48th Annual MLK Celebration Keynote
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor, Princeton University
Chair, Department of African American Studies, Princeton University
One of the nation's most prominent scholars, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., is a passionate educator, author, political commentator, and public intellectual who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. His writings--including In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2007), Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul (Crown, 2016), and his most recent, the New York Times bestseller Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own (Crown, 2020)--take an exhaustive look at Black communities, the difficulties of race in the United States and the challenges we face as a democracy. Of Baldwin, Glaude writes, "Baldwin's writing does not bear witness to the glory of America. It reveals the country's sins and the illusion of innocence that blinds us to the reality of others. Baldwin's vision requires a confrontation with our history (with slavery, Jim Crow segregation, with whiteness) to overcome its hold on us. Not to posit the greatness of America, but to establish the ground upon which to imagine the country anew."
A highly accomplished and respected scholar of religion, Glaude is a former president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include An Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach to the Study of African American Religion (University of Georgia Press, 2018), African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014), and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2000), which was awarded the Modern Language Association's William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize.
Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of African American Studies, a program he first became involved with shaping as a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton. He is also on the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. He frequently appears in the media, as a columnist for TIME Magazine and as an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe and Deadline Whitehouse with Nicolle Wallace. He also regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays. Combining a scholar's knowledge of history, a political commentator's take on the latest events, and an activist's passion for social justice, Glaude challenges all of us to examine our collective American conscience.