Voltaire's Coffee: How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston, hosted by Dr. Richard Reddick, professor of Education
Tue, September 4, 2012 • 7:00 PM • Joynes Room, Carothers (CRD) 007, 2501 Whitis Ave. Enter through the east doors of the honors quad
How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston, hosted by Dr. Richard Reddick, professor of Education
Tuesday, 4 September at 7pm, Joynes Reading Room
If You Don't Buy This Book, You're a Racist. Have you ever been called "too black" or "not black enough"? Have you ever befriended or worked with a black person? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this book is for you. Raised by a pro-black, Pan-Afrikan single mother during the crack years of 1980s Washington, DC, and educated at Sidwell Friends School and Harvard University, Baratunde Thurston has over thirty years' experience being black. Now, through stories of his politically inspired Nigerian name, the heroics of his hippie mother, the murder of his drug-abusing father, and other revelatory black details, he shares with readers of all colors his wisdom and expertise in how to be black. Beyond memoir, this guidebook offers practical advice on everything from "How to Be The Black Friend" to "How to Be The (Next) Black President" to "How to Celebrate Black History Month." To provide additional perspective, Baratunde assembled an award-winning Black Panel—three black women, three black men, and one white man (Christian Lander of Stuff White People Like)—and asked them such revealing questions as: "When Did You First Realize You Were Black?" "How Black Are You?" "Can You Swim?" The result is a humorous, intelligent, and audacious guide that challenges and satirizes the so-called experts, purists, and racists who purport to speak for all black people. With honest storytelling and biting wit, Baratunde plots a path not just to blackness, but one open to anyone interested in simply "how to be."
Richard J. Reddick, Ed.D., is an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin, and is also the coordinator of the M.Ed. program in College and University Student Personnel Administration, where he was honored as a 2012 Outstanding Young Texas Ex by the Ex-Students' Association of The University of Texas. A 2010-2011 Career Enhancement Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Dr. Reddick and his research has been highlighted in The University of Texas at Austin's 2009 Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) Impact Report. Dr. Reddick’s teaching and research focuses on qualitative inquiry of the lived experiences of African American faculty: specifically, how faculty negotiate their professional roles with their engagement with the wider community. He also is interested in how faculty navigate the balance between providing essential community service as mentors to African American undergraduate students and their teaching and research obligations. Dr. Reddick also maintains a keen interest in historically Black colleges (HBCUs) and the sociocultural adaptations of Black families in the U.S. Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Reddick worked in student affairs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, and Emory University. Previously, he taught elementary and middle school in inner city Houston, in addition to training Teach For America corps members as a school director. Dr. Reddick has co-authored and co-edited three books on the African-American family, historically Black colleges and universities, and the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling on diversity in American education. He has earned degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (BA and Distinguished Graduate of the College of Liberal Arts, Plan II Honors, 1995) and Harvard University (Ed.D., Higher Education, 2007, and Ed.M., Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, 1998). A proud Austinite, Dr. Reddick attended Del Valle, Travis, and Reagan High Schools, and graduated from Johnston High School with honors in 1990. Dr. Reddick and his wife Sherry are the parents of two children. Dr. Reddick is on Twitter @DrRichReddick.