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tv   Marcia Chatelain Franchise  CSPAN  January 17, 2022 12:45pm-1:31pm EST

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the indictment and is placed him under suspension pending further information. a recent gallup poll found 27% of americans read more than ten books last year, an 8% drop from 2016. the 17% that did not read any books is on par with surveys from prior years. according to npd bookscan print book sales were up close to 9% .1 win over the previous year with 825 million books sold. adult nonfiction sales rose 1%. this is of the second consecutive year of sales growth following an 8% jump in 2020. booktv will continue to bring you do programs and publishing news, and you can also watch all of our past programs anytime at booktv.org. >> hello and welcome to the 36th annual near south planning board printers row lit fest. please help me init giving a
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special thank you to our sponsors. [applause] before we began with ask that you silence your cell phones and turn off camera flashes if you are taking photos. at the end of the presentation we will be taking questions. and there is a mic here, because c-span is according, please come to the mic so that they can be heard on the recording and we would remind you of that. and let's begin. please welcome marcia chaplin, she is the author of "franchise: the golden arches in black america" and she is in conversation with elizabeth taylor. thank you, ladies. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you all for coming today. can you hear me? it is such a pleasure it is a beautiful day outside. it is going to be a much
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interesting to be in this room as we really dig into this really important part of history. i'm thrilled to be here, professor of history at georgetown university that is the official bio. i just want to say pulitzer prize winner 2021 history. [applause] at. [cheering] and i get a chill. so the citation read this way. one reason i'm going to read it out loud and there is a big luncheon or anything for the book because of covid. i don't know if you have had a stranger read this to you, ever. so i am going to do it. this amazing book, franchise
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the golden arches and black america. the citation read this way from nuance account of the complicated role of the fast food industry plays in african-american communities race in capitalism that masterfully illustrates how the fight for civil rights has been intertwined with black businesses. so, it is a smart and capacious book and a work of history that goes way beyond what you know about the golden arches and entrepreneurial spirit. in the calorie count of the happy meal, it digs into this really important story of how this purveyor of food actually shaped political culture.
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shape to the economy and really shape so many particularly cities around the country. it is really important history it is a lens i don't think people have thought about quite the way you have. i'm really thrilled to be here. so, mcdonald's is embedded into the american subconscious. i'm sure it is a stone's from here there is one. but it is a paradox. it is simultaneously history of opportunity it's also an opportunity for exploitation. it is a national story but it is also chicago's story pray to let's begin in chicago.
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marcia, your first book with southside girls growing up in the great migration. here we are, in chicago where you grew up so what was your first mcdonald's experience? >> i just want to thank you to everyone for joining us. thank you so much for this invitation to talk about my book. i got up this morning and took a walk around downtown. it was so emotional having grown up here and having so many afterschool johnson this neighborhood. i can count the number of places i got a paycheck around the city. i want to return to that. because it mcdonald's for me was at the center i think of my budding social life as a young adult. we ate mcdonald's a lot as a kid. in the 80s that is what you did. there is no social shaming about what your kids eat mcdonald's. that is what we did all the
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time. but as i get older, mcdonald's became the site of our socialize. there's a number of people i went to high school with in people who are of the same age. that was her social media. we did not have cell phones but we could all meet at a mcdonald's. and many ways i sought is an ever present part of my social world. and also the place reckitt articulate my independence. growing up in chicago with mcdonald's, mcdonald's had two distinct places. one in its underwriting of so much of the black cultural life of chicago which is how i start thinking about my book. when you think about the resume was of the broadcast know your heritage. all of these things are underwritten by black mcdonald's operators.
