The Presidency

Presidential leadership and race

Watch PrezFest 2019

Prezfest logo - overlaid on a collage of photos of past presidents

The Presidential Ideas Festival was held May 21-23, 2019.

About this video

October 29, 2020

Kevin Gaines, Russell Riley

Hosted by Risa Goluboff

The ongoing national reckoning with issues of racial justice has made the issue a central theme in the 2020 presidential campaign. In an effort to better understand the current moment, this program will examine the deep history of presidential leadership and race and will explore the following questions: What lessons might the policies and rhetoric of past presidents and administrations hold for our understanding of the challenges of the present moment? How does the current administration's policies and rhetoric on civil rights and racial justice compare with the record of past administrations on these issues? Might we regard the Trump administration's approach to issues of race as without precedent? Or is it possible to draw similarities between past administrations and the current one?