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Tricia Rose on Breaking Free from Systemic Racism

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Racism is often described as an individual failing, but Dr. Tricia Rose explains that racism is better understood as the result of a system built over generations and even centuries—and perpetuated by the stories we tell about it today.

Rose is the Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies and Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. She studies African American life, culture, and the impact of inequality, in the post-civil rights era. She specializes in the ways contemporary forms of systemic racism are blurred and hidden in our everyday storytelling about racism and the important role African-American expressive culture plays in creating spaces of recognition, resilience, and resistance. She is the author of four books and one edited collection on subjects ranging from her most recent work on systemic racism to her earlier award-winning work on hip hop, black women’s sexuality, and black popular culture.  They include, “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America,” “Longing to Tell: Black Women Talk About Sexuality and Intimacy” and “The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop and Why It Matters.”  Her latest, published this year, is “Metaracism: How Systemic Racism Devastates Black Lives―and How We Break Free.”

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