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“Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own”, a Family Action Network (FAN) conversation between Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Ph.D. and the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III will be hosted on Tuesday, July 28, beginning at 7:00pm via Zoom. Registration is required.
With his bestselling new book, Dr. Glaude combines biography, history, and polemic to make an argument that we stand on the precipice of a decision about who we are as a country that will reverberate for decades. Dr. Glaude looks at James Baldwin’s world and sees our own moment reflected back. Like Baldwin, he argues, we live in the after times—in Baldwin’s case of the Civil Rights movement, and in our times of the Obama presidency and the promise of Black Lives Matter. In both cases, America responded to a challenge to the existing racial order by reasserting what Dr. Glaude calls the lie: the broad and powerful architecture of false assumptions by which white lives are valued more than others. That reassertion has been violent and devastating.
But Dr. Glaude argues that we are not without hope; even in the after times we still have a choice. As he shows in riveting biographical chapters, Baldwin was nearly broken by the lie. In the years spanning from the publication of “The Fire Next Time” in 1963 to that of “No Name in the Street” a decade later, Baldwin was by necessity transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, he emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.
Dr. Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is the former president of the American Academy of Religion, the largest professional organization of scholars of religion in the world.
Dr. Glaude will be interviewed by Rev. Moss, Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Moss built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. He practices and preaches a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.
The July 28 webinar is sponsored by Family Action Network (FAN), in partnership with Evanston Township High School D202, Baker Demonstration School, Bennett Day School, Catherine Cook School, Compass Health Center, Countryside Day School, Evanston Scholars, Family Service of Glencoe, Foundation 65, Glencoe D35, Glencoe PTO, Lake Forest Country Day School, Latin School of Chicago, Loyola Academy, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, McGaw YMCA, New Trier High School D203, Pope John XXIII School, Roycemore School, Science and Arts Academy, The Family Institute at Northwestern University, Wolcott College Prep, and Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.).
The event will be recorded and available later on FAN’s website and YouTube channel. A bonus after-hours event is available to webinar attendees who purchase a copy of Dr. Glaude’s book Begin Again from FAN’s partner bookseller.
Information and registration are found at www.familyactionnetwork.net.