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Dear Friends,

It has been quite an exceptional six weeks since I sent out my last newsletter. At the end of September my regular column for The Nation set off quite a firestorm of debate as I asked about the continuing role of race in American elections. The column that launched a thousand emails, tweets, blog comments, and responsive posts is below.

After a bruising week of fielding tons of negative responses (and quite a lot of positive ones) to the column, my beloved husband, James, surprised me with a secretly planned getaway to Cancun, Mexico! We celebrated my birthday (October 2), our first anniversary (October 3), and Jamesís birthday (October 4) on a relaxing and romantic vacation. We returned to find really lovely profile in our hometown New Orleans Times-Picayune. You can read that below too.

I spent much of the rest of the month teaching my wonderful Tulane undergraduates and traveling for lectures and book events around the country. It has been a thrill and honor to share Sister Citizen with many different audiences. Last week I got a chance to fill in as a guest host of The Rachel Maddow Show. It was the same day President Obama announced the end of the war in Iraq. That was an extraordinary experience!

Look for my feature article about the 2012 elections in Novemberís issue of Ebony Magazine, which is on newsstands now. And remember to send me prayers and good vibes as I run Ė or more accurately as I slowly jog- the New Orleans Jazz half marathon to benefit the cancer center at childrenís hospital on Saturday, October 29.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Take care of your own health first. Conduct your monthly self-exam and encourage the women in your life to have regular mammograms. Then make a donation (even a small one) to a local or national breast cancer organization. Together we can beat this disease.


Black President, Double Standard
The Nation
September 21, 2011

Electoral racism in its most naked, egregious and aggressive form is the unwillingness of white Americans to vote for a black candidate regardless of the candidate’s qualifications, ideology or party. This form of racism was a standard feature of American politics for much of the twentieth century. So far, Barack Obama has been involved in two elections that suggest that such racism is no longer operative. His re-election bid, however, may indicate that a more insidious form of racism has come to replace it.

Read the Full Article
Epistemology of Race Talk
The Nation
September 26, 2011

I logged onto Twitter on Sunday night and discovered that my recent article for The Nation was causing a bit of a stir. Some members of the white liberal political community are appalled and angry that I suggested racial bias maybe responsible for the President’s declining support among white Americans. I found some responses to my piece to be fair and important, others to be silly and nonresponsive, and still others to be offensive personal attacks. But those categories are par for the course.

Read the Full Article
Can Occupy Wall Street Survive as a Leaderless Movement
The Nation
October 19, 2011

What started as a small demonstration in Lower Manhattan has grown into a legitimate, if still nascent, social movement, one that is thriving despite a lack of specific policy goals, organizational structure or identifiable leaders. The Occupy movement’s leaderless global reach challenges more than the economic inequality it is protesting; it also calls into question our existing models of social movements. On the same weekend when thousands took to the streets in rallies around the world in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, America dedicated a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. in recognition of his courageous, galvanizing and effective leadership of the civil rights movement.

Read the Full Article

TV Appearances

Lecture on Race, Politics and the Legacy of the Civil War Chautauqua Institute
August 26, 2011

Saturday and Sunday Panelist on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes
UP with Chris Hayes
October 15 & 16, 2011

Guest Host of The Rachel Maddow Show
The Rachel Maddow Show
October 21, 2011

Anita Hill, 20 years later. Hunter College Conference
October 15, 2011

New Orleans Times-Picayune Profile

New Orleans transplant has a life rich in politics, pedagogy
October 2, 2011

It was showtime, and Melissa Harris-Perry was definitely ready to go. But this time, Harris-Perry wasn't on television, where she regularly matches wits with the likes of MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow or Lawrence O'Donnell. Instead, Harris-Perry was standing in front of about 35 undergraduate students at Tulane University, where she is in her first semester as a political-science professor after four years at Princeton.

Read the Full Article

Sister Citizen Book Coverage

The “Sister Citizen” Interview with Kam Williams

Melissa Harris-Perry on Black Women Stereotypes

Melissa Harris-Perry Q&A: Political pundit making waves

Ain’t I A Woman? Melissa Harris-Perry Explores Black Womanhood in “Sister Citizen”

Not Oprah’s Book Club: Sister Citizen

New Book Focuses on Female Racial Stereotypes
- October 2011 -
About Melissa
Melissa Harris-Perry is professor of political science at Tulane University, where she is founding director of the Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. She is also an award winning author and appears regularly on MSNBC and other media venues.
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Other Media Mentions
Meet The Root 100 Honorees for 2011

Top 100 Feminist Non-Fiction Countdown
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MHP Monthly Archives
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Annette Luba-Lucas