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Eddie Glaude Jr. gives keynote at GVSU MLK commemoration week

Eddie Glaude Jr.
Eddie Glaude Jr.

Protecting the American Project was the focus Tuesday at Grand Valley State University. On the National Day of Racial Healing, author and political commentator Eddie Glaude Jr. was keynote speaker examining America’s past and its impact on the present. Glaude argues democracy is in the balance

The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence serve as roadmaps for government and citizens. Together, they’re complexity is known as The American Project.

“That it’s diverse. That it requires a story that captures that diversity. That it’s not always neat and clean. It’s ugly. It gives depth to who we are as Americans. So, that’s the first thing we have to do is tell a better story about who we are that can set the stage for us to be together differently.”

That’s the first step, acknowledging America’s past including slavery and racism. The second step is understanding the importance of choices made today. Eddie Glaude Jr. is James S. McDonnell distinguished university professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He explains society’s choices must protect democracy.

“We have to choose an America that affirms the dignity and standing of every single one of us. Because if we choose the other one, we’ll lose this fragile experiment. And Dr. King was saying this when he was alive. Remember he said, ‘We have some difficult days ahead.’ And we’re in those days.”

Glaude says it’s important for individuals to be honest with themselves and figure out how “to be” differently.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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