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The Public Square

Registration now closed

The Public Square with Dr. Jelani Cobb

MLK Library's 50th Anniversary Series

2023-01-18 19:00:00 2023-01-18 20:00:00 America/New_York The Public Square with Dr. Jelani Cobb Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library - Auditorium

Wednesday, January 18
7:00pm - 8:00pm

Add to Calendar 2023-01-18 19:00:00 2023-01-18 20:00:00 America/New_York The Public Square with Dr. Jelani Cobb Join the library for a new lecture and conversation series "The Public Square" at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library." Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library - Auditorium

Join the library for a new lecture and conversation series "The Public Square" at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library."

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is excited to continue its tradition of being a center for community engagement by inviting leaders, innovators, and the public to talk about the next phase of their work or scholarship. On Wednesday, Jan. 18, writer, author, educator and dean of the Columbia Journalism School Jelani Cobb joins Washington Post journalist Keith Alexander to talk about the intersection of race and culture and how our future will be determined by how we grapple with our history.


Recommended Reads

Dr. Cobb recommends checking out these titles for the conversation!

Check out more of Dr. Cobb's work with your DC Public Library card.

The Matter of Black LIves The Essential Kerner Commission Report
John Lewis: The Last Interview Victory is Assured The Devil and Dave Chappelle

About Dr. Jelani Cobb

Dr. Jelani CobbA long-time writer for The New Yorker, and editor of its recent anthology collection The Matter of Black Lives, Cobbs work is described as having the “rigor and depth of a professional historian with the alertness of a reporter, the liberal passion of an engaged public intellectual, and the literary flair of a fine writer.”

Against the backdrop of a pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people, and a renewed push for racial justice, historian and Peabody Award-winning journalist Jelani Cobb emerges as a clear voice in the fight for a better America. A PBS Frontline correspondent for two critically acclaimed documentaries—Policing the Police and Whose Vote Counts—Cobb explores the enormous complexities of race and inequality, while offering guidance and hope for the future. A long-time writer for The New Yorker, and editor of its recent anthology collection The Matter of Black Lives, Cobb’s work is described as having the “rigor and depth of a professional historian with the alertness of a reporter, the liberal passion of an engaged public intellectual, and the literary flair of a fine writer.” (Lavin Agency)

He recently co-edited The Matter of Black Lives, a collection of The New Yorker’s most ground-breaking writing on Black history and culture in America, featuring the work of legendary writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. Publishers Weekly writes, “Beyond the stellar prose, what unites these pieces, which range widely in length, tone, and point of view, is James Baldwin’s insight, paraphrased by Jelani Cobb, that ‘the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as our capacity to grapple with [the legacy of racism].’” Cobb also edited and wrote a new introduction for The Kerner Commission—a historic study of American racism and police violence originally published in 1967—helping to contextualize it for a new generation. The condensed version of the report, called The Essential Kerner Commision Report, is described as an “essential resource for understanding what Cobb calls the ‘chronic national predicament’ of racial unrest” (Publishers Weekly).

During a historic election in the midst of a global pandemic, Cobb investigated allegations of voter fraud and disenfranchisement as a PSB Frontline correspondent in the documentary Whose Vote Counts, revealing how these unfounded claims entered the political mainstream. He clearly presents how racial inequities, COVID-19, and voter suppression became interlinked crises, contributing to a long legacy of inequality. For tackling one of the key issues at the heart of modern U.S. politics and carefully elucidating what the fight for voting rights looks like in the 21st century, Whose Vote Counts received a Peabody Award. Cobb was also the correspondent for the Frontline documentary Policing the Police, where he examined whether police reform is a viable solution in the wake of mounting protests calling for racial justice, and explored how we can hold police departments accountable. Previously, Cobb was prominently featured in Ava Duvernay’s 13th, her Oscar-nominated documentary about the current mass incarceration of Black Americans, which traces the subject to its historical origins in the Thirteenth Amendment.

Cobb is the recipient of the Hillman Prize for opinion and analysis journalism, as well as the Walter Bernstein Award from the Writers Guild of America for his investigative work on Policing the Police. He is the author of Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. He was appointed the Dean of Columbia Journalism School in 2022.


