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Rethinking Race In America

Steve Scher
12/29/2011 at 10:00 a.m.

We listen back today to three conversations we had this year about race in America. Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr. discusses black history in the West and his online black history project. Nell Irvin Painter talks about the history of being white, where the concept of whiteness began, and how it's evolved over the centuries and around the world. And Elizabeth Alexander talks about race and its reflection in her poetry. She read her poem "Praise Song For The Day" at President Obama's inauguration.

Guest(s)

Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr. is a Scott and Dorothy Bullitt professor of American history at the University of Washington. He is the author of two books: "In Search Of The Racial Frontier: African–Americans In The American West, 1528–1990" and "The Forging Of A Black Community: Seattle's Central District From 1870 Through The Civil Rights Era." He has authored more than 50 articles on western African–American history, 20th Century African–American history, African and Afro–Brazilian history.

Nell Irvin Painter is an professor emerita of American history at Princeton University. Her books include "Creating Black Americans," "Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol" And "The History Of White People."

Elizabeth Alexander is the chair of African–American studies at Yale University. She has published five books of poems, including "American Sublime," which was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She has also written a number of books of essays and has won for numerous awards, including two Pushcart Prizes and a Guggenheim fellowship. She composed and delivered the poem "Praise Song For The Day" for the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

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