R. Derek Black was raised in the leading family of the white nationalist movement. His father founded the first online white power community, Stormfront. From an early age, Derek participated in media interviews, gave talks around the country, won public office, and ran a daily radio program in support of his family’s ideology. In college, he was condemned by the campus community of a Florida liberal arts college, and over several years came to engage with anti-racist ideas. He ultimately condemned his family’s ideology in 2013, and has spoken out over the past several years against the reality of white supremacist political activism. He is currently a doctoral student in history at the University of Chicago, researching the medieval and early modern origins of racist hierarchies and ideologies. He is the subject of the recent book by Eli Saslow, Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist (2018).
The conversation will be moderated by Rebecca Shankman.
Rebecca Shankman is a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park double majoring in Sociology and Criminology/ Criminal Justice. After growing up in a suburb of Cleveland that showed her that even when people are equal on paper, the real world can be quite different, she decided to pursue working in the fields of criminal justice reform and race relations. She now works as a research assistant in the Sociology Group Processes lab and the Lab for Applied Social Science Research improving her understanding of academic research and research for policy change. She hopes to one day go to law school and perhaps pursue a PhD.
Co-sponsored with The Critical Race Initiative