The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research presents its annual lecture series at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown this evening, beginning at 5 pm.
For the past several years, the event has gathered distinguished intellectuals in an array of fields to discuss a topic chosen for its applicability to current events and the African American community. Last year’s topic, Achieving Equality in the Age of Obama, gathered an insightful array of perspectives on race and equality (and lack thereof) in the 21st century.
This year’s focus, Locked Out, Locked Up: Black Men in America, while perhaps more specialized, is equally as pervasive. For the hour and a half discussion, panelists will offer their perspectives on the epidemic of imprisoned black men in the United States.
As customary, the event will be hosted by Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University, and moderated by journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault.
Panelists include a collection of distinguished intellectuals: Michelle Alexander, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University; poet and advocate R. Dwayne Betts; Harvard University professor Lawrence D. Bobo; and op-ed columnists for the New York Times Charles M. Blow and Bob Herbert.
Tickets for general admission, which are free, are currently sold out. A few may gain entrance by coming to the Old Whaling Church the day of the event.