How have racial attitudes across America changed over time? What roles do race and ethnicity play in American political identity? Dr. Candis Watts Smith and Dr. Ray Block, both associate professors of Political Science and African American Studies at Penn State, will discuss their research on the historical and political significance of race and racism in the U.S. We will follow their presentations with an open discussion, incorporating questions from the audience.
Candis Watts Smith received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Political Science at Duke University. Prior to coming to Penn State, Smith had posts at Texas A&M University, Williams College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research explores the political and policy ramifications of shifting demographics in U.S. Smith is the author of Black Mosaic: The Politics of Black Pan-Ethnic Diversity, the co-author of Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter and Racial Stasis: The Millennial Generation and the Stagnation of Racial Attitudes in American Politics, and the co-editor of Black Politics in Transition: Immigration, Suburbanization, and Gentrification.
Ray Block earned his bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and political science from Howard University and master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from The Ohio State University. His research interests include racial, ethnic, and gender differences in civic involvement, the formation and mutability of social identity, and campaigns and elections. He has published dozens of book chapters, manuscripts, and peer-reviewed journal articles and is co-author of Losing Power: Americans and Racial Polarization in Tennessee Politics.
To learn more about these speakers, get a sneak preview into their brilliance on these topics, and gain some inspiration for questions to ask on Tuesday, you can check out the following resources:
Democracy Works Podcast: Black Politics Then and Now, with Ray Block and Candis Watts Smith https://radio.wpsu.org/post/democracy-works-black-politics-then-and-now
Democracy Works Podcast: The Clumsy Journey to Antiracism, with Candis Watts Smith https://radio.wpsu.org/post/democracy-works-clumsy-journey-antiracism
Three Myths About Racism: TED Talk by Candis Watts Smith https://youtu.be/7CGJDgO4Fs8