Childish Gambino in a concert at Austin, TX in 2012

The Grammys have been criticized for lacking diversity and not giving hip-hop artists their due. This year, Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, took home both song and record of the year awards. This is America, Glover’s chart-topping song well known for its viral music video, has something to say about the state of the U.S. from gun violence to race. We sat down with Chris Lebron, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins, to talk about the significance of Glover’s Grammy win as well as his no-show at the Awards. The conversation turns to the broader music scene, Janelle Monáe, Afrofuturism, and Kanye West.

On this episode

This is America Music Video

Boston Review: What Happened to Kanye West?

Boston Review: Janelle Monáe for President

Kanye West Interview with Radio Host Charlamagne

Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe

This Week’s Guest: Chris Lebron

🐦 @lebron_chris

Chris Lebron is Associate Professor of Philosophy. He specializes in political philosophy, social theory, the philosophy of race, and democratic ethics. His work has focused on bridging the divide between analytic liberalism and the virtue ethics tradition. His first book, The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice In Our Time (OUP 2013) won the American Political Science Association Foundations of Political Theory First Book Prize. His second book The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of An Idea (OUP 2017) offers a brief intellectual history of the black lives matter social movement. Chris is at work on his third book, From A Human Point of View: Re-Imagining Racial Egalitarianism, which is a direct follow-up to The Color Of Our Shame, and explores the uses of imagination for attending to morally problematic racial attitudes that bolster racial inequality. Chris has written a number of articles and book reviews. He has also been an active public intellectual, writing numerous times for The New York Times’s philosophy column, The Stone and for Boston Review, in addition to other outlets.


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This podcast is produced by Harvard Ash Center.

This Week in Dystopia

This Week in Dystopia is a new podcast hosted by Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer. A podcast of politics, theory, and pop culture, This Week in Dystopia, brings commentary from the halls of Harvard to everyone's headphones.

🎙This Week in Dystopia

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A podcast about the promise and perils of democracy, hosted by Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer.

This Week in Dystopia

This Week in Dystopia is a new podcast hosted by Christopher Robichaud, Harvard Kennedy School Senior Lecturer. A podcast of politics, theory, and pop culture, This Week in Dystopia, brings commentary from the halls of Harvard to everyone's headphones.

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