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Happy Holidays
For more than a year I have been sending informal updates about my public writing and speaking. This month I am launching a more formal newsletter so that I can share my continuing work.

Your support, criticism and feedback are very important to me. I hope that this new format will make it easier to keep up our lively discussions about race, politics, gender, religion, and the contemporary issues facing our nation.

Here is some of my latest work.


Recent Writings


I was in a pew at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, on September 16, 2001. Although I was never a member of this now infamous congregation, I did attend Trinity regularly during the seven years I lived and worked in Chicago.

September 16, 2001 was the first Sunday after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, DC. On that Sunday Reverend Jeremiah Wright preached a sermon whose often-distorted excerpts became fodder for attack on candidate Barack Obama. Most people in America remember it as the "Chickens Coming Home to Roost" sermon.

Read the Full Article
NY Marriage Equality Vote

On December 2, the New York Senate passionately debated marriage equality. It was a compelling display of legal, moral, and political reasoning. Compared with the anemic, corporate-sponsored ramblings of U.S. Senate during the health care cloture discussion, the New York senate looked like the Continental Congress yesterday.

On the same day of this debate, my niece sent to me the draft of her personal essay for college admission. In it she discusses her experiences of being harassed and threatened as a gay teen.

Read the Full Article
I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas

On Sunday night I indulged two of my favorite obsessions, the Christmas holidays and sentimental Americana, by watching Oprah Winfrey's special "Christmas at the White House."

This televised tour of the decorated White House immediately evoked my holiday musings from last year. In the month after Obama's election I felt like a kid at Christmas, with visions of a black president dancing in my head.

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Bad Black Mothers

Bad black mothers are everywhere these days. With Michelle Obama in the White House, consciously and conspicuously serving as mom-in-chief, I expected (even somewhat dreaded) a resurgence of Claire Huxtable images of black motherhood: effortless glamour, professional success, measured wit, firm guidance, loving partnership, and the calm reassurance that American women can, in fact, have it all.

Instead the news is currently dominated by horrifying images of African American mothers.

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Recent Media Appearances

Rachel Maddow – Guess I'm a Racist
Rachel Maddow talks about a bizzare new anti-healthcare ad campaign with Princeton University's Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

Watch the Video
Rachel Maddow – Uganda Anti-Gay Bill
Rachel Maddow and a Friday night panel discuss the American legislators with ties to an anti-homosexuality bill introduced in Uganda.

Watch the Video
Rachel Maddow – Health Care Reform
How is health reform faring in the Senate?

Watch the Video
- December 2009 -
About Melissa
Melissa Harris-Lacewell is Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of the award-winning book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. And she is currently at work on a new book: Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough.
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More Media Mentions
New Orleans Still Waits for Change from Obama

Did Obama Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC
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Contact Melissa
General Inquiries

Speaking Engagements and Public Appearances
Lynne Murphy, Media Relations Specialist