LIVE from NYPL: The Crime Without a Name: Barrett Holmes Pitner with Lewis R. Gordon
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The philosopher and journalist explores the linguistic void in how we discuss race and cultural erasure in the United States.
Can new language reshape our understanding of the past and expand the possibilities of the future? Barrett Holmes Pitner seeks better words to reframe discussions about race and culture and to change the way we understand our diverse and rapidly evolving political climate. In his new book, he examines ethnocide in America, the systematic erasure of a people's ancestral culture, and its particular impacts on Black Americans, who have endured that erasure for generations. A compelling analysis of our nation's ethnocidal foundation, The Crime Without a Name posits that activating this concept within our discourse, as we continue to reckon with our wrongs, can help sustain the richness of our diverse cultures in perpetuity.
Holmes speaks with Lewis R. Gordon about the historical origins of ethnocide in the U.S., and examines the personal lived consequences of existing within an ongoing erasure—and how to combat it.
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Barrett Holmes Pitner recommends the following titles:
- Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett — NYPL Catalog ; NYPL Talking Books ; Bookshare
- Dead Souls, by Nikolay Gogol — NYPL Catalog ; NYPL Talking Books ; Bookshare
- Black Reconstruction, by W.E.B. Du Bois — NYPL Catalog ; Bookshare
- Being and Nothingness, by Jean-Paul Sartre — NYPL Catalog ; NYPL Talking Books ; Bookshare
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Barrett Holmes Pitner is a writer, columnist, journalist, and filmmaker whose work has been published in The Daily Beast, The Guardian, and elsewhere. He is the founder of The Sustainable Culture Lab, a think tank with the goals of influencing policy by working with legislators and decision-makers, and impacting culture at a grassroots level through events, work, and cultural offerings. He lives in Washington, D.C. Find out more at barrettholmespitner.com.
Lewis R. Gordon is Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy at University of Connecticut-Storrs; Honorary President of th Global Center for Advanced Studies; Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Honorary Professor in the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University, South Africa. He co-edits the journal Philosophy and Global Affairs and is the author of many books including Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization (Routledge, 2021) and Fear of Black Consciousness (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux [print and e-book] and as a Macmillan Audiobook [read by Landon Woodson and Lewis R. Gordon]; London: Penguin Books), which will be published January 11, 2022.
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