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Randall Kennedy, a Harvard law professor and author of the acclaimed book "Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word," will speak at Old Dominion University Thursday, Feb. 20, as part of Old Dominion's President's Lecture Series.

The free lecture will begin at 8 p.m. in the north and center cafeterias of Webb University Center. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Published in January 2002, the book propelled Kennedy onto the pages of The New York Times and Newsweek. It was also the subject of an episode of the TV series "Boston Public."

The book "puts a tracer" on what is perhaps America's most infamous derogatory word and is a must-read for students of American life. When followed through popular culture, the court system, academia and disparate racial communities, the word and its relative acceptability is in constant flux. It has been used to remove judges and inflame juries, as a term of endearment and one of derision, and to ban as well as celebrate other books.

Kennedy discusses his book and the history of the word in an attempt to enlighten audiences about the racial dynamics that define America.

A native of Columbia, S.C., Kennedy is a graduate of Yale Law School. He was a Rhodes scholar and a law clerk for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

His first book was the highly regarded "Race, Crime, and the Law" (1997). This month, he published "Interracial Intimacies: Sex, Marriage, Identity and Adoption."

For more information, call 683-3114.

This article was posted on: January 22, 2003

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.