"Trayvon Martin and So Many More: Racial Innocence Today"
Thursday, September 19th 2013, 7pm
Reception at 6pm
Professor Robin Bernstein
When George Zimmerman saw Trayvon Martin, he didn’t see an innocent kid with candy. He saw a criminal. And he wasn’t the only one: even after Zimmerman killed Martin, who was proven to have been unarmed, some members of the press rushed to attach guilt to Martin, not Zimmerman. As African American blogger Mia McKenzie recently wrote, “Why don’t our children get to be children? Why don’t they ever get to be innocent?” Robin Bernstein’s talk answers this question. She unearths the history of how white children came to be understood as innocent–and how children of color, especially black children, became seen as tough, non-childlike, and definitely not innocent. And she shows how this history remains vivid today–for Trayvon Martin and so many more.
*For those in the area who can attend it, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the lecture. Not only is the subject matter far too relevant for our current socio-political situation, but it also adds to the conversation about the intermingling of childhood studies with children's literature studies.