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CCRS Read Out!: Keynote Speaker Encourages Students to Empower One Another
April 2015Keynote speaker Vida Robertson, associate professor of English and recently appointed director of the UHD Center for Critical Race Studies posed the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This was theme of Monday’s Big Read keynote address and kick-off event, which addressed the project’s focus on the novel “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest Gaines.
In this talk, Robertson compared the characters in “A Lesson Before Dying” – Jefferson and Grant – to the biblical characters of Cain and Abel. Both stories, Robertson indicated, are about characters who suffer from double consciousness, a sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others. “We all – and especially people of color – experience this irreconcilable striving to be both who we are and who society expects us to be.”
Robertson also stated the greatest threat to minority populations is “loss of hope and absence of meaning,” which is a direct result of a failing social system and a greater failure to encourage, enlighten, and empower one another. Dr. Roberston stated that we are our brothers keeper.
Read more about the Big Read event and
Dr. Roberston's talk.
7/7/2020 7:01 AM
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street
Houston, TX 77002
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