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Theodore Johnson to Examine the Challenge of Black Patriotism

Donna Klinger

Theodore Johnson

Black History Month Keynote Lecture: February 24

Mount St Mary’s University will end its multi-faceted celebration of Black History Month with a keynote address by Theodore Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Fellows Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and author of When the Stars Start to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America.

whenstarsfall-in-text.jpgJohnson will spend several hours on Thursday, February 24 at the university, speaking to a class; dining with students, faculty and staff; giving his lecture and engaging in a question-and-answer session; and signing copies of his book, published in June 2021. The lecture is being sponsored by the Center for Student Diversity and the Office of Equity and Success.

Johnson will speak on “The Challenge of Black Patriotism,” a topic about which he wrote in The New York Times Magazine several months ago. The lecture, which is open to the public and is also being livestreamed, will be at 6:30 p.m. in Knott Auditorium.

“For Black Americans, loving the country and criticizing it have always been inseparable—something other Americans have often struggled to understand,” Johnson wrote in the New York Times article.

Johnson’s work at the Brennan Center explores the role that race plays in electoral politics, issue framing, and disparities in policy outcomes. Previously, he was a national fellow at New America and a research manager at Deloitte. He is also a retired commander in the U.S. Navy following a 20-year career that included service as a White House fellow, military professor at the U.S. Naval War College, and speechwriter to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Several of the university’s Black History Month events focus on culture with two Black Excellence Film Festival Nights in the Center for Student Diversity on February 3 and 18 and a trip to the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick to see the play Detroit ’67 on February 20.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to flex and build on their knowledge of African American history by participating in a Black History Month Trivia Takeover on February 17 at 8 p.m. in the PAC.

Donna Klinger