CONTACT: TOM SNEE
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 16, 2003
Harvard law professor to discuss racial epithet in UI lecture
Harvard University law professor and author Randall Kennedy
will discuss the history of America’s most inflammatory racial epithet
in his lecture, “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word,” at
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23 in the Main Lounge of the Iowa Memorial Union.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Kennedy will sign copies of
his 2002 book “Nigger” in the Sun Room following the lecture.
His appearance is sponsored by the UI Lecture Committee.
Kennedy’s book was hailed by critics last year as a thoughtful and
clear-headed look at the word, its history and its affect on American life
and culture. When followed through popular culture, the court system, academia,
and disparate racial communities, the word nigger (and its relative acceptability)
is in constant flux. It has been used to remove judges and inflame juries,
as a term of endearment and one of derision, and to ban as well as celebrate
Kennedy is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, and
was a Rhodes Scholar. He served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood
Marshall. He was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Race, Crime
and the Law.