Julissa Arce used to think that the secret to fitting in was to "sound white" — to speak English perfectly, with no accent. And for years after her family came to the U.S. from Mexico, she did all the things immigrants are "supposed" to do to assimilate: she went to college, got a job at Goldman Sachs and became an American citizen.
For author Julissa Arce, 'sounding white' isn't a compliment
Singer Phoebe Bridgers had a huge year in 2020. She was nominated for four Grammys for her work on her album Punisher. The album was released to wide critical acclaim. But like the rest of us, Bridgers was stuck at home. So what's that really like for a musician? In the latest episode of our summer music series, we revisit Sam Sanders' conversation with Phoebe from 2020. They talk about her love/hate relationship with touring, how she aims for the universal in the specificity of her lyrics, and her hopes for the future of music.
Phoebe Bridgers makes her lyrics specific for a reason
Two people sitting on a bench wearing protective masks using their phones as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States on March 27, 2020 in New York City.
Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Elise Hu chats with Soo Hugh, writer and showrunner of the much anticipated series Pachinko, based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee. It's the epic story of a family through four generations across the 20th century, all about their lives as Zainichi Koreans in Japan. In this chat, Hugh talks about what it was like to bring the beloved book to screen, what she's is doing to support Asian American creators coming up behind her, and why this story resonates with people of all backgrounds.
A school crush once told Julissa Arce that she sounded "like a white girl." At the time, Arce believed that was exactly what she wanted. But over the years, even after perfecting "accent-less" English, graduating from college, getting a job at Goldman Sachs, and becoming an American citizen, Arce still felt like she didn't belong. Instead of just trying to fit in as the solution, Arce began to question whether that was the very problem to begin with. Elise Hu talks to Arce about her new book — You Sound Like a White Girl — and the case for rejecting assimilation in favor of embracing yourself, your history, and your culture.
Rejecting assimilation in 'You Sound Like a White Girl'
Women look at a screen displaying exchange rate at a currency exchange office in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, March 1, 2022. In the days since the West imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, ordinary Russians are feeling the painful effects — from payment systems that won't operate and problems withdrawing cash to not being able to purchase certain items.
It's our 500th episode and what better way to celebrate than with Johnny Knoxville's first appearance on NPR? We couldn't think of a better milestone. In this episode, Sam and Johnny chat about his latest Jackass endeavor with Jackass Foreverwhile also looking back at the reality show that started it all — and how its very first stunt actually shut down production. They also discuss Jackass' queer fanbase and Johnny's time in therapy. Come for the talk about raunchy stunts, stay for the Johnny Knoxville School of Radical Acceptance!
'Jackass' star Johnny Knoxville has nothing left to prove
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 01: Matthew Hoerl of MoNA Gallery wearing a VR headset at the DCentral Miami Conference. Organizers say this is the largest in-person combined NFT and DeFi conference in history, and includes the MoNA Gallery that describes itself as seeding the open metaverse through the creation and use of unique 3D spaces.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Constance Marie (L) and Gloria Calderón Kellett (R) star in With Love (Amazon Prime Video). Calderón Kellett is also the creator and showrunner of the series.
Kevin Estrada/Amazon Prime Video
Victoria Walker, former The Points Guy senior travel reporter, didn't think much about tweeting her salary when she quit her job and offering advice for anyone interested in applying. But the tweet went viral and sparked a wider conversation about pay transparency. Sam asks Victoria why she did it and talks with Wall Street Journal workplace reporter Lauren Weber about why pay transparency matters.
The demand for salary transparency, plus a new fresh prince of 'Bel-Air'
A man walks past the Olympic rings on the exterior of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, which will be a venue for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.