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Undermining Racism Series: Martin Luther King Now: Toward a Public Philosophy of Justice, Democracy, and Peace for the 21st Century

Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Registration is requested
Members: $10 | Visitors: $15

Martin Luther King Now: Toward a Public Philosophy of Justice, Democracy, and Peace for the 21st Century

Brandon M. Terry

Join us for a lecture on one of our nation’s most prominent and important figures. Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies Brandon M. Terry will explore the ethical and political thought of arguably the greatest public intellectual and activist that the United States ever produced, Martin Luther King, Jr. In interrogating King’s body of public philosophy, as well as its leading critics and interpreters, Terry argues we can find indispensable conceptual and philosophical resources to navigate many of our current political crises and confusions.

Brandon M. Terry is an Assistant Professor at Harvard as well as the editor, with Tommie Shelby, of To Shape a New World: Essays on the Political Philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Fifty Years Since MLK. He is currently completing a book entitled The Tragic Vision of the Civil Rights Movement: Political Theory and the Historical Imagination that interrogates, with philosophy of history, literary theory, and political philosophy, the ethical and political significance of the different ways we imagine African American history. Terry earned a PhD with distinction in political science and African American studies from Yale University, an MSc in political theory research as a Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford, and an AB, magna cum laude, in government and African and African American studies from Harvard College. He has published work in Boston Review, Dissent, The Point, New Labor Forum, Du Bois Review, Huffington Post, and Perspectives on Politics. An active contributor to public debate, Brandon has also provided commentary for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, NPR, Time, the Associated Press, The Nation, and other national and international publications.

This event is the first program in the three-part “Undermining Racism” series, which presents thoughtful examinations of people who found ways to navigate, undermine, and change a system designed to limit African Americans’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Join us on February 7 for a screening of the documentary Fair Game: Surviving a 1960 Georgia Lynching and a discussion with filmmaker Clennon King and on March 7 for a preview of and discussion on Steeplechase Film’s documentary Driving While Black: African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow with Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, the film’s senior historical advisor.

Expand your knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement with other Athenæum members in the Civil Rights discussion group, which meets at 6 pm on the second Thursday of each month.

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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.