September 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Costa Lecture | Black Power Movement in Age of Obama and #BlackLivesMatter, Sept. 10

Dr. Peniel Joseph, Professor of History at Tufts University, delivers the 38th Annual Costa Lecture in History on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m., in the Galbreath Chapel.

His talk is on “Reimagining the Black Power Movement in the Age of Obama and Black Lives Matter.”

Dr. Peniel E. Joseph

Dr. Peniel E. Joseph

A leading scholar in U.S. and African American history, with a focus on Black Power studies, Joseph is the author of the award-winning Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. He has been a frequent national commentator on issues of race, democracy, and civil rights, with public appearances on C-SPAN’s Book TV, NPR , PBS’s NewsHour, and The Colbert Report.

Joseph’s talk will examine the way in which new scholarship on the Black Power movement has fundamentally altered the study of postwar U.S. and global history. In the process, Black Power studies offers illuminating historical insights as well as an entree into contemporary racial justice issues related to mass incarceration, quality education, ending unemployment, the impact of racial segregation, and the New Jim Crow writ large.

Joseph also will lead a seminar with graduate students in History and International Studies, as well as advanced undergraduate majors in African American Studies on Friday, Sept. 11, at noon in Bentley Annex 402. Participants will have the chance to discuss Joseph’s latest book, Stokely: A Life, a historical biography of the charismatic and controversial black activist Stokely Carmichael.

The Costa Lecture is annual lecture organized by the History Department. This event is free and open to the public.


  1. Victoria Santa Maria says:

    I hope Mr. Joseph will be promoting unity to his audience tonight. Historical facts, true documented facts, cannot be denied, changed, or dismissed. History needs to be taught so that we learn from our mistakes so as not to repeat them. It’s all about content and presentation, so, I hope this speaker understands how the Lord has blessed him with a message to unify his audience and offer moral solutions that will make all lives matter. Anger is taking us backwards…in case no one has noticed.

    • I agree with Victoria Santa Maria and support her good intentions. But aren’t “anger” and “rage” part of those historical facts that “cannot be denied”? If you cannot feel a level of rage about the past, you would have a hard time engaging with the present and building the future. Professor Joseph is am amazing orator – his mastery of dates and details as well as scholarship was incredible. He was brilliant in his articulation of issues – and quite passionate. In response to the last question asked, he made it very clear that he supports only non-violent means of pursuing change. Our students, black and white, don’t know our history. And white folks (white students included) have a hard time connecting with the daily experience of black and brown people. As teachers, we face huge levels of denial in our classrooms. Maybe Dr. Joseph inspired a dozen or two students to educate themselves. That would be a big measure of his success.

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