Karen Grigsby Bates Karen Grigsby Bates is an NPR senior correspondent.
Karen Grigsby Bates
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Karen Grigsby Bates

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Nina Gregory/NPR

Karen Grigsby Bates

Senior Correspondent

Karen Grigsby Bates is the Senior Correspondent for Code Switch, a podcast that reports on race and ethnicity. A veteran NPR reporter, Bates covered race for the network for several years before becoming a founding member of the Code Switch team. She is especially interested in stories about the hidden history of race in America—and in the intersection of race and culture. She oversees much of Code Switch's coverage of books by and about people of color, as well as issues of race in the publishing industry. Bates is the co-author of a best-selling etiquette book (Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times) and two mystery novels; she is also a contributor to several anthologies of essays. She lives in Los Angeles and reports from NPR West.

Story Archive

The evolution of a nickname for a certain type of white woman. Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR hide caption

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Connie Hanzhang Jin/NPR

The cover of Bethany C. Morrow's new book, So Many Beginnings. Jonathan Barkat hide caption

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Jonathan Barkat

Little Women Remixed, But Not Reimagined

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Beloved Black cookbooks for Juneteenth. LA Johnson/NPR hide caption

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LA Johnson/NPR

The Neighborhood Of The Tulsa Race Massacre Faces Increasing Gentrification

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This archival photo shows crowds of people watching fires during the June 1, 1921, Tulsa Race Massacre. Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa via AP hide caption

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Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa via AP

The view from Tulsa Mayor Bynum's City Hall conference room, showing the construction of the new BMX headquarters and train tracks in the distance. Christopher Creese for NPR hide caption

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Christopher Creese for NPR