Award-winning journalist and scholar Jelani Cobb to discuss Tyre Nichols case virtually Monday as part of Germanna series

by | Mar 4, 2023 | Germanna

Monday, March 6 • 7 p.m.
Virtual Germanna Community Conversations event

Historian, author, and Peabody Award-winning journalist Jelani Cobb will explore the complexities of race and justice in America, including the Tyre Nichols case, when he speaks in the latest installment of the Germanna Community Conversations series at 6 p.m. on March 6. The virtual event is open to all, free, but registration is required at Germanna.edu/conversations.

Cobb has been contributing to The New Yorker since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015. He writes frequently about race, politics, history, and culture. His most recent book is “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress.” He won the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, for his columns on race, the police, and injustice. He is the dean of the Columbia Journalism School.

Of the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five Black Memphis police officers, Cobb wrote in January: “few Black people have harbored the delusion that white people are the sole vectors of white supremacy. In 1897, W. E. B. Du Bois noted that among the most corrosive effects of racism was its tendency to make its victims see themselves through the eyes of people who hold them in contempt. When the Black-nationalist firebrand Marcus Garvey gave rise to the ‘Black is beautiful’ movement, a century ago, he wasn’t trying to convince white people; he was addressing Black people who had never considered the possibility that those two adjectives could coexist.”

Cobb received the Peabody Award for his 2020 PBS Frontline film “Whose Vote Counts?” and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 2018. He has also been a political analyst for MSNBC since 2019.

He is the author of “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic.” He is the editor or co-editor of several volumes including “The Matter of Black Lives,” a collection of The New Yorker’s writings on race and “The Essential Kerner Commission Report.” He is producer or co-producer on a number of documentaries including” Lincoln’s Dilemma,” “Obama: A More Perfect Union” and “Policing the Police.”

Cobb was educated at Jamaica High School in Queens, NY, Howard University, where he earned a B.A. in English, and Rutgers University, where he completed his MA and doctorate in American History in 2003. He is also a recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation and the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

The series continues at 7 p.m. on March 8, when Michael Knopf, Rabbi at Temple Beth-El in Richmond will discuss the impact of antisemitism on the Jewish community in Virginia and what actions we can take to combat its spread.

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