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Gutman Library

Gutman Library Book Talk - Teaching White Supremacy: America’s Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity

Monday, April 3, 2023, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Online, Open to the public, Book Talk,

Registration is required. There are 149 in-person seats available. There are 499 online seats available.

This is a hybrid event!  Please register at bit.ly/TeachingWhiteSupremacyBookTalk and select whether you will be attending virtually on Zoom or in person at Gutman Library's Gutman Conference Center, E4!

Author Donald Yacovone shows us the clear and damning evidence of white supremacy’s deep-seated roots in our nation’s educational system through a fascinating, in-depth examination of America’s wide assortment of texts, from primary readers to college textbooks, from popular histories to the most influential academic scholarship. Sifting through a wealth of materials from the colonial era to today, Yacovone reveals the systematic ways in which this ideology has infiltrated all aspects of American culture and how it has been at the heart of our collective national identity.
Yacovone lays out the arc of America’s white supremacy from the country’s inception and Revolutionary War years to its nineteenth-century flashpoint of civil war to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today’s Black Lives Matter. In a stunning reappraisal, the author argues that it is the North, not the South, that bears the greater responsibility for creating the dominant strain of race theory, which has been inculcated throughout the culture and in school textbooks that restricted and repressed African Americans and other minorities, even as Northerners blamed the South for its legacy of slavery, segregation, and racial injustice.

A major assessment of how we got to where we are today, of how white supremacy has suffused every area of American learning, from literature and science to religion, medicine, and law, and why this kind of thinking has so insidiously endured for more than three centuries. 

Donald Yacovone is a lifetime associate at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, the author or editor of eleven books, the winner (with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) of an NAACP Image Award for The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross in 2014, and a recipient of the W.E.B.Du Bois Medal from Harvard University in 2013. He will be introduced by David J. Harris, Ph.D.’92, former managing director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School.

This event will be live-captioned, recorded, and open to the public (both virtually and in-person). 

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Event Organizer

Myanne Krivoshey