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A Book Talk and Signing with H. Samy Alim


“In this eloquently written and powerfully argued book, H. Samy Alim and Geneva Smitherman provide new insights about President Obama and the relationship between language and race in contemporary society. Throughout, they analyze several racially loaded, cultural-linguistic controversies involving the President–from his use of Black Language and his “articulateness” to his “Race Speech,” the so-called “fist-bump,” and his relationship to Hip Hop Culture. 

Using their analysis of Barack Obama as a point of departure, Alim and Smitherman reveal how major debates about language, race, and educational inequality erupt into moments of racial crisis in America. In challenging American ideas about language, race, education, and power, they help take the national dialogue on race to the next level. In much the same way that Cornel West revealed nearly two decades ago that “race matters,” Alim and Smitherman in this groundbreaking book show how deeply “language matters” to the national conversation on race–and in our daily lives.”

We do hope you will be able to join us on the 14th, and might pass along this invitation to any and all classes, scholars, students, and individuals to whom Professor Alim’s discussion and work might be relevant and interesting.

If you RSVP by the 11th, lunch will be included!

Additionally, our annual symposium on Race and Education, featuring Professor Django Paris, as well as Professor Alim and others, will be taking place the following day at the Wolf Law Building.  It is free and open to all. RSVP here:



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