Conversations on Race: The Invention of Race & Its Implications

This year’s conversation will be led by Dr. Nell Irvin Painter, professor emerita at Princeton and author of New York Times bestseller The History of White People in which she discusses both the invention of race and also the frequent praise of “whiteness” for economic, scientific, and political ends.

Nell Irvin Painter is a distinguished and award-winning scholar and writer.  A graduate of Harvard University, Painter went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University. She is the author of seven books and countless articles relating to the history of the American South. Painter’s latest book, The History of White People, guides us through more than 2000 years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but the frequent praise of “whiteness.”

Conversations on race often center on people of color. Dr. Painter will give us the opportunity to understand ‘whiteness’ and the creation of 'blackness' in the context of historical racism and the ideologies of race. According to Dr. Painter, "a belief in the supremacy of white people remains persistent and pernicious in some quarters — an invention, just as race (including the white race) was an invention." After Dr. Painter’s talk, attendees will participate in facilitated small group conversations in order to consider the implications of the historical creations of race on our community and our efforts to be truly integrated and inclusive. Learn more about Dr. Painter here.

Wednesday, May 15th, 7:30 pm

Seton Hall University, University Hall

We are excited to partner this year with Seton Hall University on this important community conversation. Many thanks to Rev. Dr. Forrest Pritchett, an esteemed activist and mentor who currently serves as the director of Seton Hall University’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Program, for his collaboration with the Coalition on Race's Conversations on Race committee

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP on our events page. To RSVP for the shuttle from the lower Columbia High School parking lot to Seton Hall, please call 973-761-6116 or write us at info@twotowns.org. 


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