Jelani Cobb, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary finalist and Columbia University professor, will be speaking at Cornell on May 3 at 4:30 p.m. in Rhodes Rawlings Auditorium in Klarman Hall.
Cobb will be delivering the 2018 Krieger Lecture in American Political Culture and will be discussing tensions between police and the black community.
Cobb is a staff writer for The New Yorker and a professor at Columbia’s School of Journalism, and a commentator on National Public Radio, CNN and CBS News. He has written two books, 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 has also had pieces published in The Washington Post, The New Republic and The Progressive.
Prof. Russell Rickford, history, said he was looking forward to a “no-holds-barred conversation,” that addresses “the troubled boundaries between reform and rebellion and between amelioration and abolition.”
“Cobb is both a sophisticated historian and one of the most insightful commentators on race, class, and the struggle for democracy in America,” Rickford said. “We are seeing violent attacks on black people escalate throughout the country and in many parts of the world, so this is an absolutely crucial time to confront questions of policing and racial justice.”
Rickford will hold a conversation after Cobb’s PBS Frontline documentary “Policing the Police,” is shown during the event.
According to the Pulitzer Prize’s website Cobb was chosen as a finalist for the award for “combining masterful writing with a deep knowledge of history and a deft reporter’s touch to bring context and clarity to the issue of race at a time when respectful dialogue on the subject often gives way to finger-pointing and derision.” Ten of his pieces from 2017 were nominated, contributing to his selection.
Cobb has also received the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis writing from the Sidney Hillman Foundation.