If you’re a regular CNN or Fox viewer, you’ve seen Dr. Marc Lamont Hill sparring with Bill O’Reilly or weighing in on topics like police brutality and use of the N-word.
On Thursday, June 15, the professor, author and host of BET News will speak as part of University of Alaska Anchorage’s Juneteenth celebration. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Texas proclaimed the abolition of slavery throughout the South.
“It’s an opportunity to reflect on just how complicated, nuanced, painful, but also joyous our freedom struggles have been,” Hill said.
“I’m obsessed with freedom, and this idea of delayed freedom. That’s part of what Juneteenth is about. I want us to think about what freedom looks like in 2017, in the era of Trump, big banks, government surveillance, global wars and neo-liberalism.”
Hill was just named the Steve Charles Professor of Media, Cities, and Solutions at his undergraduate alma mater Temple University, and his most recent book “Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond,” just came out in paperback.
We chatted with Dr. Hill about freedom, Fox and fond memories.
Q: Someone is selling a hardback edition of your book “Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy and the Politics of Identity” on Amazon for $231.50. Is it you?
There’s always one person who takes an ordinary book and marks it up … hoping someone will think they’re getting something special. I don’t think I’m worth that much, though.
Q: As a Historically Black College (HBCU), is Temple more like Mission College in “School Daze” or Hillman College in “A Different World”?
A: I gotta say, some of the exchanges I had with Bill before I left Fox for CNN four years ago were pretty amazing. We made classic TV together. We have some moments that will matter in10 or 20 years. I think that’s pretty neat. I do miss the engagement with O’Reilly, but like all empires, it looks like Fox is falling. And with Bill O’Reilly falling it’s almost certain that Fox will never be what it was.
Tickets: Free for UAA students with valid ID, $5 for everyone else. Purchase at uaatix.com and the Student Union information desk.
Showing of “I Am Not Your Negro”: Wednesday, 7 p.m., UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium. Free for everyone. See UAA’s Juneteenth event page.
Citywide Juneteenth Celebration: Friday, and Saturday, 12 Fairview Lions Park, 1201 E. Eighth Ave. Free. Event includes live jazz, food, a talent show and the crowning of Mr. and Mrs. Juneteenth. For more information, visit the Eventbrite page, call 907-230-4968 or email [email protected]