On Wednesday, November 3, 2021, Dr. Earl Lewis gave his Distinguished University Professor lecture, "How Questions of Power, Race and Identity Shaped a Career." The talk placed Lewis academic and professional pursuits in the context of the environments in which he grew up. 

"The year before my birth, the US Supreme Court rules separate by equal education unconstitutional. [The Court] will follow that decision soon after my birth with the instruction for the nation to desegregate with all deliberate speed. 'All deliberate speed' for me and my classmates proves the most ironic sequence of words in the history of American jurisprudence. In our early years, we witnessed massive resistance into position and a range of delaying tactics that laid bare the inadequacies of America's pledge of liberty and justice for all. Throughout kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, and the first years of high school, segregation prevailed.

"Upon reflection, the 1970s opened us to new worlds, new friendships, a confrontation with the ideology of difference and the idea that knowledge production was about power and power relationships. This persepctive has quided me for more than four decades."

Watch the lecture above (Dr. Lewis is introduced at 35:47).