The Veritas Forum at Brown

Understanding the Anger: A Christian and A Secularist Discuss Racial Inequality, Faith and Identity

Racial injustice stretches back to the origins of our country and is reflected continually in current news reports and Facebook feeds. It ranges from structural issues of law, economy, and society on the one hand, to horrific personal situations like the shooting of 13 black people in a prayer meeting in South Carolina on the other hand. The history of Christianity in the United States is tied both to the support of and opposition to racism. We will discuss such critical, present-day matters as these. Far from abstract ideas, these are concrete realities that shape us personally and our society as a whole.

Andra Gillespie, representing the Christian worldview, is an Assoc. Prof. of Political Science at Emory University. Author of The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America (NYU Press 2012), she has appeared on Atlanta’s local ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, and PBS affiliates, as well as CNN and NPR. Her current research focuses on the political leadership of the post-civil rights generation.

Daniel Y. Kim, representing a secular worldview, is an Assoc. Prof. of English and American Studies at Brown. Author of Writing Manhood in Black and Yellow: Ralph Ellison, Frank Chin and the Literary Politics of Identity (Stanford University Press, 2005), he is currently working on a book provisionally titled The Intimacy of Conflict: A Cultural History of the Korean War.

Moderating the conversation is Françoise N. Hamlin, Assoc. Prof. in History and Africana Studies at Brown. Previously a Charles Warren Center Fellow at Harvard University and a Woodrow Wilson-Mellon Fellow, her current teaching and research focus on twentieth century U.S. history, African American history, southern history, cultural studies and Africana Studies. Prof. Hamlin is a Christian.

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Started at Harvard in 1992, Veritas Forums are hosted by coalitions of Christian fellowships at over 50 leading schools, with the aim of engaging students and faculty in discussions of life’s hardest questions. We welcome the diverse viewpoints of experts who wrestle with the big questions both intellectually and personally. Past presenters include Francis Collins, Peter Singer, Steven Pinker, Sir John Polkinghorne, and Cornel West. Further information can be found at