What I Hear When You Say
Examine the current function and long history of American’s use of “code words”.

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def • i • ni • tion
Code Word


a euphemistic or politically acceptable catchword or phrase used instead of a blunter or less acceptable term.

One phrase. Many interpretations.

Explore the history of code words and their effects on all of us to this day from unique and differing perspectives.

What I Hear When You Say

The Manifestation of Microaggressions

Aired: 2017-03-12 1:19 Rating: NR

Professor Pedro Noguera studies the history of coded language and its effects on all of us

What do you hear?

What do you hear when someone uses code words to describe people? What kinds of microaggressions have you witnessed? Use the hashtag #WhatIHearPBS to share your thoughts.

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Dig deeper into the conversation with a detailed Viewing Guide: What I Hear When You Say: Code Words.



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Choose from over 10 topics to explore common code words & phrases used in conversations about race & identity.