How to Be Less Stupid About Race

The Graduate School of Education and the School of Social Welfare are pleased to welcome Dr. Crystal Fleming "How to Be Less Stupid About Race: A Sociologist Speaks"

Zoom registrants

The event format is Zoom webinar. If you registered via Zoom, you must sign in to your Zoom account to join the talk. New to Zoom? Sign up for free .

Thursday, September 17, 2020
12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (Pacific)

Crystal Marie Fleming is Professor at SUNY Stony Brook who has conducted research on racism and anti-racism in national contexts, and addresses a range of topics, from white supremacy to politics, spirituality, feminism, (bi)sexuality and philosophy.

Her latest book, How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy and the Racial Divide (Beacon Press), is a critically acclaimed primer on systemic racism that combines memoir, critical race theory, social commentary and satire to debunk common misconceptions about race. Her essays and op-eds can be found in popular venues such as Newsweek; Vox; The Root; Everyday Feminism; Black Agenda Report; Black Perspectives; and Huffington Post.

Bringing critical race theory from the Ivory Tower to the masses, Dr. Fleming 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. Dr. Fleming 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.

Our moderators for the event are:

Prudence L. Carter, the E.H. and Mary E. Pardee Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Education. Dean Carter’s expertise ranges from issues of youth identity and race, class, and gender, urban poverty, social and cultural inequality, the sociology of education and mixed research methods. Specifically, she examines academic and mobility differences shaped by the effects of race, ethnicity, class, and gender.

Linda M. Burton, Dean of the School of Social Welfare. Dean Burton previously served as Director of the Center for Child and Family Policy and Dean of Social Sciences at Duke University. Her research integrates ethnographic and demographic approaches and examines the roles of inequality, poverty, trauma, and intergenerational family dynamics in the intimate unions of low-income mothers and accelerated life course transitions in urban and rural families.

This event will be live-captioned. For other ADA accommodations, please contact with as much advance notice as possible. Recording and unauthorized publishing of this event is prohibited.

To obtain a copy of How to Be Less Stupid About Race, you may consider purchasing the book at a local store such as Marcus Books in Oakland, Calif., the oldest independent Black bookstore in the country. Call Marcus Books at (510) 652-2344; or find other Black-owned bookstores around the country.

This event is co-hosted by