Skip to main content
Dr. Eddie Glaude

Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

September 30, 2021, 7:00PM, Ming Hsieh Hall (MHH) G20

For the majority of Americans, the image of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is frozen in time. We easily think of him as the leader of the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott or as the passionate preacher delivering “I Have a Dream” in 1963. Acclaimed scholar Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr., takes a look at another facet of the MLK story: Dr. King’s later and final years — when he was doubtful and felt that the country had turned its back on him. Five years after “I Have a Dream,” King was grappling with despair and disillusionment over the country’s direction — a sentiment he shared with James Baldwin, one of the 20th century’s greatest writers and chroniclers of the Black experience. When the two men met a few months before Dr. King’s murder, both were desperately trying to re-narrate the civil rights movement and change the consciousness of America. In this inspiring and thought-provoking keynote, Dr. Glaude examines this critical juncture in the life of Martin Luther King Jr., and what we all must do to make America live up to its promise. “We long for a Dr. King or an Abe Lincoln, because we don’t see our own capabilities as being sufficient,” Glaude has said. “History converged in a way that called Dr. King forward, and he answered the call. That can happen with anybody. We don’t need another Martin Luther King. We need everyday, ordinary people. We are the leaders we’ve been looking for.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Books will be sold on site with a book signing to follow the presentation.

NOTE: masks are required to be worn, regardless of vaccination status, while inside all WVU buildings. 


One of the nation’s most prominent scholars, Dr. Eddie Glaude, Jr. is an author, political commentator, public intellectual and passionate educator who examines the complex dynamics of the American experience. His writings, including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, and his most recent, the New York Times bestseller, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for our Own, takes a wide look at Black communities, the difficulties of race in the United States and the challenges we face as a democracy. In his writing and speaking, Glaude is an American critic in the tradition of James Baldwin and Ralph Waldo Emerson, confronting history and bringing our nation’s complexities, vulnerabilities and hope into full view. Hope that is, in one of his favorite quotes from W.E.B. Du Bois, "not hopeless, but a bit unhopeful." 

Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton. He frequently appears in the media, as a columnist for TIME Magazine and as an MSNBC contributor on programs like Morning Joe and Deadline Whitehouse with Nicolle Wallace. He regularly appears on Meet the Press on Sundays. Glaude also hosts Princeton’s AAS podcast, a conversation around the field of African American Studies and the Black experience in the 21st century. 

A highly accomplished and respected scholar of religion, Glaude is a former president of the American Academy of Religion. His books on religion and philosophy include An Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach to the Study of African American Religion, African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction, and Exodus! Religion, Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize. 

Some like to describe Glaude as the quintessential Morehouse man, having left his home in Moss Point, Mississippi at age 16 to begin studies at the HBCU and alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He holds a master’s degree in African American Studies from Temple University and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University. 

Glaude is known both for his inspiring oratory and ability to convene conversations that engage fellow citizens from all backgrounds — from young activists to corporate audiences looking for a fresh perspective on DEI. In 2011, he delivered Harvard’s DuBois lectures. His 2015 commencement remarks at Colgate University titled, "Turning Our Backs," was recognized by the New York Times as one of the best commencement speeches of the year. 

Combining a scholar’s knowledge of history, a political commentator’s take on the latest events, and an activist’s passion for social justice, Glaude challenges all of us to examine our collective American conscience, "not to posit the greatness of America, but to establish the ground upon which to imagine the country anew."