Harvard law professor Charles J. Ogletree to give talk at URI to celebrate Black History Month

President Obama advisor to discuss post-racial America

KINGSTON, R.I., Jan. 9, 2013 – Charles J. Ogletree, a nationally recognized Harvard law professor and long-time mentor to President Obama, will be the featured speaker at the University of Rhode Island’s annual Black History Month lecture next month.

Ogletree, one of the country’s leading scholars on civil rights, will talk about the historic significance of Obama’s election and whether the country has made any progress to end racial discrimination.

“America widely celebrated the election of Barack Obama as the first black president in November, 2008,’’ Ogletree says. “Five years later, it is important to address this historic moment and whether we are making progress in the effort to create a post-racial America.’’

Free and open to the public, the talk will start at 7:00 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Memorial Union Ballroom, followed by a signing of his latest book, "The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America," which documents Gates’ mistaken arrest for attempting to break into his own home in Cambridge, Mass. The 2009 incident made national headlines and sparked a debate on race relations that reached all the way to the White House.