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growing up in the 80s and early 90s a lot of first corporate job opportunities for students of color, mcdonald's was up with abbott labs and mcdonald's lumen entry for a lot of black college students. so in many ways i think being in chicago mcdonald's means a little bit of a different thing in other cities. so we know mcdonald's was launched by ray croc. and then the franchise started. it's the story of the franchise industry. and capitalism. so how did that work for mcdonald's? >> so mcdonald's grows out of southern california. one of the things we talk about in the book is when we think about when people talk and write about mcdonald's they frame it as a story of
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innovation. getting so many people food so quickly. for the food industry in the 1940s and 50s. but for my purposes i like to think about in terms of what does it say about america's racial history? what does it say about business to grow up around the highway system which is terror and anxiety for so many black travelers. what we think about the suburbanization of fast food in the communities have all means of excluding african-americans. so when we get to the moment were franchise in this growth opportunity for business it is really exciting. it is a moment in which you don't have to have a lot of business experience. our own a family business to make big like i own my house but bank of america really
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owns my house. you can be really successful about an education which is really one of the promises of american industry. people are just in love with franchising. someone has done all of the hard work but the star is checked assume all the risk and liability and you have to do an incredible amount of work to make it work. >> thinking about chicago, can you talk about the first black franchise owner? >> yes mcdonald's was founded in 46? the original mcdonald's in san bernardino was from the 40 spirit moves to chicago and 55, ray croc he is incredibly ambitious. he says we can have a mcdonald's in every bedroom community. but african-americans don't really get an entry point into
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franchising until 68. it's immediately after king's assassination. it is very easy to not know or misunderstand king in his moment was not the good guy of history. so after his assassination, it is a work over the past three decades that martin luther king is a hero. but in 1968 after the uprising from reaction to his death. after this consternation about the civil rights movement was incredible encouragement for black owned business under the umbrella of black capitalism. herman petty was the first one to franchise and mcdonald's. he is in that moment where there is a federal pressure to open a business opportunities for african-americans. mcdonald's is involved in it
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knowing that there will be a number of right franchise owners who do not want to do business in black communities anymore. and mcdonald's start recruiting black donors to serve black communities but is very profitable for number of reasons. >> very profitable for some of them, right? >> let's a very good point you make pretty prospective franchising. what they soon discover it's called black stores at the time. that black stores yield very good profits because they are often located committees where this is not a lot of competing businesses. market research shows african-american consumers go to mcdonald's more often than their white counterparts. but, the franchisor is not visibly see all the prophets.
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early on mcdonald's tried to intervene to create a baseline program so black franchise owners can keep their stores. my 75 -- 76 there is a real sense this is something that can work. that if you put black franchise owners in black communities, you not only take advantage of the changing landscape of inner-city business, but you have a really loyal customer base because people feel they are patronizing a black owned business. it's incredibly important for the politics at the time. but then it becomes a trade-off between two may want mcdonald's or a community center? can you explain how that was all interwoven together? the power structure. >> so one of the things that happens as mcdonald's is becoming more present in the cities like chicago, and
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cleveland, in los angeles, portland oregon, that community groups are not trying to decide if they like mcdonald's or not. i think this was something i really wanted to talk about in the book, and world in which mcdonald's was on a presupposition. i do this often is anyone in this audience never been to mcdonald's or doesn't know what it is? only twice this has happened. two people in the dozens of events i've had her on this but eaten at a mcdonald's. they were both raised by vegan nutritionist. [laughter] they had not eaten and mcdonald's but everyone knew what was there is a period of time this is not a fixture in every community. so as mcdonald's is growing in terms of its presence in black communities, sharing to decide the going to contribute to the health and wellness of the people around it.
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there's all these different protest saying if mcdonald's is going to be here, it has to be black franchise. if mcdonald's is going to be here they have to donate to the free breakfast program donate by the black panther party. mcdonald's is going to be her that the palpate for park. this early moment before corporate social responsibility had its playbook. mcdonald's is trying to decide if they should do these things are not. some of these actions are so mind blowing from the perspective of 2021 is a whole office of people telling you how to not sound racist or not say something. and it 78 -- 79 even up to the 80s, everything is still on the table. think that's the part of the history i find most fascinating. how do we set the standard and template for how corporations interact with communities. >> that is so interesting.
