Tracing the genealogy of statistical discourses on race, Khalil Gibran Muhammad explores the violence of racial quantification on black women and men’s lives beginning in the postbellum period. How did the numbers of out of wedlock childbirths or incarcerated men come to define the progress and potential of African Americans by contrast to others? Why have such facts spoken for themselves as is so often said today? Or have they?
Muhammad is the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library. In July, he will join the Harvard faculty as Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
This lecture is being presented by the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute.