A Reflection on Debating and African American Intellectual History

In recent years America has had an explosion in debates about the academy and who should have the right to speak to college audiences. Debates about the utility and practice of free speech form a particularly important current of modern intellectual discussion. I am sure that, down the road, historians will look back on our era and recognize how debates about freedom of speech—whether in the academy or the corporate world—were an important part of modern era.

However, today I want to look back and consider the importance of debate to the African American intellectual tradition. Much of African American intellectual history can be seen as intellectuals—whether preachers, academics, journalists, or other community leaders—participating in a debate over the very humanity of African…

Read More

***News stories appearing in this Feed are 3rd party content and are included strictly for non-commercial informational purposes.