Forum from the Archives: Historian Peniel Joseph on America’s ‘Third Reconstruction’

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Peniel Joseph, Professor of History who specializes in American, Race Relations, Intellectual History, Civil Rights and Black Power, poses for a portrait in Granoff Music Hall on Jan. 27, 2014.  (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

After the election of President Obama in 2008, “the world looked and felt different,” writes University of Texas historian Peniel Joseph. That moment also marked the beginning of what Joseph calls America’s Third Reconstruction, a period of racial progress marked by the Black Lives Matter protests and the social justice movements they inspired. But the Third Reconstruction, like the 19th and 20th century versions that preceded it, has also been beset by white backlash and violent retrenchment. We’ll talk to Joseph about what he thinks we’ve achieved in this period and how far we need to go to achieve racial justice.
This segment originally aired Sept. 12.


Peniel Joseph, professor of history and founding director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy - University of Texas at Austin; author, "The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century"