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Dr. Eddie   Glaude, Jr.

Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr.

New York Times Bestselling Author & Chair of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies


One of the nation’s most prominent scholars, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. is an author, political commentator, public intellectual and passionate educator who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. His writings, including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, and his most recent, the New York Times bestseller, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own, takes a wide look at Black communities, the difficulties of race in the United States and the challenges we face as a democracy. In his writing and speaking, Glaude is an American critic in the tradition of James Baldwin and Ralph Waldo Emerson, confronting history and bringing our nation’s complexities, vulnerabilities and hope into full view. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B. Du Bois, "not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful." Read More >

Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton. He is also on the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. He frequently appears in the media, as a columnist for TIME Magazine and as an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe and Deadline Whitehouse with Nicolle Wallace. He regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays. Glaude also hosts Princeton’s AAS podcast, a conversation around the field of African American Studies and the Black experience in the 21st century.

A highly accomplished and respected scholar of religion, Glaude is a former president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include An Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach to the Study of African American Religion, African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction, and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize.

Some like to describe Glaude as the quintessential Morehouse man, having left his home in Moss Point, Mississippi at age 16 to begin studies at the HBCU and alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University.

Glaude is known both for his inspiring oratory and ability to convene conversations that engage fellow citizens from all backgrounds — from young activists to corporate audiences looking for a fresh perspective on DEI. In 2011, he delivered Harvard’s DuBois lectures. His 2015 commencement remarks at Colgate University titled, "Turning Our Backs," was recognized by the New York Times as one of the best commencement speeches of the year.

Combining a scholar’s knowledge of history, a political commentator’s take on the latest events, and an activist’s passion for social justice, Glaude challenges all of us to examine our collective American conscience, "not to posit the greatness of America, but to establish the ground upon which to imagine the country anew." Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

2020 MLK Address Highlights | University of Rochester

Build a World Where We See Each Other

“Begin Again” & Lessons from James Baldwin | The Daily Show

Imagine A New World

Why James Baldwin's Work Is Attracting Renewed Attention in 2020 | PBS NewsHour

Lessons from the Later Dr. King

Race & Democracy

Paradox of Education for Black and Brown Children

What 'the Lie' Meant to James Baldwin | Morning Joe

America is Always Changing, But America Never Changes

Colgate University Commencement Speech

When My Son Was Harassed by Police

Speech Topics

Lessons from the Later Dr. King

For the majority of Americans, the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is frozen in time. We easily think of him as the leader of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott or as the passionate preacher delivering “I Have a Dream” in 1963. Acclaimed scholar Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., takes a look at another facet of the MLK story: Dr. King’s later and final years — when he was doubtful and felt that the country had turned its back on him. Five years after “I Have a Dream,” King was grappling with despair and disillusionment over the country’s direction — a sentiment he shared with James Baldwin, one of the 20th century’s greatest writers and chroniclers of the Black experience. When the two men met a few months before Dr. King’s murder, both were desperately trying to re-narrate the civil rights movement and change the consciousness of America. In this inspiring and thought-provoking  keynote, Dr. Glaude examines this critical juncture in the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and what we all must do to make America live up to its promise. “We long for a Dr. King or an Abe Lincoln, because we don’t see our own capabilities as being sufficient,” Glaude has said. “History converged in a way that called Dr. King forward, and he answered the call. That can happen with anybody. We don’t need another Martin Luther King. We need everyday, ordinary people. We are the leaders we’ve been looking for.”

What’s Your DEI Moonshot?

Bringing an outsider’s view and a fresh take to conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion, Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. challenges organizations to go beyond just stating their DEI vision to authentically living its values. Key to this is understanding how the value gap (the belief that some people matter more than others) evidences itself in the corporate world and how it is counterintuitive to an innovative organizational culture that attracts and retains top talent. “Racial equality and genuine diversity in the workspace are not a charitable enterprise,” he says. “They are consistent with an overall mission and  have everything to do with who we take ourselves to be.” Viewing DEI through an ethical and highly pragmatic lens, Dr. Glaude urges organizations to set bold goals and shift their approaches to create an environment that truly leverages talent and maximizes it at all levels –from junior employees to the C-Suite.

The Ethics of Anti-Racism

What does it mean to commit oneself to deconstructing the idea of whiteness and the way in which it determines the distribution of advantage and disadvantage? How does one do that when the language of racism comes to us as naturally as language itself? For Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., anti-racism isn’t about making a list of action items and then checking off some boxes. It is a highly ethical position — the reflection of a committed, moral choice to reject the idea that some people should be valued more than others. Calling on audiences to engage in an ongoing critique of racism’s manifestations, he challenges all of us to work together to create the conditions for people to think more carefully and systematically about the issues that we confront. As James Baldwin wrote in 1962: “The trouble is deeper than we think, because the trouble is in us.” According to Dr. Glaude, eliminating racism will take a lot more work than checking off some boxes. It’s going to take nothing less than a moral reckoning.

Race & Democracy: America is Always Changing, But America Never Changes

America’s great promise of equality has always rung hollow in in the ears of Black Americans. Today, more than 60 years after the civil rights movement, Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. says the situation is equally dire — and yet, the promise still lives. Drawing from his landmark book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul and his New York Times bestseller Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Dr. Glaude presents a picture of race and democracy that is colored by current events and framed by African American history. Bearing witness to the difficult truth in our country today, Dr. Glaude lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma and memory, and what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

Breaking Views: Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. on Democracy in the News

As a political pundit on Meet the Press, Morning Joe and Dateline White House and columnist for TIME Magazine, Dr. Glaude is a scholar who keeps his finger on the pulse of the ever-changing  state of the country. In these current event-focused talks, he takes on issues ranging from Washington politics to social justice, religion, race and police reform, with up-to-the minute insights on the topics of today.

The Paradox of Education for Black & Brown Children

In 1963, James Baldwin delivered his famous “A Talk To Teachers” (originally, “The Negro Child — His Self-Image”) to an audience of educators. Drawing upon this historic speech, Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. brings the same issues — generational poverty, inequity, institutional racism—what Baldwin called being “born in the shadow of the stars and stripes” — into the educational environment of today. Dr. Glaude examines what Baldwin called “the paradox of  education”: that education is designed to socialize one into the basic structure of society as it is, yet it is also designed to make you a critical thinker. What does that contradiction mean to Black and Brown children observing the ugliness in the worlds from which many of these children come? Dr. Glaude challenges educators, whom Baldwin called, “those who deal with the minds and hearts of young people” to become agents for societal change.