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Fear of Black Consciousness

April 24 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT

The Baton Foundation, in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, will host a virtual lecture about Black consciousness from a leading philosopher. This program is free to the public, but registration is required.

About the Book

In this original and penetrating work, Lewis R. Gordon, one of the leading scholars of Black existentialism and anti-Blackness, takes the reader on a journey through the historical development of racialized Blackness, the problems this kind of consciousness produces, and the many creative responses from Black and non-Black communities in contemporary struggles for dignity and freedom. Skillfully navigating a difficult and traumatic terrain, Gordon cuts through the mist of white narcissism and the versions of consciousness it perpetuates. He exposes the bad faith at the heart of many discussions about race and racism not only in America but across the globe, including those who think of themselves as “color blind.” As Gordon reveals, these lies offer many white people an inherited sense of being extraordinary, a license to do as they please. But for many, if not for most Blacks, to live an ordinary life in a white-dominated society is an extraordinary achievement.

Informed by Gordon’s life growing up in Jamaica and the Bronx and taking as a touchstone the pandemic and the uprisings against police violence, Fear of Black Consciousness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022), is a groundbreaking work that positions Black consciousness as a political commitment and creative practice, richly layered through art, love, and revolutionary action. PURCHASE BOOK HERE.

About the Author

Lewis R. Gordon is an Afro-Jewish public intellectual, academic, and musician (jazz, blues, rock, reggae, hip hop, etc.). He teaches at UCONN, where he is Professor and Head of the Philosophy Department, with affiliations in many academic units, including Caribbean Studies and Jewish Studies. He lectures and is involved in political and artistic projects across the globe and holds appointments in South Africa, Jamaica, India, and France. He is the author of many books for which he has received accolades, which include the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award for Outstanding Work on Human Rights in North America. His most recent book is Fear of Black Consciousness, which was listed on Literary Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2022. He is this year’s recipient of the Eminent Scholar Award from the Global Development Studies division of the International Studies Association.

Register Here for Zoom Lecture


April 24
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
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