African American Thought Advancing Democratic Ideals


African American Thought Advancing Democratic Ideals

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What are the lessons that 19th- and 20th-century African American activists, intellectuals, and artists can teach us about democracy? Join Brown University professor of political science Melvin L. Rogers and UVA professor of politics Lawrie Balfour for a discussion about Rogers’ new book, The Darkened Light of Faith: Race, Democracy, and Freedom in African American Political Thought (Princeton University Press). Rogers reexamines the thinking of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Billie Holiday, and James Baldwin, seeing them as sharing a light of faith that was darkened but not extinguished by the legacy of slavery. The conversation will focus on Rogers' exploration of the ways a diverse group of African Americans during this period reimagined democracy, forwarding original and powerful ideas about how to make America live up to its democratic ideals and offering guidance on how to grapple with racial injustice in order to make democracy work.

Lunch will be available starting at 11:30 AM, with the conversation following from 12:00-1:15 PM. Parking is not available at Bond House. If you plan to drive, there is paid parking within walking distance at the Oakhurst Inn and Central Grounds Garage.

The Nau Lab's “Touchstones of Democracy” series explores key events, places, thinkers, and texts that inform the history and principles of democracy. Join us for the fall 2023 conversations, which are produced by the Karsh Institute of Democracy and the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

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Bond House