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National Columnist to Discuss Race Relations at Augustana

Leonard Pitts Jr.
Leonard Pitts Jr.

A Pulitzer Prize winner and nationally syndicated columnist will be on Augustana College's campus tomorrow. Leonard Pitts Jr. will discuss race relations and productive strategies for dealing with inequality, at the college's fall Symposium Day. 

Katie Hanson, from the Education Department, says the talk is called "The Innocence that Constitutes the Crime: How to be Decent and White in an Era of Black Rage." And, he wrote the speech specifically for Augustana, connecting it to the required summer reading for first year students. 
Freshmen were required to read the book, "The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin. Hanson says the 1960s text about race relations in America is still relevant today, and Pitts' writing reflects that.

She hopes Pitts will prompt a conversation about how to improve race relations.

Pitts is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. He's written several books, and will release another next month, called "Grant Park," which explores four decades of black and white relations in America. 

He will speak tomorrow in Augustana's Gerber Center, from 10 to 11 am. A book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.