March 07, 2013

CUNY Graduate Center

Racecraft: Barbara Fields in conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates

What's behind the "post-racial America" myth?
"Whatever the 'post' may mean in 'post-racial, it cannot mean that racism belongs to the past." 
Barbara Fields, Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

On Thursday, March 7th, we invite you to join Barbara Fields and Ta-Nehisi Coates in a conversation about inequality, race, and the persistence of the notion that we live in a "post-racial" America.

In their incisive and daring new book Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life, a detailed transdisciplinary analysis of how racism has come to operate in America, sisters Karen Fields and Barbara Fields tackle the myth of the "post racial" era. Racecraft's central metaphor is that race functions today similarly to the ways in which witchcraft once operated: formally, society agrees that race may be an illusion and that racism is bad, yet it continues to exert a spell-like influence over us, structuring nearly all of our every day experiences.

Drawing on years of scholarly research, the Fields approach their subject with ingenuity and wit, tracing a narrative analysis through America's history by way of their individual expertise in history and sociology.

Joining Barbara at the CUNY Graduate Center is Atlantic senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates, who writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Time, among many other publications.

6.30pm – 8.00pm

CUNY Graduate Center

9100: Skylight Room, 365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016 United States




  • The Academic & the Artist: Discussion Series with Karen Fields, co-author of Racecraft

    Next Thursday, Barbara Fields will discuss Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life with Atlantic senior editor Ta-Nehisi Coates at the CUNY Graduate Center. The book, which Fields co-wrote with her sister, Karen Fields, is dense with ideas and there will be lots to cover in the conversation.

    In advance of the event, we recommend the Academic & the Artist podcast, which Karen Fields has appeared on three times now. The programs provide a great opportunity to explore some of the challenging debates circulating around the book's central themes of race, inequality and the mythical belief in a "post-racial" America.

    In the first interview, which was released shortly after Racecraft was published in the fall of last year, Fields talked to the podcast hosts José F. Moreno and Sergio Muñoz about racial identity, the racializing of inequality, and the problems inherent in fighting inequality with social policy that has been constructed on racial terms. Music by Stevie Wonder—Fields is a fan—was played during musical interludes. Click here to listen to the first show. 

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