MLK lecture explores the meaning of being “black now”

Kiana Roppe

African Americans gained freedom with the end of the Civil War. A century and a half later, Touré authored “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now.”

The book explores what it means to be black today and how blackness has changed over time. Touré will speak at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

In preparation for the book, Touré interviewed 105 prominent African Americans. Some of his famous interviewees include Jesse Jackson, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Cornel West, Malcolm Gladwell, Soledad O’Brien, Kara Walker and Paul Mooney. 

A reporter for The New York Times said that the book was “one of the most acutely observed accounts of what it is like to be young, black and middle-class in contemporary America.”

Touré is an MSNBC correspondent and the host of two music shows on Fuse: “The Hip-Hop Shop” and “On the Record”, the latter of which is a music interview show. He has interviewed music celebrities as big as Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Rihanna, as well as many others. He was previously a contributing editor at Rolling Stone for 15 years. 

The lecture is sponsored as part of the National Affairs Series and the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Series.