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in the book you argue the government really supports the expansion of mcdonald's by highways or drivers can find them easily and other ways how has society been complicit in this expansion of mcdonald's? >> one of the things we see during this time period, it felt very strange in 2020 to hear some of the rhetoric from 68 being recycled. one of the reasons why they're so much unrest in the 1960s, it's not because people want more businesses necessarily sarah will housing, good
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schools for your children, access to health care, jobs that care more thanstarvation wages . the issue has been very clear and it seems that the federal government says we're not going to deliver on the promises of the civil rights movement but people have their own businesses and this is my cynical grumpy self but there's something about that i find so: but understand what it's so seductive in 1968. there's been a large-scale failure of the federal government to live up to any of the promises of the legislative and civic records that have happened relative to black tirights. so people are sayingokay, we're not going to be protected . maybe we have a business. maybe we can become self-sustaining. but small business particularly but very few businesses have the power and we get to have one to undo civil rights abuses. no company can innovate
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respecting someone's right to vote or ending police brutality so we know that during this period time people are thinking maybe it's true but in 2020 we have no excuse for thinking that the appropriate restaurant plates summer is to buy black businesses. none of it makes sense but this is what we are presented as a potential solution class and it's a solutionthat continues to this day . >> in a way what you're talking about isso perfectly expressed on the cover of your book . i don't know whether you see because it's in paperback but can you talk about the cover of the book and it captures the moment. >> i love this picture so much. it's a picture of the gentleman who is giving the oath of voting to a woman in
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the parking lot of a mcdonald's this picture is from the neighborhood of portland. one of the things i appreciated in the research process was that i was able to write about black history in the pacific northwest but she is getting her right to vote at a mcdonald's and as a franchise you see what my editor did their. i wasn't that creative but the point is what does it mean for mcdonald's to be the space in which black rights are being pursued and realized? this is so depressing but i think it's a cautionary tale to all of us. to think this is where this needs to happen. and i think that what i'm most concerned with is saying that we actually do have the tools to address racial injustice but if we keep on suggesting that markets based solutions or market activity
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is going to do this, then we're going to continue to repeat the cycle of history. >> i want to quickly ask aboutadvertising . how advertising was so expensive, kind of the biggest campaign. can you talk about some of the companies? >> euro medications was so important for this moment because what's happening in terms of the marketplace is that t1968 is the culmination of in many ways of many years of racial unrest. and i think at a level of gravitas to where the country is and other political issues . so corporations are feeling indicted and thinking how are we goingto reach out ? how are we going to be more inclusive .
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what they do is they start investing in black advertising agents, agencies in black market research companies and baroque indications takes mcdonald's on and create a series of ads that are supposed to the black consumer. there's this anecdote about how they tried to sell african-american consumers on you deserve a break today and it doesn't work because what break, it's 1968 in america but all this is to say that this is something that i came to appreciate during the research of this book cause there are not a lot of african-americans on television during this time and it's a very big deal. even when i was a kid growing up in the 80s, it was a big deal to see these commercials. to see not only black actors and actresses and singers but to see black creative talent
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after place to start because producing commercials, being the backup singers, being a dancer in a commercial, this was theplatform before the internet . if you spend as much time on you to as i do watching all old d mcdonald's commercials, there are some big stars to getstarted in these commercials . i wanted to make sure this book although there's a lot of policy history and civil rights history acknowledges that creative work that was able to shift some of the representationinto the 80s and 90s . >> it had such a power. can you talk about archival work? finding that photo for instance . this is not a corporate history ofmcdonald's . they didn't open up their archives.
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>> no they didn't. they did not want me. >> i think that's a blessing, it caused you to becreative and go around . so talk about that process, where did you go? >> i went everywhere. i can't believe i did this. when i think about the amount of times i got on an airplane in recent events, got on an airplane and stayed four days at the library to get three pieces of paper. this enis the life of a historian . i tell my students you know when you're on twitter and there's something that has gone viral you spend 40 minutes trying to spend its origin and you feel proud of yourself . that's myprofessional life . so mcdonald's has its own archive that's not open. and it's the corporation. how to write a story about mcdonald's? this is about shifting the lands. when i tell a story about black america in 1968
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mcdonald's is everywhere. when i look at the papers eof people like alien bond mcdonald's is everywhere. when i look atthe archives of the southern christian leadership conference, mcdonald's is everywhere . so i think we often think about certain relationships of power. so people say well, was there an archive of all of the black franchise owners of that early class and i said no. but if i think about critically the places that donated money to the community groups that t interacted with them i could have written 10 books about mcdonald's and black america but i think it's a cautionary tale about who we center and who we consider are important makers of history and that's why i'm so excited about the possibility of a graduate student reading this book and saying this is the worst book i've ever read . i'm going to go back to those
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archives and write a better version because these things are possible its political. there has to be programsin which you can study african-american history. the faculties who will advise you to do that . this isn't magic . it is about changing who and what we think about in the places that trainscholars to do that kind of work . >> it's always interested me how you were a journalist throughout. and that's how i met you. summer intern. >> your desk was catty corner from mine. >> and its no surprise in history but you have your phd in american civil relations which i think is a more expensive way tolook at history . it makes me think maybe that's one of the reasons
