News & events


Teaching a course on race and racism at a racially diverse American high school: A report from the field

29 April 2013
12:15 - 14:00

Date: 29 April 2013

Time: 12:15-14:00

Presenter: Lawrence Blum

The Human Sciences Research Council invite you to the Distinguished lecture in the Humanities

In order to talk productively about race, we have to know something about it. “Things racial” are not just matters of opinion and feeling. They are also matters of knowledge and insight.

Professor Larry Blum will speak of his experience of teaching a school-based course on race and racism in the US. As a philosopher and scholar of race he wanted to teach racial literacy to a high school audience.

He says: “Racial literacy is not the same as telling students how to think about politically controversial racial topics like racial profiling and affirmative action. But without an accurate understanding of race, they cannot have an informed opinion on those issues. My students were eager to learn about race and excited to talk with each other about what they were learning”.

Professor Blum is the author of Friendship, Altruism, and Morality (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980); A Truer Liberty: Simone Weil and Marxism (Routledge, 1989); Moral Perception and Particularity (Cambridge UP, 1994); “I’m Not a Racist, But…”: The Moral Quandary of Race (Cornell, 2002); and most recently High Schools, Race, and America’s Future (Harvard Education Press, 2012).

Kindly RSVP by 23 April 2013

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. Details as below.

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:, Happy Solomon, Tel: (012) 302 2368, email: