Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture



From King to Obama: Cycles of Backlash and the Fire Next Time

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Terry Smith
Distinguished Research Professor of Law
DePaul University College of Law

January 22, 2015 | 4:00 p.m. | Wesemann Hall

The aftermaths of Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement (known also as the Second Reconstruction) underscore the fragility of gains in racial equality and the vulnerability of such gains to backlash. The post-Civil Rights era (known also as the post-racial era) has fallen victim to perhaps an even more insidious type of backlash, one in which the very engagement of the subject of racial inequality abridges post-racial norms of presumed equality. The election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president has exacerbated, rather than dissipated, backlash. Unlike the aftermaths of the first and second Reconstructions, however, post-racial backlash is occurring against the backdrop of the rapid diminution of the white electorate and the concomitant browning of America. In his lecture, Professor Terry Smith will draw on his expertise as an election law and voting rights scholar to explore backlash in the uncharted context of America becoming a majority-minority nation.

CLE Credit

It is anticipated that this lecture will be approved for one CLE credit hour by the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education. Attorneys seeking credit may self-report to the appropriate MCLE board or commission, and a Uniform Certificate of Attendance form will be distributed at the lecture.

Click here to register 

Attendance is free of charge.

For more information, contact Melissa Mundt

219.465.7847 |