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Anne Braden Memorial Lecture Looks at Racial Divide

Anne Braden Institute

An Emory University professor delivered a speech Wednesday on the issues behind racial divisions during the Anne Braden Memorial Lecture at the University of Louisville.

Carol Anderson, associate professor of African-American Studies and history at Emory University, gave a speech based on a piece she wrote for The Washington Post at the height of the protests in Ferguson.

Her remarks were titled "White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide."

Before the speech, Anderson said the fixation of some of the public on looting and violence took attention away from systemic issues of police violence. That's what prompted her to write a piece (now a lecture, and soon to be a book) putting today's race-based violence into a historical context.

She said people struggle to talk about race in America because it challenges prevailing beliefs about our society and wealth accumulation.

"We have a narrative in America: You work hard, you go to school, you keep your nose clean, you pull yourself up by your bootstraps," she said. "Now, if you have to really deal with the way that race has worked in the United States, then all of the sudden that narrative begins to shake and begins to shimmy, and you've got massive cognitive dissonance going on here. "

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the date of the event.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.

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