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Ethics of Now: Race and Racism in America with Isabel Wilkerson
April 5, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
The Ethics of Now with Adriane Lentz-Smith continues from home with a series of brief, thoughtful and timely conversations about the ethical dilemmas of this historic moment. Join Professor Lentz-Smith and Pulitzer Prize winning Author of ‘Caste’ Isabel Wilkerson for a conversation on Race and Racism in America. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.
Monday, April 5, 2021, 7:30pm
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, has become a leading figure in narrative nonfiction, an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country, and our current era of upheaval.
Through her writing, Wilkerson brings the invisible and the marginalized into the light and into our hearts. Through her lectures, she explores with authority the need to reconcile America’s karmic inheritance and the origins of both our divisions and our shared commonality.
Her debut work, The Warmth of Other Suns, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, and the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
She is a native of Washington, D.C., and a daughter of the Great Migration, the mass movement that she would go on to write about. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1994, as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times, making her the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism. She then devoted fifteen years and interviewed more than 1,200 people to tell the story of the six million people, among them her parents, who defected from the Jim Crow South.
As for her new book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, the venerable U.K. bookseller, Waterstone’s calls it an “expansive, lyrical and stirring account of the unspoken system of divisions that govern our world.”
Adriane Lentz-Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Duke University. Her interests lie in African American history, twentieth-century United States history, and the history of the U.S. and the world. Her 2009 book Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I looks at the black freedom struggle in the World War I years, with a particular focus on manhood, citizenship, and global encounters. More recently, she has been at work on a book tentatively entitled Afterlives: Sagon Penn, State Violence, and the Twilight of Civil Rights. The book looks at dramatic moments of violent encounters between African Americans and the police to explore the role of violence in sustaining and opposing white supremacy in the two decades following the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. She is also interested in how African Americans engaged the world in the age of Cold War civil rights, and how their participation in the project of U.S. state and empire set the horizons of their freedom struggles.
The Ethics of Now is a series of conversations between Duke historian Adriane Lentz Smith and a range of artists, advocates, and authors that explore the ethical challenges facing the Durham and Duke communities.