The first in a four-part series, "The American Consciousness."
Imani Perry is a scholar of law, culture, race — and hip hop. She acknowledges wise voices who say that we will never get to the promised land of racial equality. She writes, “That may very well be true, but it also true that extraordinary things have happened and keep happening in our history. The question is, how do we prepare for and precipitate them?” We took her up on this emboldening question at the Chautauqua Institution, on the cusp of yet a new collective reckoning with the racial fabric of American life.
is a professor of African-American Studies at Princeton University. Her scholarly books include Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop and More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States.