Peniel E. Joseph

Peniel E. Joseph
Lecture date
Originally aired: May 23rd, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century

Peniel E. Joseph is Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD) at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs as the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values, and in history at the College of Liberal Arts. As a professor at Tufts University, he founded the first CSRD to promote engaged scholarship on race and democracy’s impact on global citizens. He earned a B.A. from SUNY at Stony Brook and a Ph.D. from Temple University.

In Joseph’s latest book, The Third Reconstruction, he offers a powerful and personal new interpretation of recent history. The racial reckoning that unfolded in 2020, he argues, marked the climax of a Third Reconstruction: a new struggle for citizenship and dignity for Black Americans, just as momentous as the movements that arose after the Civil War and during the civil rights era. Joseph draws revealing connections and insights across centuries as he traces this Third Reconstruction from the election of Barack Obama to the rise of Black Lives Matter to the failed assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Joseph’s work has appeared in the New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. He has also commentated on National Public Radio, The Colbert ReportPBS, and MSNBC, and has authored several award-winning books. He recently published The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X. and Martin Luther King Jr.