Journalist-professor to discuss race, justice in America

    William Jelani Cobb on Feb. 13, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Columbia University journalism professor and New Yorker columnist Jelani Cobb will discuss “The Half-life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today” Nov. 20 during the University of Louisville’s 13th annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture.

    His free, public talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Comstock Hall, School of Music.

    A historian and contributor to The New Yorker since 2012, Cobb became a staff writer in 2015; he writes about race, politics, history and culture. He received the 2015 Sidney Hillman Prize for opinion and analysis journalism, and his articles and essays have appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, Essence and Vibe.

    Columbia’s Ira Lipman professor of journalism, Cobb is the author of “The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress,” “To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic” and “The Devil and Dave Chappell and Other Essays” and is editor of “The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader.”

    Cobb is known for his commentary on race and mass incarceration included in award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s documentary “The 13th.” He also is a featured expert in Discovery’s recent “Why We Hate” documentary series.

    UofL’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research in the College of Arts and Sciences sponsors the annual lecture about U.S. racial justice history. The lecture series and institute are named for a Louisvillian active in the civil rights movement.

    Cobb also will provide closing commentary Nov. 21 at a 9-10:30 a.m. annual Research Meets Activism breakfast at the Louisville Urban League, 1535 W. Broadway, as part of a social justice research symposium panel discussion about race and journalism. Seating is limited at the free event; preregistration is required at

    For more information, contact Cate Fosl at 502-852-2944 or or check


    EDITORS: Cobb’s photo is attached.

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.