As we mark the beginning of Black History Month, it’s crucial we discuss issues that sit at the intersection of historic struggles for justice and equality, including protecting democracy. Black communities and thought leaders have long been at the forefront of movements advocating for civil rights and equal representation, striving to address systemic challenges that threaten the very foundation of democracy. By examining the importance of safeguarding democratic values during Black History Month, we acknowledge the pivotal role Black individuals and communities have played in shaping the fight for political and social justice. This week on The State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, academic and author Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. joins Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush to discuss how we can draw lessons from the past to build a more inclusive and equitable future for all.
“What we need to do is to understand our power. And so what I do is I offer a pragmatic reading of the prophetic, of the heroic, and of the democratic. I argue that the prophetic is located in each of us, and it’s located in our ability to exercise our imaginations: to see beyond the constraints of now, and to imagine what’s possible, to engage in that dramatic rehearsal in pursuit of the good. And so these lectures are really about disrupting this idea that we can outsource our responsibility for democracy to others. That if we’re going to save this fragile experiment in this moment, we’re going to have to do it.”
Dr. Glaude is a leading American scholar, a popular commentator, and the best-selling author of books including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, and Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Time, winner of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Book Prize. He is James S. McDonald Distinguished University Professor at Princeton University, and former chair of the Department of African American Studies there, as well as the former president of the American Academy of Religion. His next book, due out April 16, 2024, is titled We Are the Leaders We Have Been Looking For.