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Jelani Cobb: Civil Rights in the Age of Trump!

Long-time staff writer at The New Yorker, Jelani Cobb, delivers the UNSW Martin Luther King lecture

“It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of this moment.” – Martin Luther King

In 1963, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declared that, with faith “we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony”. Despite King’s dream of equality, in 2019 America remains a divided country, still haunted by legacy of slavery. The work of generations of civil rights activists has not eliminated the impact of race on poverty, violence and voting rights – which King spoke of as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. His “beautiful symphony” is still a long way off.

Writer and educator Jelani Cobb is a long-time staff writer at The New Yorker, where his work brings to life the intricate complexities of race in America. At a time characterised by derision and disunion, his work is celebrated for welcoming conversation and dialogue. Who better to guide us through the struggle for civil rights in Trump’s America?

The lecture will be accompanied by a performance by the Boston Children’s Chorus

About Jelani Cobb
Journalist and educator Jelani Cobb has dedicated his life to exploring the enormous complexity of race in America. A long-time staff writer at The New Yorker, Jelani has written a remarkable series of articles about race, the police, and injustice. His articles include, The Anger in Ferguson, Murders in Charleston, and What We Talk About When We Talk About Reparations. As recipient of the Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism for his New Yorker columns, Dr Cobb was praised for combining “the strengths of an on-the-scene reporter, a public intellectual, a teacher, a vivid writer, a subtle moralist, and an accomplished professional historian”.



9 High St, Kensington NSW 2052, Australia
Sir John Clancy Auditorium


Wednesday 17 July 2019 from 6.30pm to 7.45pm


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Hashtag: #UNSWideas

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