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 Pell Grant has helped 80 million students go to college. Josie Norton for NPR hide caption

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Josie Norton for NPR

In 50 years, the Pell Grant has helped over 80 million people go to college

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Author Baynard Woods writes about his family's history in South Carolina in his book Inheritance: An Autobiography of Whiteness. J. M. Giordano/XYZ Book Publisher Company hide caption

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J. M. Giordano/XYZ Book Publisher Company

What does it mean to "inherit whiteness?"

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NPR's top picks for 2022 fiction books

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Aurélia Durand
Dion MBD for NPR

How COVID exposed racial disparities in all aspects of the healthcare system

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

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Author Linda Villarosa pictured next to her book, Under the Skin. Nic Villarosa hide caption

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Nic Villarosa

The impact of COVID-19, a million deaths in

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Authors John Cho (left) and Steph Cha (right.) Courtesy of Steph Cha and John Cho hide caption

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Courtesy of Steph Cha and John Cho
LA Johnson/NPR

A makeup company gets a facelift

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Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Fashion Fair's makeover

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Anti Asian-American hate has been on the rise, but is nothing new to the people who experience it. Hokyoung Kim for NPR hide caption

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Hokyoung Kim for NPR