The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches is proud to present Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Eugene Robinson, who will join us for a virtual discussion regarding the current human rights movement and race relations in the United States on Monday, November 9, at noon.
Eugene Robinson uses his twice-weekly column in The Washington Post to pick American society apart and then put it back together again in unexpected and revelatory new ways. To do the job, he relies on the wide-ranging experience of a life that took him from childhood in the segregated South—on what they called the “colored” side of the tracks—to the heights of American journalism. His remarkable story-telling ability has won him wide acclaim, most notably as the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African-American president.
Long before the states were split into red and blue, Mr. Robinson saw that politics and culture are always intertwined. Robinson was born and raised in Orangeburg, SC. He remembers the culminating years of the Civil Rights Movement—the “Orangeburg Massacre,” a 1968 incident in which police fired on students protesting a segregated bowling alley and killed three unarmed young men, took place within sight of his house just a few hundred yards away. He was educated at Orangeburg High School, where he was one of a handful of black students on the previously all white campus; and the University of Michigan, where during his senior year he was the first black student to be named co-editor-in-chief of the award-winning student newspaper, The Michigan Daily.
He began his journalism career at The San Francisco Chronicle. He joined The Washington Post in 1980 as city hall reporter, covering the first term of Washington’s larger-than-life mayor, Marion Barry. For the first time since Orangeburg, race became a dominant issue in Robinson’s life—as city hall reporter, he was the de facto emissary of a powerful white institution, The Washington Post, to an ambitious, race-conscious, black-run government of a majority-black city.
In his three decades at The Washington Post, Robinson also served as city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, as well as an assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award-winning Style section –where he learned that hip-hop and American Idol are as relevant to people’s lives, in their way, as the “serious” news that gets reported on the front page. His appointment as associate editor and columnist took place in January 2005.
In 2010, Robinson was elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the NABJ Hall of Fame. His latest book, Disintegration, was released in October 2010 and is available for purchase on the Forum Club’s website at special pricing thanks to a partnership with the Palm Beach Bookstore. In it, Robinson discusses the disintegration of the black community into four distinct sectors—and the implication for policies such as school reform, urban renewal and affirmative action.
Robinson is a regular contributor to MSNBC. In April 2017, he was elected to a one-year term as Chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Forum Club virtual lunches will be hosted on the Zoom Webinar platform, but do not require you to have a personal Zoom account. You may watch this virtual lunch from your computer, tablet or smartphone or listen by calling the number provided upon registration. No web cameras or microphones will be needed for you to participate.