Writer Rodriguez to speak on racial and cultural assimilation in America

Award-winning author and essayist Richard Rodriguez will deliver the annual Association of Latin American Students Lecture for the Assembly Series at 11 a.m. Oct. 8 in Graham Chapel.

His lecture is titled “The Browning of America.”

Rodriguez is known worldwide for his critically acclaimed books, the autobiographical Hunger of Memory and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father. He writes about the ever-present concepts of race and diversity in American culture and what they mean in an ever-changing global culture.

He believes that assimilation between races and peoples is not a concept, good or bad, but a fact of life. Although his stand on issues such as bilingual education and affirmative action are often considered controversial, he makes no apologies.

In his most recent book, Brown: The Last Discovery of America, Rodriguez discusses what he terms the “Latinization” of American culture, rejecting America’s narrow definition of race as being solely “black and white,” and introducing the color brown as a fitting description of the “melting pot” of the United States.

Rodriguez earned degrees from Stanford and Columbia universities.

He is an editor for the Pacific News Service in San Francisco and a contributing writer to other national publications. He has also won Emmy and Peabody awards for his work as an essayist on PBS’ The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.

Assembly Series lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-4620 or go online to wupa.wustl.edu/assembly.

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