May 15th 2022

NOTE: This program will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center. No advance registration required. Learn more about the American Writers Festival here:

In this Newberry-sponsored event as part of the American Writers Festival, historian Leonard Moore will discuss his new book, Teaching Black History to White People: “part memoir, part Black history, part pedagogy, and part how-to guide.” Moore will be joined in conversation by Laura McEnaney, the Newberry’s Vice President for Research and Academic Programs.

Leonard Moore has been teaching Black history for twenty-five years, mostly to white people. Drawing on decades of experience in the classroom and on college campuses throughout the South, as well as on his own personal history, Moore illustrates how an understanding of Black history is necessary for everyone.

In Teaching Black History to White People, he delivers an accessible and engaging primer on the Black experience in America, posing provocative questions, such as “Why is the teaching of Black history so controversial?” and “What came first: slavery or racism?” These questions don’t have easy answers, and Moore insists that embracing discomfort is necessary for engaging in open and honest conversations about race. Moore includes a syllabus and other tools for actionable steps that white people can take to move beyond performative justice and toward racial reparations, healing, and reconciliation.

Leonard N. Moore is George Littlefield Professor of American History and the former vice-president of diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.

Laura McEnaney is Vice President for Research and Academic Programs at the Newberry Library.

On May 15, 2022, the American Writers Museum will launch the first ever American Writers Festival in Chicago. This one-day event will take place on multiple venue stages, including the American Writers Museum and four stages at the Chicago Cultural Center downtown. The festival will feature more than 75 beloved contemporary authors, artists, and playwrights, who will address their perspectives on many of today’s most timely and controversial topics including immigration, book censorship, racism, and equality through themes within their literature.

This program is free and open to all, with no advance registration required.

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