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Rodger Taylor

Rodger Taylor
Co-author of Einstein on Race and Racism

Plenary Lecture: Einstein as Citizen—Addressing Race and Racism

Abstract

“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

“SEGREGATION IS A DISEASE NOT OF COLORED PEOPLE, BUT OF WHITE PEOPLE–AND I DO NOT INTEND TO REMAIN QUIET ABOUT IT.”

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

Rodger Taylor’s articles on city life, jazz, early African American New York, and the African Burial Ground have been published in local newspapers and magazines, including several in New York Newsday. He received a grant from the Animating Democracy Initiative in 2003 for an online piece about the slave galleries at St. Augustine's Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan (one of the few existing slave galleries in New York City). This work was published in the book Arts-Based Civic Dialogue in Action edited by Pam Korza and Barbara Schaffer Bacon, 2005.  Mr. Taylor is a member of the St. Augustine’s Slave Gallery Committee, the Seneca Village (a 19th African American community displaced by the building of Central Park) Committee, and was part of the National Steering Committee on the African Burial Ground Project.  He is a Supervising Branch Librarian with the New York Public Library and presently works on the Lower East Side in Manhattan.

From www.EinsteinOnRace.com [  http://einsteinonrace.com/authors.htm ], used with permission.