Blackballed: The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy


Monday, November 3, 2014, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


124 Mount Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Blackballed book coverDarryl Pinckney, Author, and Alex Keyssar, Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of History and Social Policy

Co-sponsored by the Harvard Journal of African-American Public Policy.

About the Event
Throughout the history of the United States, voting rights have been progressively expanded, though in fits and starts, to our current universal suffrage. Today the U.S. is witnessing a systematic and almost unprecedented erosion of the franchise. Join Professor Alex Keyssar and author Darryl Pinckney as they discuss disenfranchisement, the legacy of the Voting Rights Act, and the state of voting rights in the United States. Pinckney’s new book, Blackballed: The Black Vote and U.S. Democracy, is an exploration of the struggle for African American voting rights in which Pinckney traces, among other themes, the disagreements among African Americans about the best strategies for achieving equality in American society.

Read the first chapter of Blackballed

About the Speakers
Darryl Pinckney, a longtime contributor to The New York Review of Books, is the author of a novel, High Cotton, and Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature. He has worked for Robert Wilson on various theatrical projects, most recently an adaptation of Daniil Kharms’s The Old Woman.

Alex Keyssar is the Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at the Kennedy School. His books include The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000 and 2009), which was named the best book in U.S. history by the American Historical Association and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history. Keyssar is also the author of an award-winning history of unemployment in the United States. In addition to his scholarly publications, he writes frequently for newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and Folha de Sao Paulo.