Events & exhibitions

Book Talk with Jarvis R. Givens

  • Tuesday, July 25, 2023
    4 PM ET
  • Online on Zoom
Portrait of Jarvis Givens
Photo courtesy of Jarvis Givens

Join us for our continuing series of Virtual Radcliffe Book Talks exploring recent publications whose subjects or authors have a connection with Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

The 2023 summer series continues with Jarvis R. Givens RI ’21, author of School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness (‎Beacon Press, 2023). Givens is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a faculty affiliate of the Department of African and African American Studies in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on the history of American education, African American history, and the relationship between race and power in schools.

School Clothes challenges historical—and current—prejudices, which often characterize Black students as problematic or troubled. “A sharp examination of how Black students have consistently overcome institutionalized racism” (Kirkus Reviews), School Clothes explores the educational lives of Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Mary McLeod Bethune, Malcolm X, and Angela Davis, as well as many others, to reveal “that Black students experience the classroom as a terrain of battle, a stage, an observatory and a microscope, and a space of nurture, imagination, and freedom-making.” (Robin D. G. Kelley)

Givens’s reading will be followed by a discussion with Clint Smith, staff writer at the Atlantic and New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and poet. Smith’s most recent publications include How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America ‎(Little, Brown and Company, 2021) and Above Ground (‎Little, Brown and Company, 2023).

The event will also include an audience Q and A.

Harvard Radcliffe Institute gratefully acknowledges the Steiner Dean's Leadership Fund for Academic Ventures, which is supporting this event.

Black Students Speak (Harvard Magazine, 7/27/23)

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