Award-winning professor, author and scholar Khalil Gibran Muhammad will reveal how the idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, during his lecture that is part of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium.

Headshot of Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Khalil Gibran
Muhammad

The Donia Human Rights Center’s annual MLK lecture, which also will explore African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime, will be delivered at 4 p.m. Jan. 22 at Weiser Hall, Room 1010.

Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, also will discuss the role the urban North played in shaping views about the intersection of race and crime in American society.

Muhammad’s writing and advocacy work examines the broad intersections of race, democracy, inequality and criminal justice in modern U.S. history.

His book “The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America” won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Best Book award in American Studies. It explores the history of social science research to show how the quantification of data has led to misleading assumptions about the potential of the races.

Muhammad is the former director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history.

He also has appeared in a number of feature-length documentaries, including the Oscar-nominated “13th” and “Slavery by Another Name.”

Muhammad’s talk is free and open to the public.

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