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“Can We Talk? Problems in Race and Conversation” is topic of Transylvania’s Kenan Lecture, Tuesday, Feb. 15; free and open to the public

Randall KennedyLEXINGTON, KY.—Randall Kennedy, one of the preeminent voices on race in America and a Harvard law professor, will tackle sensitive racial issues in his lecture titled “Can We Talk? Problems in Race and Conversation” on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Haggin Auditorium in the Mitchell Fine Arts Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Known for his fearlessness, Kennedy brings the divisive issues that plague black America to the forefront of mass culture. With wit and accessibility, he challenges audiences to confront society’s—and their own—racial prejudices.  Frank conversations include the ongoing linguistic and historical baggage of loaded words like “nigger” and “sellout,” interracial intimacies and adoptions and overt (and covert) racial lines.

Kennedy’s bestseller, “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word,” sparked a firestorm of national debate, including articles in The New York Times, Newsweek and TIME, as well as in the popular consciousness.

Kennedy studied at Princeton, Oxford and Yale and served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. While a faculty member at Harvard Law School, he has written extensively for academic and popular journals and served on the editorial boards of The American Prospect and The Nation. Kennedy is also the author of “Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal and Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity and Adoption.”

This lecture is part of Transylvania’s William R. Kenan Jr. Lecture Series and is funded by a grant from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

For more information, contact the public relations office at (859) 233-8120.


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