A National Conversation About Conversations About Race

Baratunde Thurston grew up on the streets of Washington DC, the son of a pro-black, pan-African mother, his neighborhood caught in the crossfire of the city’s infamous crack cocaine wars. Tanner Colby grew up in the white flight suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama, attending a high school mostly notable for its insistence on flying the Confederate Battle Flag as its official school colors. Decades later, both are NY Times bestselling authors with books about race and its role in shaping their lives.

Join us for an evening of humorous, provocative, and lively conversation about culture, identity, the persistence of the color line, the role of technology in shaping the color line, how to talk about race, how not to talk about race, how to be black, where to be white, what makes a good black friend, why to have white friends, and who really stands to reap the rewards of a rapidly shifting, majority-minority, pre-post-yet-still-very-racial America.

The discussion will be hosted and moderated by award-winning journalist and filmmaker Soledad O’Brien, host of CNN’s groundbreaking “In America” series and correspondent for HBO’s RealSports and Al Jazeera America.

Proceeds from ticket and book sales will go to to the Soledad O’Brien + Brad Raymond Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for young women.

Soledad O’Brien: Moderator

Soledad O’Brien is a critically acclaimed journalist and was recently named one of Newsweek Magazines "10 People who Make America Great."

As the originator of the “Black in America” and “Latino in America” documentary franchises, Soledad continues to set new standards for in-depth storytelling as the CEO of Starfish Media Group. The multi-platform media production and distribution company is dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories.

In the wake of hurricane Katrina, O'Brien and her husband, Brad, created a foundation to help disadvantaged young women get to and through college.This year they will award scholarships to 25 deserving young women. O'Brien lives in Manhattan with her husband and four children.

Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He co-founded the black political blog Jack and Jill Politics and served as Director of Digital for The Onion before launching the comedy/technology startup Cultivated Wit. Then-candidate Barack Obama called him "someone I need to know." Baratunde travels the world speaking and advising and performs standup regularly in NYC. He resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years' experience being black. He writes the monthly backpage column for Fast Company, and his first book, How To Be Black, is a New York Times best-seller.

Tanner Colby

Tanner Colby is the author of "Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America," a look at contemporary American race relations and an attempt to lear how and why he didn't know any black people. Prior to tackling the issue of race, he wrote "Belushi: A Biography" and the New York Times bestseller "The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts." He is also a frequent contributor to Slate magazine. He lives in Brooklyn.



All tickets and signed books purchased through Togather.com benefit the Soledad O' Brien + Brad Raymond Foundation.

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