Jelani Cobb is an award-winning writer for The New Yorker on issues of race, history, justice, and politics. He currently is a part of the Westminster Town Hall Forum’s series, “The Arc Toward Justice: Taking Stock One Year After George Floyd’s Death,” which is sponsored by the Minneapolis Foundation. In this episode, Chanda and Jelani talk about the adultification of Black children, the calculated risks Black people need to consider when interacting with police, and what needs to happen to create meaningful police reform.
Against the backdrop of a pandemic that is disproportionately killing Black people, the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police sparked a renewed push for racial justice and calls for change. In his recently released documentary “Policing the Police 2020,” FRONTLINE correspondent and New Yorker staff writer, Jelani Cobb examines the enormous complexities and realities of race and policing in America.
Jelani is 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.
Jelani is also Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism and a long-time staff writer at The New Yorker, where his writing on race, history, justice, and politics earned him the Hillman Prize for opinion and analysis journalism. He is the author of “Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress,” “To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic,” and “The Devil & Dave Chappelle and Other Essays.”