Political scientist Andra Gillespie to explore black political leadership in Carleton convocation

May 6, 2019

Andra Gillespie, associate professor of political science at Emory University, will deliver Carleton College’s weekly convocation address on Friday, May 10, from 10:50-11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. In her presentation, “Why Symbolic Politics Matters,” she will discuss whether a new generation of black political leadership can lead to substantive political changes in black communities.

A political scientist with a focus on the post-Civil Rights generation of black leadership, Gillespie teaches numerous courses on race and politics in the United States. This year, she published “Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbol, and Hope,” which discusses the role of race in Barack Obama’s presidency and compares his promotion of initiatives for blacks to efforts by the previous two administrations. She is also the author of 2012’s “The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark, and Post-Racial America,” which examines the evolution of black politics in Newark, New Jersey, and analyzes the connections between racial solidarity, voter choice, and policy preferences. In 2010, she edited and contributed to “Whose Black Politics? Cases in Post-Racial Black Leadership,” which explores the work of prominent black elected officials born after 1960.

Gillespie is the recipient of several awards, including an American Political Science Association Minority Fellowship and the prestigious National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. In 2009, she was honored by the Urban Section of the American Political Science Association as a Norton Long Fellow and was a 2009-2010 Ford Foundation Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.

In addition to her academic work, Gillespie maintains an active public profile, providing regular commentary for local and national news outlets. She has appeared on Atlanta’s local ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS and PBS affiliates, as well as CNN, NPR and FamilyNet. Her editorials have been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post and Politico.

Gillespie received an MA, MPhil and PhD from Yale University, after earning a BA in government & foreign affairs and African American studies at the University of Virginia.

This event is sponsored by Carleton College Convocations. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located at First and College Streets in Northfield.