Miller Center

American Forum - Whose Fault is Ferguson? The Roots of Our National Discord

Orlando Patterson
May 18, 2015
11:00AM - 12:30PM (EDT)

Orlando Patterson
Orlando Patterson

Part of a new American Forum special series, What Now? Dialogues on Race in America

Television Broadcast: June 7, 2015

National Book Award winner ORLANDO PATTERSON, one of the nation’s leading sociologists, takes on a long-running debate over the causes of economic distress for inner-city America. Is it centuries of racism and discrimination against African Americans? Is it a failure of government policy since the Civil Rights movement? Or as New York magazine recently asked: does the real problem lie in “what black communities are doing to themselves”?  In his new book, The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth, Patterson seeks to unravel a uniquely American paradox: the socioeconomic crisis, segregation, and social isolation of disadvantaged black youth, on one hand, and their extraordinary integration and prominence in popular culture on the other. Patterson is the John Cowles Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and the author of Slavery and Social Death: A Comparative Study and The Ordeal of Integration: Progress and Resentment in America’s “Racial” Crisis. He has served as a special advisor for social policy and development to Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica and is a founding member of Cultural Survival, one of the leading advocacy groups for the rights of indigenous peoples. His columns have appeared in Time, Newsweek, The New Republic, and the Washington Post. He is the recipient of many awards, including the National Book Award for Non-Fiction, the Ralph Bunche Award for the best book on pluralism, and the Order of Distinction by the Government of Jamaica. A book signing will follow his Forum.  Photo Credit: Stu Rosner

This event is part of…

What Now? Dialogues on Race in America: This series of American Forum episodes explores both historical and current race-related issues that have troubled the nation.

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