Author, professor and political activist Adolph Reed, Jr. will present a talk on the absence of a Black political movement when he visits Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
January 28, 2003 GENEVA, N.Y. – Through books, lectures and essays, author, professor and political activist Adolph Reed, Jr. strives to shed light on the issue of a Black political activism. On Thursday, Feb. 13, Reed will spend the day at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., to help students, faculty and the community answer the question “Why Is There No Black Political Movement?” The evening lecture is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Colleges campus, with a reception to follow in the library atrium. The program is free and open to the public.
According to Cedric Johnson, assistant professor of political science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and coordinator of Reed’s visit to the campus, “While many black public intellectuals champion the 'revolutionary' potential of Hip Hop and other pop cultural trends, Adolph's writings have advanced perceptive criticisms of the Neo-conservative landscape which focus unflinchingly on class inequalities and corporate power. His intellectual honesty and commitment to building progressive left politics continues to inspire citizens and activists across the country.”
Reed, professor of political science at New School University in New York City, is the author of “The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro-American Politics” (1986), “W.E.B. DuBois and American Political Thought: Fabianism and the Color Line” (1997), “Stirrings in the Jug: Black Politics in the Post-Segregation Era” (1999), and “Class Notes: Posing as Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene” (2000). His essays have appeared in The Nation, The Progressive and The Village Voice.
At the New School for Social Research, Reed teaches on American and Afro-American politics and political thought, urban politics and policy. He is a former professor of African American studies and political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has also taught at Northwestern, Emory and Yale Universities.
He is currently working on two major projects. “Race in American Life: What It Is, What It Isn’t, How It Operates, How It Doesn’t,” which, according to Reed, attempts to provide a “historically grounded account of the ways that notions of racial difference have been generated and shaped as a politically significant feature of American life since at least the late 19th century.”
His second project, “‘You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows’: Unraveling the Relation of Race and Class in American Politics,” lays out a new interpretation of the relation of race and class as forces shaping inequality and the struggle against it in the United States. Reed states, “Through critical interpretation of the dynamics shaping post-World War II American domestic politics, both race and class are more effectively and more accurately seen as equivalent and overlapping elements.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Hobart and William Smith Department of Political Science, the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Office of the President.