About Keith Alexander

Keith AlexanderKeith L. Alexander is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning, D.C. crime and courts reporter for The Washington Post. At The Post, Alexander covers some of the District’s most heinous murder cases and challenging legal issues. In 2022, Alexander was part of a team of Washington Post reporters and photographers who won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the January 6, 2021, deadly insurrection at the Capitol. In 2015, Alexander was part of the team of Post journalists who examined fatal police shootings across the nation. The unprecedented investigation won numerous coveted journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting the following year. Alexander is also the co-host of the 2022-2023 TV One network documentary crime series “Fatal Attraction: Last Words.”

Alexander has covered such national noteworthy murder cases as the most recent South Capitol Street mass murders in 2010, the 2010 trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy and the trial of Banita Jacks, the Washington woman convicted in 2009 of killing her four young daughters. Alexander also covered the murder trial in the 2015 slayings of three members of a wealthy Northwest Washington family and their housekeeper, also known as the Mansion Murders.

In June 2022, Alexander was part of the highly-rated Netflix docuseries “Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet” about the murder of Seth Rich, an employee with the Democratic National Committee. In March 2020, Alexander was one of a half-dozen journalists featured in a 90-minute HBO documentary, which later aired on CNN, called “After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News.” The documentary examined the proliferation of so-called fake news and its impact on the journalism industry. Alexander’s coverage of two violent, criminal stories in the nation’s capital were highlighted.

Alexander is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he majored in journalism. The Homestead, Pennsylvania native is also a regular on criminal documentary shows airing on Oxygen, Discovery Channel and TV One. In 2020, Alexander began serving as editorial advisor to Howard University’s student newspaper, The Hilltop, where Alexander is working and training university’s journalism major.

He is also a three-time winner of the National Association of Black Journalists’ annual writing awards for various profiles including Black billionaire Robert F. Smith, gospel music legend Richard Smallwood and his struggle with depression and his profile of two black male entrepreneurs that was part of the Post’s 2006 ground-breaking series “Being a Black Man.”


The Public Square is presented in partnership with the DC Public Library Foundation and Pepco, an Exelon Company. 

AGE GROUP: | Seniors | Adults | 13 - 19 Years Old (Teens) |

EVENT TYPE: | MLK Week | Author Talk |

TAGS: | |

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

Phone: (202) 727-0321

Hours
Mon, Jan 30 9:30AM to 9:00PM
Tue, Jan 31 9:30AM to 9:00PM
Wed, Feb 01 9:30AM to 9:00PM
Thu, Feb 02 9:30AM to 9:00PM
Fri, Feb 03 9:30AM to 5:30PM
Sat, Feb 04 9:30AM to 5:30PM
Sun, Feb 05 1:00PM to 5:00PM

About the library

Upcoming events

Mon, Jan 30, All day

Mon, Jan 30, All day

Mon, Jan 30, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Mon, Jan 30, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Jan 30, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Jan 30, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Registration is now closed

Mon, Jan 30, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
West Storefront

Mon, Jan 30, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Tue, Jan 31, All day

Tue, Jan 31, All day

Tue, Jan 31, 10:00am - 2:00pm
202-J Consultation Room

Tue, Jan 31, 10:30am - 11:00am

Tue, Jan 31, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Tue, Jan 31, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
204-F Youth Program Room

Tue, Jan 31, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
East Storefront A & B

Tue, Jan 31, 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Auditorium

Wed, Feb 01, All day

Wed, Feb 01, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Feb 01, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Wed, Feb 01, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 01, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Feb 01, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 01, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Wed, Feb 01, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Wed, Feb 01, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
East Storefront A & B

Thu, Feb 02, All day

Thu, Feb 02, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Auditorium

Thu, Feb 02, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 02, 1:00pm - 1:30pm

Thu, Feb 02, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
202-J Consultation Room,202-K Consultation Room

Thu, Feb 02, 2:00pm - 4:30pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 02, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Thu, Feb 02, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Fri, Feb 03, All day

Fri, Feb 03, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Fri, Feb 03, 11:00am - 12:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Fri, Feb 03, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 04, All day

Sat, Feb 04, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Sun, Feb 05, All day

Mon, Feb 06, All day

Mon, Feb 06, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Mon, Feb 06, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 06, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 06, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 06, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Tue, Feb 07, All day

Tue, Feb 07, 10:00am - 2:00pm
202-J Consultation Room

Tue, Feb 07, 10:30am - 11:00am

Tue, Feb 07, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 07, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 07, 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Auditorium

Tue, Feb 07, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
204-F Youth Program Room

