known as quirky Spanish language teacher Señor Chang in Community, also The Hangover villain Mr. Chow. Jeong, who worked as a doctor for seven years before turning to acting, will play a frustrated MD who's struggling to keep the rest of his life afloat.

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12:10pm

Wed February 11, 2015
Code Switch

One Of The Chapel Hill Victims Was Raising Funds To Help Syrian Refugees

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 3:28 pm

Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, were shot and killed on Tuesday evening in North Carolina. The couple married last December.
Courtesy of Our Three Winners

On Tuesday night, three young Muslims were shot dead near the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus.

From member station WUNC:

"46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with 3 counts of 1st Degree Murder for the murders of Deah Barakat, a second-year student [at UNC] in the School of Dentistry and his wife, Yusor, who had planned to begin her dental studies here in the fall. Her sister, Razan, a student at NC State University, was also killed."

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11:41am

Mon February 9, 2015
Code Switch

Graphic Novelist Adrian Tomine Takes On The Notorious Long Duk Dong

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 3:35 pm

In 2001, graphic novelist Adrian Tomine (Shortcomings) published a pungent one-page comic describing his own history with the legacy of Long Duk Dong.
Adrian Tomine

On Friday, I explained what's "cringeworthy" about Sixteen Candles' Long Duk Dong, whose broken English and social ineptitude left a painful stamp on many Asian-American children of the '80s.

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4:16pm

Fri February 6, 2015
Code Switch

What's So 'Cringeworthy' About Long Duk Dong in 'Sixteen Candles'?

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:21 am

Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.
Universal/The Kobal Collection

In Thursday's post about failed Asian-American TV shows, I called actor Gedde Watanabe's notorious performance as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles "cringeworthy." Some of you piped up to ask, Hey, what's wrong with Long Duk Dong?

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2:02pm

Thu February 5, 2015
Code Switch

A Brief, Weird History Of Squashed Asian-American TV Shows

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 10:54 am

David Carradine played a Shaolin monk and martial arts expert in Kung Fu.
ABC Photo Archives Getty Images

1:50pm

Tue January 20, 2015
Code Switch

Barbie Has Some Royal Competition In Nigeria

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:26 am

Taofick Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his Queens of Africa and Naija Princess dolls a month and reckons he has 10 to 15 percent of a small but fast-growing market.
Akintunde Akinleye Reuters/Landov

In Nigeria, Barbie has some fierce — some brown — competition: Taofick Okoya, a 43-year-old entrepreneur, has created Queens of Africa dolls and Naija Princess dolls that are outselling Mattel's classics. Okoya tells Reuters that he sells about 6,000 to 9,000 dolls a month and that he has "about 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market."

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