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An American Dilemma for the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 10:00 am - 7:30 pm

Left: Image of African American protesters in the 1960s with a sign reading "Stop Police Killings"; Right: Protester from 2010s with sign reading "Hands Up! Don't Shoot!"

The Social Science Research Council, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, and Columbia University invite you to join us for a day-long conference:

Logo for An American Dilemma for the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 10:00am–7:30pm

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037

RSVP button for An American Dilemma Conference

Seventy-five years ago, Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal published the influential work, An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. For Myrdal and his collaborators, the central dilemma was the unresolved tension of the “American creed”—the celebration of ideals of equal opportunity and democracy, in the face of deep and enduring racial discrimination and inequality. The dilemma has changed, but it has not receded. This anniversary of An American Dilemma offers an occasion to revisit and reassess the “American creed.”

This conference will explore the multifaceted force of anti-Black racism in the United States, and the fissure between opportunity and exclusion it has facilitated—by many indicators, a chasm little changed (or worsened) since 1944. Treating the mid-1940s as a baseline for present-day assessments of American democracy through the lens of race and racism, the day’s discussions seek to catalyze new insights and provoke debate.

The conference will also mark the launch of a new online platform that will greatly expand the access that scholars and the general public have to these materials. It will increase the visibility of the “hidden figures,” those scholars who worked alongside Myrdal on behalf of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, but whose roles are lesser known. The Carnegie-Myrdal Study of the Negro in America research memoranda archive, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, contains the output of a stellar team of social scientists who worked with Myrdal to study “the Negro problem”. This archive makes available lines of inquiry that did not find their way into the final draft of the book.

Featuring: Karida Brown, Anthony S. Chen, Obie Clayton, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Amanda Geller, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Christopher Paul Harris, Frederick C. Harris, Kerry L. Haynie, Jonathan Jackson, Gerald D. Jaynes, Glenn Loury, Katherine Meckel, Maribel Morey, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Brendan O'Flaherty, William M. Rodgers III, Patricia Rosenfield, Rajiv Sethi, Jeannie Theoharis, Myriah Towner, Cally Waite, Kevin Young; A keynote conversation will follow with: Jelani Cobb, Phillip Atiba Goff, Alondra Nelson

#americandilemma21c

Sponsored by: The Social Science Research Council; the Program for Economic Research, Department of Economics, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the Division of Social Science, and the Center on African American Politics and Society at Columbia University; Carnegie Corporation of New York; Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Institute for New Economic Thinking; and Russell Sage Foundation

This program is presented as part of the Social Science Research Council’s Inequality Initiative, a series of programs and projects that bring innovative social science analysis to bear on our understanding of the roots and consequences of unequal participation in political, economic, and social systems across the globe.

 

Please direct all questions to econ-per@columbia.edu.

 

Sponsored by:

Social Science Research Council Columbia Economics Program for Economic Research Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
Center on African American Politics and Society Carnegie Corporation of New York Columbia University Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Institute for New Economic Thinking Division of Social Science Arts & Sciences Columbia University Russell Sage Foundation

 

Details

Date:
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Time:
10:00 am - 7:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037 United States
+ Google Map
1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)
Mail Code 3308  
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

1022 International Affairs Building (IAB)

Mail Code 3308

420 West 118th Street

New York, NY 10027

Ph: (212) 854-3680
Fax: (212) 854-0749
Business Hours:
Mon–Fri, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.