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you're so adroit and smart about archiving. >> being in an interview disciplinary program really pushes you to think about the do different places where knowledge can be produced so it isn't just the papers that are put in the newspaper archive or a collection in a historical society. it's something you see on youtube or television. it's the conversations people have that you haveaccess to . but one of the things i want to say being back home and really being reflectiveabout this trajectory , a lot of what is possible inside the book and kind of in my career was because i grew up in a moment in which there were opportunity programs . this time i'm a generation from 68 but i benefited from the affirmative action program, the minority scholarship program this idea that maybe weshould try to change things a little bit . i think the biggest
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difference between me and my students is that there actually living twin a world with fewer of those rats opportunity and this is what i find most irritating about this cycle of history that in some ways, i can chart the programs that some were federally funded, some were public-privatepartnerships but i can chart the programs that me to this point . and when i think about a number of resources my students might have with technology, those same programs and those same possibilities are there. i think this is something we have to be so careful about in suggesting that there's ever a moment where the work is done. we're always going with the unfinished business and the question is how do we return to a place where we still want to expandopportunities so aggressively . >> in certain ways we grapple with this. because it's in many ways
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your indictments of the war on capitalism and capitalism can't be that be that socially responsible. you've read correctly. it can't. but what i wanted to do in a way that this is substantive and not be so arrogant to suggest that i'm so much smarter than the entire mechanism of capitalism that makes we want things or makes me excited when the new iphone comes out. i don't think that'sthe entire point . but it is to say that if we are going to be a serious about the inequalities that are born out of racism, then we cannot constrain choices to the point where i knew mcdonald's becomes the kind of presence in the lives of people and our expectation that people will have time
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for their families and have living wages and access to healthcare . these things are compatible but i think when it comes to securing black rights, this is the place where we turn to . this idea that marketplace can put something together to quell the real deep inequalities that people are constantly reacting to and having to make choices from. >> it seems that people are eager to kind of contemporary life. the fatty foods of mcdonald's and all that. and it's dangerous but less eager to contend with the social implications of the business itself. >> it's so easy to castigate people who choices. i think this is a long kind of cpractice especially
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throughout the 20th century when we have ideas of diets and good food and bad food. i want people to live healthy lives but i never want us to suggest that what a person is consuming is more important and the conditions that create the set of choices. i think for health practitioners, for public policy people there is a default position that african-american choices should be the first place to go. as if all those choices are equally constructive among all people. >> what are the blocks to a new kind of system emerging of franchises that would do sort of be a beacon of food? >> people have always kind of embraced different food movements.
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that's neither here nor there. i just don't want the impossible to determine whether a community of healthcare. mcdonald's can make all the burgers they want . they can be fine but i want them to operate in a civil and social context where there were there burgers: poverty wages.>> let's talk about the franchise, about the owner but let's talk about the disenfranchised and the people who work there. which are in your book. it seems when i look at your footnotes those were great archival minds . >> there's this moment where people are thinking okay, fast food jobs are first
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jobs. they are an entry point into the marketplace and people have the other tools necessary for socialmobility . but we will put money no money into thosetools . we will not create any regulatory structure on the quality of those jobs and when the nation is in financial crisis, there will not be an extension of benefits for people in these jobs then people are wondering why can't you advance from these jobs? when mcdonald's roreally starts to get into black communities there's twothings i think are interesting . one is a lot of the black franchise owners are brave for bringing bringing black women into working at mcdonald's. the early mcdonald's brothers fired all the young women who worked at their restaurants because sexism is evergreen andslowly but surely , you have young black women working at mcdonald's and some being able to become managers and seeing this as this great opportunity . donald's sells itself to
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black consumers by suggesting that the person working the counter would one day become a franchise owner and the stream that if you just stay in long enough, you know, u need to have franchise mcdonald's. mark ever in an article a couple of days ago that his dad told him you can either have a mcdonald's franchise can send you toharvard . and i know, isn't that a great story weston mark just to wrap our heads around it, that myth of the possibility of the hefranchise system i think is still so powerful but all this is to say that the economy shifted rapidly so that these jobs were not possible in terms of creating stable, working family and you know, the fight for 15 as really effectively raised that consciousness among a lot of people but still the $15 an hour wage is not enough.
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i used to live in oklahoma city. i taught at the university of oklahoma and remember when companies would come in. people would say these are great jobs and we don't have to pay a lot because oklahoma city isn't expensive as if this is the kind of barometer for economic growth so this is how the kind of fast food practices really mushroomed, low wages,inconsistent scheduling . actual harassment. no paid sick leave. workers are expendable this is the moment we are contending with . >> are we going short on >> time? any questions if we can get to this. please come up to tthe microphone if you have questions. i have one last question. and i'm retaining my rights for the last question but high. >> i was going over in my mind my question to ask.
