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Fred Jerome

Fred Jerome
Co-author of Einstein on Race and Racism

Plenary Lecture: Einstein as Citizen—Addressing Race and Racism


“In the white man’s quest for wealth and an easy life, black people have been ruthlessly suppressed and exploited…”

Imagine a Fox News reaction to that statement—

Those words, however, do not come from an African American minister or even a man who is running for President, but a person who is one of the most widely quoted in the world


These and many similar statements were made more than half a century ago by Albert Einstein, a man who is still an icon in our world—whose advice, brain, love and life sometimes down to the smallest details have been depicted countless times in books, TV and movies. Einstein on Race & Racism explores his anti-racist words and deeds and tells a story most people have never heard before.

We believe it is not an accident that this aspect of Einstein’s life has been silenced - We see our effort as part of a grand unsmothering.

A grand unsmothering that is more relevant today than ever—from Katrina and the Jena Six to disparities in housing and healthcare, to Sean Bell and now a presidential election—issues of race permeate our environment and demand not silence but justice, and above all, action. And, as a wise man said more than half a century ago,

"First, the taboo...the ‘let’s-not-talk-about-it’ must be broken. It must be pointed out time and again that the exclusion of a large part of the colored population from active civil rights by the common practices is a slap in the face of the Constitution of the nation.” 

Racism is “America’s worst disease.” 

Biographical Sketch

Fred Jerome is also the author of The Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret War Against the World’s Most Famous Scientist (St. Martin’s Press, 2002). A veteran journalist and science writer, his articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in dozens of publications, including Newsweek and The New York Times. As a reporter in the South during the early 1960s, he covered the exploding civil rights movement, and, more recently, has taught at Columbia Journalism School, NYU and numerous other New York–area universities. In 2002, he developed a course at New School University, titled, "Scientists as Rebels."

In 1979, he created the Media Resource Service, a widely acclaimed telephone referral service, which put thousands of journalists in touch with scientists – more than 30,000 scientists volunteered for the program, answering media questions in their areas of expertise.

From [ ], used with permission.