Tue, Feb 07, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Wed, Feb 08, All day

Wed, Feb 08, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Feb 08, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Wed, Feb 08, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 08, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 08, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 08, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
302-F Meeting Room (2-6 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Wed, Feb 08, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Thu, Feb 09, All day

Thu, Feb 09, 1:00pm - 1:30pm

Thu, Feb 09, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 09, 2:00pm - 4:30pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 09, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Thu, Feb 09, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
MLK Dance Studio (A Level)

Fri, Feb 10, All day

Fri, Feb 10, 11:00am - 12:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Sat, Feb 11, All day

Sat, Feb 11, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Sat, Feb 11, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 11, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Auditorium

Sat, Feb 11, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 11, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
401-E Conference Room (20-46 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 11, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Sun, Feb 12, All day

Mon, Feb 13, All day

Mon, Feb 13, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Mon, Feb 13, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 13, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 13, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 13, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Tue, Feb 14, All day

Tue, Feb 14, 10:00am - 2:00pm
202-J Consultation Room

Tue, Feb 14, 10:00am - 11:00am
Great Hall

Tue, Feb 14, 10:30am - 11:00am

Tue, Feb 14, 11:00am - 2:00pm
202-K Consultation Room

Tue, Feb 14, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Canceled
Tue, Feb 14, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Tue, Feb 14, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 14, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 14, 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Auditorium

Tue, Feb 14, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
204-F Youth Program Room

Tue, Feb 14, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Wed, Feb 15, All day

Wed, Feb 15, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Feb 15, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Wed, Feb 15, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Feb 15, 3:00pm - 5:00pm
204-F Youth Program Room

Wed, Feb 15, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 15, 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Wed, Feb 15, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Thu, Feb 16, All day

Thu, Feb 16, 1:00pm - 1:30pm

Thu, Feb 16, 2:00pm - 4:30pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 16, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 16, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Thu, Feb 16, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Thu, Feb 16, 6:30pm - 7:30pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Fri, Feb 17, All day

Fri, Feb 17, 10:30am - 12:30pm

Fri, Feb 17, 11:00am - 12:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Fri, Feb 17, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 18, All day

Sat, Feb 18, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 18, 1:30pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Sun, Feb 19, All day

Sun, Feb 19, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Auditorium

Mon, Feb 20, All day

Tue, Feb 21, All day

Tue, Feb 21, 10:00am - 2:00pm
202-J Consultation Room

Tue, Feb 21, 10:30am - 11:00am

Tue, Feb 21, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 21, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 21, 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Auditorium

Tue, Feb 21, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
204-F Youth Program Room

Tue, Feb 21, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Wed, Feb 22, All day

Wed, Feb 22, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Feb 22, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Wed, Feb 22, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 22, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 22, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
302-F Meeting Room (2-6 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 22, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Wed, Feb 22, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Thu, Feb 23, All day

Thu, Feb 23, 1:00pm - 1:30pm

Thu, Feb 23, 2:00pm - 4:30pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 23, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Thu, Feb 23, 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Fri, Feb 24, All day

Fri, Feb 24, 10:30am - 12:00pm
401-F Conference Room (20-46 Person Capacity)

Fri, Feb 24, 11:00am - 12:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Sat, Feb 25, All day

Sat, Feb 25, 11:00am - 12:00pm
Great Hall

Sat, Feb 25, 1:00pm - 2:30pm
401-A Conference Room (20-50 Person Capacity)

Sat, Feb 25, 1:00pm - 2:00pm
East Storefront A & B

Sun, Feb 26, All day

Mon, Feb 27, All day

Mon, Feb 27, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Mon, Feb 27, 10:30am - 12:30pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 27, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
202-O Computer Lab (17 Person Capacity)

Mon, Feb 27, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Mon, Feb 27, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
401-G Conference Room (6-46 Person Capacity_

Tue, Feb 28, All day

Tue, Feb 28, 10:00am - 2:00pm
202-J Consultation Room

Tue, Feb 28, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
205-J Computer Lab (21 Person Capacity)

Tue, Feb 28, 3:00pm - 9:00pm
Auditorium

Tue, Feb 28, 4:00pm - 5:00pm
204-F Youth Program Room

Wed, Mar 01, All day

Wed, Mar 01, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Mar 01, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Wed, Mar 01, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Wed, Mar 01, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Wed, Mar 01, 7:00pm - 8:00pm