Michael Sawyer presents ‘Black Minded’ in Upcoming Virtual Discussion

Michael Sawyer, who teaches in Colorado College's Race, Ethnicity & Migration Studies program and English Department, will participate in Harvard Book Store's virtual event series on Friday, June 19, at 5 p.m. Mountain Time.

He will be joined by Flores Forbes, associate professor of urban planning at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, for a discussion of Sawyer's recently published "Black Minded: The Political Philosophy of Malcolm X."

Sawyer, the director of the Africana Intellectual Project at Colorado College, is a political philosopher with a focus on Blackness in particular. He also is the author of the previously published monograph "An Africana Philosophy of Temporality: Homo Liminalis." Forbes is the author of "Invisible Men: A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration."

Sawyer says the discussion with Forbes was in the works as part of a book tour, but because of the virus it was shifted to a virtual event.

"Harvard Book Store has been leading the way with these events since the stay at home orders have been in effect," says Sawyer. "I think it's a great way to take advantage of the technology and, more to the point, allows us to have critical conversations during these difficult times."

The March publication of Sawyer's book about Malcolm X was timely, and Sawyer recently wrote about it in a piece called "Malcolm X, 2020 Edition."

In it he observes, "In writing a book that reflects on the political thought of a figure like Malcolm X, one inevitably grapples with a question formulated in various ways but amounting to something like: 'If Malcolm were alive today, what would he think about [fill in the blank]'. No one can answer that for sure, even after acknowledging the fact that on May 19th Malcolm X would have been 95 years old. It is not outside of the realms of possibility that he could have been alive to see what social media has done to the problem that preoccupied him as urgently as any other: police violence."

Registration is required for the June 19 virtual discussion, and although it is free, a $3 contribution is suggested to support the author series.

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