Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought, (Princeton 2004). And she is currently at work on a new book: Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough. Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges.
Her academic research has been published in scholarly journals and edited volumes and her interests include the study of African American political thought, black religious ideas and practice, and social and clinical psychology. Professor Harris-Lacewell's creative and dynamic teaching is also motivated by the practical political and racial issues of our time. For example, her course entitled Disaster, Race and American Politics explored the multiple political meanings of Hurricane Katrina. Professor Harris-Lacewell has taught students from grade school to graduate school and has been recognized for her commitment to the classroom as a site of democratic deliberation on race.
"I really, really like Black people."
God finds his way into everything that Black folks do, Harris-Lacewell says.
"I do think that our press for the most part covers race in a very flat and uninteresting way."
Lacewell talks about the study of race and genetics and the threat of biology-based racism.
Race as discussed in academia should not be treated as just a social construct.
"There's a multiplicity of experiences."
"The real serious continuing legacy of slavery in this country is the electoral college in the U.S. Senate."
"I just think that the criminal line is drawn way too far."
Who benefits more from the success of a hip-hop artist? Black women, or white men?
It starts with the Declaration of Independence, Harris-Lacewell says.