March 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Khalil Muhammad | Public Lecture on Race in America, March 17

Dr. Khalil Muhammad speaks about race in America on Thursday, March 17,  at 7:30 p.m. in Baker Ballroom.

Dr. Khalil Muhammad

Dr. Khalil Muhammad

Muhammad is the Executive Director of the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, NY. He is leaving that post in July to take a tenured teaching position at Harvard University. He is the author of the book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Modern Urban America, which explores the criminalization of black males in America. See him talk about the book on YouTube.

From the Harvard Press Blog:

In The Condemnation of Blackness, Muhammad shows how “the racial data revolution” was made to work against blacks even as social scientists, journalists, and reformers created pathways to rehabilitation for Irish, Italian, and other foreign-born immigrants once tagged with a similar stigma of criminality. Where white criminals enjoyed the privilege of “racial anonymity” and were afforded an understanding of the structural roots of poverty and crime, black criminals, whose crimes, we can now see, differed little in form and function from those committed by whites, were made to stand in for the imagined deficiencies of the race as a whole, so that in evaluations of black fitness for modern life, the innocent came to be tarred along with the actually guilty. “Whites commit crimes, but black males are criminals”—in exposing the roots of this persistent refrain, one that has justified not only racial violence but the kind of benign neglect that has relegated blacks to the margins of an American social sphere that has historically expanded to incorporate new and different groups, Muhammad shows how this particular mismeasure of man has become foundational to our thinking about modern urban America, and how its insidious logic remains with us to this day.

Muhammad is also the great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam from 1934-1975.

The event is sponsored by the Scripps College Diversity Committee. The event is part of Scripps College Communication’s “Communication Week 2016.

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