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A Past Laid Bare

Rappaport Visiting Professor Jeffery Robinson stuns with the power of his documentary.

Rappaport Visiting Professor Jeffery Robinson 

Who We are: A Chronicle of Racism in America is more than a groundbreaking documentary about anti-Black racism and white supremacy in America, it is also a decades-long exploration by a man who applied his legal mind and historical curiosity to understanding and sharing the hard truths of systemic wrongdoing.

Jeffery Robinson, a racial justice advocate and former ACLU Deputy Legal Director, brings that vision to BC Law School as this semester’s Rappaport Visiting Professor, starting on September 8 with a talk and the screening of his feature-length film. The presentation, an outcome of appearances he’s made across the country—including at the Town Hall theater on Broadway on Juneteenth (June 09), 2018—is also part of The Who We Are Project he founded to, as the website describes it, “EXPOSE, ACTIVATE, INSPIRE.” 

According to the Who We Are Project, the film interweaves historical and present-day archival footage with Robinson’s personal story and Robinson’s meetings with Black change-makers and eyewitnesses to history. From a hanging tree in Charleston, South Carolina, to a walking tour of the origins of slavery in colonial New York, to the site of a 1947 lynching in rural Alabama, the film brings history to life, exploring the enduring legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it.

The project summarized the documentary’s impact this way: “Weaving heartbreak, humor, passion, and rage, Robinson’s words lay bare an all-but-forgotten past, as well as our shared responsibility to create a better country in our lifetimes.”

The event will be held East Wing 115A & B from 7-10 p.m. Register here.

Read more about the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy, Robinson, and his work in BC News.