Where do athletes fit into the framework of race in the United States? How can they serve as prisms of inspiration and solidarity at once? From Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s famous gesture of black solidarity at the 1968 Olympics to San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s sitting out the National Anthem, the intersection between sports and politics has always been a source of controversy. Join the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy for its penultimate event of spring, a conversation discussing the intersection of sports, race and citizenship in the United States. UT Austin’s men’s Head Basketball Coach Shaka Smart and the CSRD’s Founding Director Dr. Peniel E. Joseph will discuss how athletes of color navigate the challenging terrain of responsibility, identity and political expression in a country that hasn’t always embraced them.
Coach Shaka Smart became the 24th head basketball coach at The University of Texas on April 3, 2015. Coach Smart previously coached basketball at VCU where he led the Rams to its first CBI Championship. As a college athlete, Smart played basketball for Kenyon College and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in History.
Dr. Peniel E. Joseph is the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy’s Founding Director, the Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and he holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Joseph was a professor at Tufts University, where he founded the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy affect people’s lives.