Richard Rodriguez: "Brown: The Last Discovery of America"
Webb University Center - North Cafeteria
President's Lecture Series; Annual Literary Festival
Richard Rodriguez, essayist and journalist, discusses the history and racial identity issues of Hispanic Americans and racially mixed people. He explains why the American classification of race into black and white is ineffectual and proposes the color brown as a more accurate term to describe and represent Hispanics and other racially mixed peoples.
Rodriguez was born on July 31, 1944, into a Mexican immigrant family in San Francisco, California. Rodriguez spoke Spanish until he went to a Catholic school at 6. As a youth in Sacramento, California, he delivered newspapers and worked as a gardener. He graduated from Sacramento's Christian Brothers High School.
Rodriguez received a B.A. from Stanford University, an M.A. from Columbia University, was a Ph.D. candidate in English Renaissance literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and attended the Warburg Institute in London on a Fulbright fellowship.A noted prose stylist, Rodriguez has worked as a teacher, international journalist, and educational consultant, and he has appeared regularly on the Public Broadcasting Service show, NewsHour. Rodriguez's visual essays, Richard Rodriguez Essays, on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer" earned Rodriguez a Peabody Award in 1997. Rodriguez’s books include Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez (1982), a collection of autobiographical essays; Mexico's Children (1990); Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father (1992), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; Brown: The Last Discovery of America (2002); and Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography (2013). Rodriguez's works have also been published in Harper's Magazine, Mother Jones, and Time.
Rodriguez, Richard, "Richard Rodriguez: "Brown: The Last Discovery of America"" (2004). President's Lecture Series. 55.