Fifty Years Since MLK

featuring BRANDON M. TERRY and TOMMIE SHELBY

with panelists ELIZABETH HINTON and CORNEL WEST

discussing 

Fifty Years Since MLK (Boston Review)

and

To Shape a New World:
Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
26
Monday
February 26, 2018
6:30 PM
(Doors at 6:00)

Location

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store, Boston Review, Mass Humanities, and the Cambridge Public Library welcome acclaimed educators BRANDON M. TERRY, TOMMIE SHELBY, ELIZABETH HINTON, and CORNEL WEST for a panel discussion on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This discussion will feature Fifty Years Since MLK, the latest Boston Review issue, edited by Brandon M. Terry; and To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. from Harvard University Press, edited by Tommie Shelby and Brandon M. Terry.

Please Note:

Seating is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Seating will begin at 6pm.

About Fifty Years Since MLK

Martin Luther King's legacy for today's activists, fifty years after his death.

Since his death on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King's legacy has influenced generations of activism. Edited and with a lead essay by Brandon Terry, this volume explores what this legacy can and cannot do for activism in the present.

King spent the months leading up to his death organizing demonstrations against the Vietnam War and planning the Poor People's Campaign, a "multiracial army of the poor" that would march on Washington in pursuit of economic justice. Thus the spring of 1968 represented a hopeful albeit chaotic set of possibilities; King, along with countless other activists, offered both ethical and strategic solutions to the multifaceted problems of war, racism, and economic inequality. With a critical eye on both the past and present, this collection of essays explores that moment of promise, and how, in the fifty years since King's death, historical forces have shaped what we claim as a usable past in fighting the injustices of our time.

About To Shape a New World

Martin Luther King, Jr., may be America’s most revered political figure, commemorated in statues, celebrations, and street names around the world. On the fiftieth anniversary of King’s assassination, the man and his activism are as close to public consciousness as ever. But despite his stature, the significance of King’s writings and political thought remains underappreciated.

In To Shape a New World, Tommie Shelby and Brandon Terry write that the marginalization of King’s ideas reflects a romantic, consensus history that renders the civil rights movement inherently conservative―an effort not at radical reform but at “living up to” enduring ideals laid down by the nation’s founders. On this view, King marshaled lofty rhetoric to help redeem the ideas of universal (white) heroes but produced little original thought. This failure to engage deeply and honestly with King’s writings allows him to be conscripted into political projects he would not endorse, including the pernicious form of “color blindness” that insists, amid glaring race-based injustice, that racism has been overcome.

Cornel West, Danielle Allen, Martha Nussbaum, Robert Gooding-Williams, and other authors join Shelby and Terry in careful, critical engagement with King’s understudied writings on labor and welfare rights, voting rights, racism, civil disobedience, nonviolence, economic inequality, poverty, love, just-war theory, virtue ethics, political theology, imperialism, nationalism, reparations, and social justice. In King’s exciting and learned work, the authors find an array of compelling challenges to some of the most pressing political dilemmas of our present and rethink the legacy of this towering figure.

Brandon M. Terry
Brandon M. Terry

Brandon M. Terry

Brandon M. Terry is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University, and a Faculty Affiliate of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and of American Studies. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an AB in Government and African and African American Studies and received an MSc in Political Theory Research as a Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. He earned a PhD with university distinction in Political Science and African American Studies from Yale University, where he was also a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and a recipient of the Sterling Prize, in 2012. He recently completed a term as a Junior Prize Fellow in the Center for History and Economics, where he is now a faculty associate. His current research project, The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement, sits at the intersection of political theory, philosophy of history, and African-American Studies. He is also editing a collection of essays on the political philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with his colleague Tommie Shelby.

Cornel West
Cornel West

Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. A current professor at Union Theological Seminary, he has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. The recipient of more than twenty honorary degrees, he has written many important books, including Race Matters and Democracy Matters. He appears frequently on Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, Democracy Now, CNN, C-SPAN, and other national and international media. He lives in New York City.

Photo Credit: Sigrid Estrada

Elizabeth Hinton
Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton

Elizabeth Hinton is Assistant Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

Tommie Shelby
Tommie Shelby

Tommie Shelby

Tommie Shelby holds a joint appointment with the Department of African and African American Studies. He received his B.A. from Florida A & M University and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to coming to Harvard in 2000, he taught philosophy at Ohio State University. His main areas of research and teaching are African American philosophy, social and political philosophy, social theory (especially Marxist theory), and philosophy of social science. Professor Shelby is the author of We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity and coeditor of Hip Hop and Philosophy: Rhyme 2 Reason.

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

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Co-Sponsored by Boston Review

Learn more at bostonreview.net.

Co-Sponsored by Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities

Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.

Co-Sponsored by the Cambridge Public Library

Cambridge Public Library

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