In this talk, George Yancy of Emory University will explore the reception by white readers of his New York Times article "Dear White America." He will explore how this negative reception resulted partly from a failure on the part of white people to listen, which he sees connected to white vulnerability. Yancy argues that white people must learn how to engage in courageous listening, which further involves taking responsibility for their white privilege. He will draw from his new book, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America (2018). Participants will have an opportunity to purchase the book and have it signed.
This event is sponsored by the College of Education's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Department of Communication Sciences and Special Education.
Yancy is a professor of philosophy at Emory University. He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh (with honors). His first MA in philosophy is from Yale University, and he obtained his second MA from New York University in Africana Studies, where he received the distinguished Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship. He received his PhD from Duquesne University (with distinction). He is the author, editor, and co-editor of more than 20 books. Three of his books were named CHOICE Outstanding Academic Books. His book Black Bodies, White Gazes received an honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. His co-edited book, Our Black Sons Matter, was listed by Booklist as a Top Ten Diverse Nonfiction Book. He is known for his influential essays and interviews in The New York Times' philosophy column, The Stone. He has twice won the American Philosophical Committee on Public Philosophy's op-ed contest. Yancy's three most recent books are the second (and expanded) edition of Black Bodies, White Gazes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017); On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2017) and his new book, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). Regarding Backlash, Noam Chomsky writes, "George Yancy's courageous appeal to white America 'to confront the problem of whiteness; to cultivate a critical awareness of the specter of whiteness and white privilege that each one of you inherits' elicited a remarkable range of responses, some hideous beyond words, some welcoming what he rightly called a 'gift.' This eloquent meditation on the events and their meaning calls on us, with piercing honesty, to think hard, and work hard, to excise the malignancy of white supremacy from our culture and our lives."
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