Pennington Lecture

Thursday, February 9, 2023

  • 5pm Reception, Avery Court, Wadsworth Atheneum (light fare)
  • 6pm Lecture, Theater, Wadsworth Atheneum, also streaming online

Free and Open to the Public

At the 2015 Hillman Prize ceremony, presenter and journalist Hendrik Hertzberg described the work of Jelani Cobb as combining the “rigor and depth of a professional historian with the alertness of a reporter, the liberal passion of an engaged public intellectual and the literary flair of a fine writer.” So it is with Cobb’s riveting, auspicious keynotes: up-to-the-moment meditations and breakdowns of the complex dynamics of race and racism in America. Whether speaking on Black Lives Matter and activism, the battle zones of Ferguson or Baltimore, or the legacy of a black presidency—or, more generally, on the history of civil rights, violence, and inequality in employment, housing, or incarceration in America—Cobb speaks with the surety and articulate passion of only our best journalists. His keynotes inspire us to work, tirelessly, toward achieving an ongoing dream of equity—of genuine democracy. They show us that not only are the levers of justice in our hands, but we can move them in the direction we see fit. And they remind us that the only obstacle holding us back is the comforting illusion that we’ve already achieved our goals.

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