Concord, MassachusettsTwo weeks of talks, readings, and discussions celebrating the written and the spoken word.
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Events: Opening Night - Randall Kennedy
Book: The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency
Renowned for his cool reason vis-a-vis the pitfalls and cliches of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy is former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Harvard professor of law, and author of the New York Times best seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton and his law degree from Yale. He attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. His books include Race, Crime, and the Law; Interracial Intimacies; and Sellout.
In The Persistence of the Color Line, Kennedy tackles hot-button issues: the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has any special responsibility to African Americans, the increasing irrelevance of traditional racial politics and the consequences thereof, electoral politics and cultural chauvinism, black patriotism and its antithesis (essentialism and rebellion), the differences of Obama’s presentation of himself to blacks and whites and the challenges posed by the dream of a postracial society, and the far-from-simple symbolism of Obama as a leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors.