Events

Past Event

America on Fire: A Conversation on Police Violence & Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

March 31, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Online Event

Online Event: Watch Here

Join the Lehman Center for American History, a collaboration between the Department of History and Columbia University Libraries for a dynamic livestream discussion of the recently published book, America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s by Columbia-educated historian, Dr. Elizabeth Hinton, Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale University. This powerful work will be viewed in the context of the Lehman Center’s theme for this year, “Afterlives of Slavery.” This special event is co-sponsored with The Forum.

The panel will feature the book’s author in dialogue with Prof. Jelani Cobb, Ira Lipman Professor of Journalism and staff writer at the New Yorker. The panel will be moderated by Columbia Prof. of History, Frank Guridy, a Lehman Center Co-Director. There will be a Q & A session following the discussion for viewers to submit questions.

America on Fire positions recent movements – such as Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police – into a longer historical perspective. Hinton’s analysis presents a framework for understanding our nation’s enduring strife, as well as a warning: rebellions will surely continue unless police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control, and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principles of justice and equality.

As the Washington Post noted: “Hinton does not think she’s merely engaged in an academic exercise to ‘reframe’ narratives or ‘recharacterize’ norms. Her work is far more consequential. She offers in America on Fire a vivid description of historical events. She provides an account – as her subtitle suggests – of an ‘untold’ story. Hinton tells this story with clarity, and her conclusions should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers. She charts a course to move beyond rebellions. The question, however, is whether the United States has the political will to do it.”

America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s is available for purchase here.

About the Panelists

Elizabeth Hinton headshot

Elizabeth Hinton, who did her graduate work at Columbia, is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale University. She is the author of America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s and From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America.

Jelanie Cobb

Jelani Cobb is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at the Columbia School of Journalism, and is a staff writer at the New Yorker. He is the co-editor of The Matter of Black Lives: Writing from The New Yorker.

Frank Guridy headshot

Moderator Frank Guridy is an Associate Professor of History at Columbia University and is a 2021-2022 Director of the Lehman Center for American History