Faculty & Staff Newsletter

Vol. 68 Number 5 November 4, 2019

Dr. Elwood Watson publishes 'Keepin' it Real'

Dr. Elwood Watson, pictured in his office with a copy of "Keepin' It Real"

Dr. Elwood Watson, an ETSU professor of history, African American studies and gender studies, has authored a new book, Keepin' It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America, published by the University of Chicago Press in August.

Watson’s latest book covers various current topics relating to race in the U.S. Examples of these topics include police brutality, black intellectuals, the place of the Obamas, the rise of the “alt-right” and white nationalism, President Donald Trump, football player Colin Kaepernick, the Black Lives Matter Movement, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, singer R. Kelly, actor Bill Cosby, reparations, and more.

Keepin’ It Real also focuses on the past decade, labeling it as “one of the most racially turbulent periods in the modern era, as the complicated breakthrough of the Obama presidency gave way to the racially charged campaigning and eventual governing of Donald Trump,” according to the publisher.

When asked whether race relations had worsened in the past few decades, Watson responded with saying, “I think race relations have been exposed more due to social media.”

“America’s racial problems aren’t going away any time soon,” the publisher continues. “Keepin’ It Real will serve as a marker of the arguments we’re having right now, and an argument for the changes we need to make to become the better nation we’ve long imagined ourselves to be.”

When asked if this book will help readers understand and improve race relations, Watson responded saying, “Yes, I think this book will shed people’s denials about race relations.”

Watson is the author of more than a dozen books and several scholarly articles that include two co-authored, award-winning scholarly articles. He also serves as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of American Culture.

 Keepin’ It Real is available through the University of Chicago Press or Amazon.com.

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