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Jelani Cobb on debate over how race and history are taught

Jelani Cobb joins Washington Post Live on Monday, Feb. 6. (Video: The Washington Post)

Jelani Cobb is the dean of Columbia Journalism School and has frequently written about the intersection of race, politics and history. Cobb joins The Post’s Robin Givhan to discuss the growing debate across the country over how the history of systemic racism is taught in schools and universities.

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“I have not said this publicly previously but I was one of the drafters of the letter along with Prof. Khalil Muhammad, Prof. Matthew Guterl, and what we saw was a discipline that was created for many different reasons you could say, but fundamentally it was created in order to improve the life chances of people who came to this country as chattel.” – Jelani Cobb (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The scale of violence that happens in the United States – in any given year 1,000-1,200 people will die at the hands of police – which is an astounding number. And for a number that large, it almost means that you will have a kind of demographic lottery. There’ll be all kinds of combinations of people who die at the hands of police.” – Jelani Cobb (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The course itself has become a kind of meta-examination of the dynamics in African American history in the first place, that when there are movements forward, they invariably engender backlashes. Dr. King wrote… that every single movement that has created an iota of more democracy in this society has been met by a backlash by people who want it to return to the status quo ante.” – Jelani Cobb (Video: Washington Post Live)

Jelani Cobb

Dean, Columbia Journalism School