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Harvard professor discusses race relations on campus

On April 19, Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University spoke at Seton Hall. His lecture, which was entitled “Beyond Diversity: Anti-Racism and the Struggle for American Democracy,” explored “the function of systems within American democracy,” such as systemic racism and its relationship in today’s culture. [caption id="attachment_22982" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Adrian Chavez/Staff Photographer Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad examined “the function of systems within American democracy” during his lecture at Seton Hall on April 19.[/caption] Muhammad discussed everything from the prison system in America and incarceration rates to the influence of Beyoncé in popular culture. Muhammad concluded by saying that the way to stop implicit bias towards African Americans begins with teaching children about race and how people are treated differently because of their race. He said that the only way to guarantee a more inclusive society starts with teaching the next generation. Dr. Simone Alexander, an English professor and director of the Africana Studies department, said she greatly enjoyed Muhammad’s lecture. “I loved the whole speech which I thought was electric and informative,” she said. “Particularly, I appreciated his intertextual, intersectional and interdisciplinary approach, and his weaving together of different fields of study, different genres, different political, historical, artistic and cultural moments of African American life and history.” Alexander also said that she appreciated how Muhammad “gave voice to unsung and unrepresented black women.” Nkili Cooper, a sophomore history major, felt like the speech could have been a little more solid. “I thought that he was a little too reliant on the future generations to change things rather than focusing on what our present generation could do,” she said. “While it’s great to focus on the future generation, I would have liked to hear what he thinks we can do.” Cooper said that despite this, she hopes Seton Hall brings more lecturers like Muhammad to campus. Isabel Soisson can be reached at


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