The Academic & the Artist Cloudcast and Verso Books Connect with Dr. Karen Fields to Promote Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life

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The Academic & the Artist cloudcasts provide a platform to explore some of the challenging debates circulating around the book's central themes of race, inequality and the mythical belief in a “post-racial” America.

The word Racecraft articulates thousands of years of injustice in one word.

The Academic & the Artist entered into its second year on the radio with a monthly series focused on a Verso book written by Barbara and Karen Fields called Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life. Sergio C. Muñoz, the producer of the show, felt compelled to create the series when he read through the meat of the text. Muñoz says, “The word Racecraft clarifies all the complex thoughts that I had considered but had been unable to articulate. It’s like thousands of years of injustice wrapped into one word.”

The first show featured Dr. Karen Fields in a dialogical space with Dr. José Moreno, department chair of Chicano & Latino Studies. Dr. Moreno published his thesis through Harvard Educational Review on The Elusive Quest for Equality: 150 Years of Chicano Chicana Experience. Together with Muñoz, the three thinkers discussed racial identity, the racializing of inequality and the problems inherent in fighting inequality with social policy that has been constructed on racial terms. The featured musician for the show was Stevie Wonder with I Never Thought You’d Leave in Summer and Stay Gold.

The second show featured Dr. Fields, Dr. Moreno, Muñoz and Theodore Shaw, currently a professor at Columbia Law and formerly the head of the NAACP. The foursome discussed the complexity of categorization in terms of the American legal system. The featured musician for the show was the Jimi Hendrix Experience with Castles Made of Sand and Little Wing.

The third show featured Dr. Fields, Muñoz and Craig Steven Wilder, department chair of the history department at M.I.T and author of the forthcoming Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities. The dialogue centered around the personal experience of Wilder as he transitioned from Brooklyn to M.I.T but avoided the clichés. The featured musician for the show was Taj Mahal and the Hula Blues Band with The Calypsonians and No Na Mamo. Of the series, Dr. Fields says, “The series is delicious. I think of Racecraft as America’s real ‘civil religion.’ There is no spiritual choice. No one can opt out – any more than they could opt out of the Mother Church in France of Louis XIV. The concept needs to be discussed openly and intelligently.”

The fourth show is scheduled for March 28 with Tiffany Patterson, associate professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. The musician for the show will be Cassandra Wilson.

About: The Academic & the Artist is a non-commercial cloudcast produced by Intelatin and recorded at KBeach Global Radio at California State University at Long Beach. It is distributed through iTunes and all social media. To connect with the series, please contact Sergio C. Muñoz at radio(at)intelatin(dot)com. To connect with Verso Books, please contact Jessica Turner at jessica(at)versobooks(dot)com

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