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All Things Considered

Ask Code Switch: Who Can Call Themselves 'Brown'?

"Brown" is a word that's sometimes used to describe people who aren't white, including some people who also identify as Asian-American. NPR's Code Switch team recently got a question from a listener: Should light-skinned Asian-Americans — like some East Asians — be able to call themselves "brown"? The answer is complicated, and has to do with how diverse "Asian-Americans" are.


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