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Speakers' Forum

Max Hunter: Urban Crime And The American Dream

Jenny Asarnow
11/18/2010 at 8:00 p.m.

Max Hunter grew up in San Diego in two very different African American worlds. On the weekends he lived with his grandmother who stocked her shelves with Shakespeare, even though she couldn't read, and impressed on him the value of the American dream. During the week Max lived in housing projects where police were considered the enemy, and outlaws were protected by the community. Max Hunter talks about how those competing world views and his own poverty led him to drop out of college and start selling cocaine. He voices what Toni Morrison calls "unspeakable truths unspoken" — telling of his struggle to piece together fragments of his identity as a black man, a drug dealer, a Harvard–educated scholar and a Christian. Hunter makes the case that he must tell his story in order to make himself and his community whole.

Max Hunter is a John Perkins Center Teaching Fellow at Seattle Pacific University. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, and a master's degree and certificate in bioethics from Harvard. He gave the "Veterans of Intercommunal Violence" lecture at the University of Washington on March 2, 2010. The event was sponsored by the University's Comparative History of Ideas Department.

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