For Black History Month this February, we’d like to celebrate a few of the many Lavin speakers whose work year-round shows us how to honor the legacy and history of Black communities across America. These leading voices empower us to fight for racial justice and equality, and learn more about the history of this country.
“One of the iconic faces of Black politics in 1970s America” (Huffington Post), Angela Davis is internationally known for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad. In her work as an educator—both at the university level and in the larger public sphere—has always emphasized the importance of building communities for economic, racial, and gender equality.
Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of ‘The 1619 Project’ — the #1 New York Times bestseller which has now been adapted into a six-part docuseries on Hulu. She was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her work in uncovering the real origin story of Black Americans, and with it the true history of democracy.
George M. Johnson is a non-binary award-winning author and activist, their memoir All Boys Aren’t Blue was a New York Times bestseller. A powerful story of growing up as a young Black queer boy, their memoir was called “an exuberant, unapologetic memoir infused with a deep but cleareyed love for its subjects” by the New York Times. They’re listed as one of Out’s 100 Most Influential LGBTQ People.
An expert on the American economy, Heather McGhee is one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers on racial justice today. In her instant New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us — as well as the Young Reader’s edition and podcast of the same name — Heather reveals how racism costs everyone, and how, by fighting it, we can all prosper together.
Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman is the co-founder of the only non-profit organization addressing the pipeline and pathway problem for Black women in fields of economics, finance, and policy. In her book The Black Agenda, Anna features Black voices across various fields, all speaking to the question “What’s next?” as it pertains to centering Black people in policy matters in our country.
Against the backdrop of a renewed push for racial justice, Columbia Journalism School Dean and Peabody Award-winning journalist Jelani Cobb emerges as a clear voice in the fight for a better America. As a long-time staff writer at the New Yorker and editor of the magazine’s anthology The Matter of Black Lives, Cobb explores the complexities of race and inequality, while offering guidance for the future.