The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today

2019 - Dr. Jelani Cobb, Columbia professor of journalism and award-winning columnist on race, history and politics for the New Yorker presents this year's Anne Braden Memorial Lecture. November 20 from 5:30-7:30pm in Comstock Hall, UofL School of Music. Free and open to the public with reception to follow.
The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today

Dr. Jelani Cobb

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Jelani Cobb will present “The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today” as the 13th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture November 20, 2019, at 5:30 pm in Comstock Music Auditorium at the Belknap Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public and there will be a reception with Dr. Cobb immediately following the lecture.

Dr. Jelani Cobb is a staff writer at the New Yorker, historian, and the Ira A. Lipton Professor of Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. His work focuses on race, politics, and culture while connecting the historical context of racism to current affairs. Dr. Cobb is the author of several titles including The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, The Devil and Dave Chappell & Other Essays, and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. Dr. Cobb was a 8674 Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary and has been a featured commentator on media platforms such as NPR, Al-Jazeera, CNN, MSNBC and others.

His recent work includes participating in Ava DuVernay’s landmark documentary “The 13th.” Dr. Cobb contrasts the values of democracy with the reality of the U.S.’s status as having the largest prison population in the world. Throughout the film he advances the argument that the economic realities of Reconstruction and the specific clause written into the 13th amendment allowing people convicted of a crime to be punished through manual labor during imprisonment led to the rise of the prison industrial complex.

In addition to the lecture, our annual Research Meets Activism Breakfast will include a panel of local activist, journalists, and scholars who will join Dr. Cobb in discussing the current administration’s attacks on the free press November 21, 2019. The panel and breakfast will kick off the Social Justice Research Symposium hosted by the Cooperative Consortium for Transdisciplinary Social Justice Research. The symposium will be centered around a writing workshop facilitated by the Progressive Media Project. The Symposium is free, but registration is required. Please contact us at (502) 852-6142 or for more information or promotional materials.