February 15, 2010                                                    

AMHERST, Mass.—On Wednesday, March 3, AmherstCollege’s Houston Forum Lecture Series “Post Racialism: Fact or Fantasy?” will host a panel discussion at 4:15 p.m. in Pruyne Lecture Hall of Fayerweather Hall featuring Harvard Law School professor Lani Guinier and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign history professor David Roediger. The conversation is free and open to the public and is sponsored by The Houston Forum for Law & Social Justice.

According to the speakers, the discussion will focus on the phenomenon of post-racialism and the anxieties and desires that seem to be attached to it. Questions posed by the participants will include, “Does post-racialism privilege the black middle class while acting as a disguise for continued virulent racism directed against the black underclass?” and “Is it part of an effort to de-racialize class relations in the United States?” among others.

Guinier is a former civil rights lawyer who specializes in voting rights law, democratic theory and practice, educational access and pedagogy and social justice with an emphasis on issues of race, gender and class. She has worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and directed the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Her publications include The Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy and The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (with Gerald Torres).

Roediger teaches history and African American studies and has written extensively on the racial identities of white workers and of immigrants and on the history of radicalism. His books include Our Own Time, The Wages of Whiteness, Towards the Abolition of Whiteness and How Race Survived U.S. History. He has been active in labor support and anti-racist organizing.