Imani Perry header
Imani Perry

Photo credit: Sameer Khan

Keynote Address: Imani Perry

Born just nine years after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow Imani Perry was instilled from an early age with a strong instinct for justice and progressive change. The rich interplay between history, race, law, and culture continues to inform her work as a critically-acclaimed author and professor of studies of women, gender and sexuality and of African and African American studies at Harvard University.


Tuesday, April 9, 2024
4:00-5:30 p.m.
2204 Kirkhof Center, Pere Marquette Room
Lecture, followed by reception



Imani Perry's work

Perry’s work reflects the deeply complex history of Black thought, art, and imagination. It is also informed by her background as a legal historian and her understanding of the racial inequality embedded in American law. Her latest book, National Book Award-winner South to America: A Journey Below the Mason Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, is a narrative journey through the American South, positioning it as the heart of the American experiment for better and worse. In looking at the South through a historic, personal, and anecdotal lens, Perry asserts that if we do indeed want to build a more humane future for the United States, we must center our concern below the Mason-Dixon Line. 

South to America was named a best book of 2022 by the New YorkerTimeKirkus, and Oprah Daily, and longlisted for the 2023 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction.

Imani Perry, MacArthur Fellow

Books by Imani Perry

South to America
Looking for Loraine
May We Forever Stand

Page last modified February 9, 2024