About an hour before Obama’s State of the Union Address, I had the pleasure to deliver a keynote lecture at Hobart and William Smith College. My talk “Constructing Pookie: The Politics of the Black Male Crisis” was sponsored by The Fisher Center for the Study of Men and Women and was the first talk of their “Engendering Crisis” series. I’m going to put the video up later, but I had the chance to talk with the Director of the Center, Cedric Johnson. Cedric’s first book From Revolutionaries to Race Leaders unpacks the politics of the black power movement. It’s required reading for those trying to understand the politics of the post-civil rights era. He is one of my favorite scholars,because he’s deeply engaged in the politics of “black politics” and also in trying to create or at least begin to articulate what a new world should look like in doing so.

And besides that he’s “good people”.

We had the chance to sit down and talk Thursday before I flew back to Baltimore. I had the presence of mind to tape our one hour conversation. I edited it a little bit. Check it out. We talk about neoliberalism, parenting, the Academy, and the black male crisis, among other things. We don’t talk about his book, but maybe we will next time around.

[audio: Spence-Johnson.mp3]