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Eddie Glaude Visits Haverford to Discuss Race and Democracy

Eddie Glaude, Photo Credit: Princeton University

On October 5th, students from Haverford and beyond came to Chase Auditorium to listen to Eddie Glaude, the Chair of the Department of African American Studies and the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University, speak.

Glaude was invited by Professor Terrance Wiley, Professor of Religion and Africana Studies, and Coordinator of the Initiative for Ethical Engagement and Leadership (IEEL). Glaude’s studies focus on the status of black Americans and the problems that the nation faces at large.

Glaude discussed the premise of his new book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Governs the Soul of America. Glaude outlines what he calls, the “value gap”, or essentially the idea that, “white lives matter more than black lives”. In order to mitigate the value gap, we must change our habits, and the way we view the world around us.

According to Glaude, we must view racial change as tangible, rather than take a pessimistic approach as the“choices in front of us are not our only choices”. In order for there to be radical change, we must, “change our demands of government…[to do that] we must change our view of government.”

Students came away with many positive reactions. Travis Grant ‘20, said, “It was good. It [change] starts with how we view whiteness…only white people can change that. It’s all true. It’s all relative.”

Even students outside the Tri-Co left with plenty to talk about. Ford McFadden, a student from Strawberry Mansion High School, whose class came to see Glaude’s talk as part of a classroom trip, mentioned he was inspired from the talk. In particular, he like how Glaude mentioned, “You can make a move without being all together”, citing the need to be surrounded by like-minded people instead. To him, this was important as his, “neighborhood faces discrimination…[from] police officers mainly…being shot at.”

Following his talk, Glaude spent 45 minutes answering questions from students, and spent time shaking hands and meeting with every student that wanted to talk.

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