2019 Griffith Endowed Lecture

Black Vulnerability and White Backlash

George Yancy - Black Vulnerability and White Backlash
Dr. George Yancy

In this talk, George Yancy will describe what it means to deploy love in the process of critically engaging whiteness. Love will be discussed as a site of vulnerability, courageous listening, and the capacity to be un-sutured. He will then explore some of the graphic white racist vitriol that he received as a result of asking white America to face its whiteness/racism. He explores this hatred as a response grounded partly in the arrogance of whiteness and its failure to tarry with the fact that the "innocence" of whiteness does not exist. He will explore some examples of the subtlety of how whiteness operates and how it remains complicit with white supremacy, and will conclude with a brief discussion about what it involves for whiteness to be in crisis, which he argues is a positive way of beginning to undo whiteness.

George Yancy is professor of philosophy at Emory University and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College. He has authored, edited, and co-edited over 20 books. Some of his books include Black Bodies, White GazesLook, a White!Buddhism and Whiteness: Critical ReflectionsOn Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of CrisisEducating for Critical Consciousness and Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America. Yancy is well-known for his essays and interviews at the New York Times philosophy column "The Stone."

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