MLK Program Presents Dr. Crystal Fleming

MLK program keynote speaker Dr. Crystal Fleming against a red background
February 7, 2023
6:30-7:30 pm

Dr. Crystal Fleming is Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies and Associate Faculty in the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at SUNY Stony Brook. She is an author, public intellectual and expert on global racism and white supremacy. Her critically acclaimed primer, How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide, combines memoir, critical race theory, social commentary and satire to debunk common misconceptions about racism. The book earned a starred Kirkus review and has been widely praised as essential anti-racist reading. Her recent book, RISE UP! How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy, is a YA nonfiction that explores the roots of racism and its modern-day legacies while empowering young people with actionable ways to create a more just and equitable world. WSU is excited to welcome Dr. Fleming! Please register to attend her keynote presentation in-person or online on How to Be Less Stupid About Race at the bottom of this page.

Bringing critical race theory from the Ivory Tower to the masses, Crystal explains how systemic racism exposes us all to racial ignorance and provides a road map for transforming our knowledge into anti-racist change. Racial stupidity–in the form of misconceptions, misrepresentations and denial—is clearly an epidemic. And this is not a coincidence or a mistake: living in a racist society means that we absorb harmful ideas, stereotypes and biases. When left unchallenged, racial stupidity fuels discriminatory behavior, devalues the lives of black and brown people and reproduces the white supremacist status quo from one generation to the next. This wide-ranging talk unveils the historical roots of racial stupidity and explores how racial non-sense manifests in pop culture, (mis)education, media, politics and personal relationships today. But recognizing racial stupidity is not enough—we have to actually do something about it. Crystal seeks to inspire and empower those of us committed to building a more just society by showing how to leverage our racial literacy for anti-racist activism.