social change | October 22, 2012

Race 2012: Randall Kennedy Appears in New PBS Film

Randall Kennedy, one of America's foremost commentators on race, will appear in PBS's election special. Called RACE 2012: A Conversation About Race and Politics in America, the film uses the current presidential election as a backdrop to explain the dramatically changing social and racial landscape in the United States. In 1980, the population of the U.S. was 80 per cent white. Now, according to a 2010 census, the non-white population in the country is up to 35 per cent, giving immigrant and minority groups a louder voice than ever before. Drawing from Kennedy's background in race relations, the film documents pivotal moments in the history of race. It also features a fast-paced and in-depth look at the people and policies that are driving the conversation about those issues today.

In a world that is changing so rapidly, Kennedy believes that "a lot of people, in terms of the 'New America', are trying to find out, well, 'who am I?'" In a short video interview about student groups that have racial or ethnic affiliations, he explains that nowadays "people are simply seizing opportunities to make various facets of themselves, in a sense, come alive." And one of the ways they are doing so is by joining groups that celebrate their heritage. As a Harvard Law professor and author, Kennedy has combined his breadth of knowledge with a presentation style that demands attention. His book, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word, stirred debate and shot to the top of the bestseller list. If his appearance in Race 2012 is anything like his previous work, viewers will be in for a captivating analysis of race and politics in the 21st century.

Up Next

religion | October 21, 2012