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yes, i'm glad you picked me for the lastone because i was going to come to the last one . i grew up in the south and mcdonald's was my first job, my brother's first job but when i moved a lot , i was the same way with a job dfrom mcdonald's. the fight for 15 was a great thing to have . done in 2011 and it's an insult all around the country . i wonder if you've seen any connection between that sort of mutation of what mcdonald's was and the civil rights movement and the powell memo. and the basic strategy of corporate america to push down everything that happened with this movement which of course was in concert with co-intel pro.
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is there i don't want to say a synergy or additional complement right there. >> one thing that i found talking about archives that really blew my mind was when i was looking at mcdonald's in the 60s, i found a number of instances in which groups like the student nonviolent coordinating committee and naacp were involved in protests against segregation at mcdonald's . what is not in the frame of our history as segregation? we've seen all those iconic images and their very much codified in before there was segregation and there wasn't and these were the places in which ithappened . the pine bluff arkansas movement and 62, 63. people are beaten by the police trying to do a protest of the segregated mcdonald's. mcdonald's was part of the
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north carolina sit in in the room. all of these places, people are acting againstmcdonald's . and it's not within the frame and sometimes i wonder because they had drafted themselves on to the narrative of after king death we get the socially responsible thing by recruiting black franchise owners. they themselves out of that history and then kept on doing these things. they were very early supporters as i talk in the book of the martin luther king jr.holiday and i think that rights them out of that . while there's a lot of criticism of mcdonald's practices through its labor practices, today and there was a lot of stuff about the environment in the 80s and 90s, their relationship to the era of segregation has disappeared and i find that so strange. >> it is a complete whitewashing of history.
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>> is terrible. any other questions? i know we have somebody. >> my question is with you mentioned a lot of these major companies think that universal healthcare for children is better for society. kind of like it's an indictment of it. why do you see a lot more business owners working with universal healthcare and i'm wondering if you're seeing these franchise owners. [inaudible] as someone is open to business, what's it's hard to work with and i never understood why. it's a really big question in f terms of that. have you seen, what is that something?
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>> that is such an excellent point. that one of the two issues that come up is that franchise owners absorb a lot of the risk of the business . so they are very much beholden to the corporate structure that they run their franchise under this has become a chronic issue with the national labor relations board and in determining who you work for, if you work in mcdonald's worker mcdonald's corporate or work the franchise owner and they have gone back and forth on this issue when their challenges about sexual harassment, about ways that and taking care of workers. i think that the narrative of small business in america has been that regulation will kill your business, that your employees are people to be distrustful of and invested in all at the same time. so we could create an incredible movement of small business owners that say if we really are the fuel of america, every politician left and right mix this kind of playing and these are the
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things that we demand from the public inorder to have our small businesses . this is why i always say danger when we talk about black-owned businesses. the majority of black owned businesses do not employ anyone. the majority ofblack-owned businesses will never have the ability to rebuild the south side of chicago or minneapolis or harlem . they do not have that capacity. but if they have the floor perhaps they can say if you really want black economic empowerment and this requires universal healthcare, free college, free childcare. those three things alone could transform the possibility of mall businesses that can employee maybe one or two people. that can maybe expand. once we suggest that the public good undermines business, then we lose that possibility. >> i know we have to go. one quick question. peopleshould rush out and buy this book .
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we can only give you a taste of but you will have a five-month-old baby at home . do you think you will be able to go to mcdonald's or r what are you going to want to do there? >> this is what i've learned in my many months of parenting. i cannot determine what my child eats. after a certain point because i want him to be an autonomous person in the world but this is what i do know. i know that at the very least i will try my hardest to raise a very sensitive child who imagines that his choices make a difference and whether it's what you eat or what he, how he treats others there will be talk about mcdonald's there will also be a lot of real talk about that every choice we have is complicated
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and that regardless of the choices he makes he's still my baby boy who i love so much. the last thing i'll say is this has been an incredible year. i adopted a child, i won the pulitzer prize in order and i want to say this is not about me necessarily but a black woman in her 40s to be recognizedwith a pulitzer prize. this is the point . and someone who was on every scholarship imaginable and every kind of program was able to do this i feel like is really meaningful and it doesn't necessarily mean that the work is over. >> so inspiring and kudos to you. you've done so much good work. [applause] >> not the best-selling books according to harvard
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bookstore in cambridge massachusetts. topping the list is university of houston professor bernie brown's atlas of the heart about making meaningful human connections followed by michelle donner's memoir praying in h-mart and next is my body, emily's thoughts on beauty and daniel common, olivier and casts wednesday on why people make bad decisions in their book noise. wrapping up our look at harvard bookstore's best-selling nonfiction books as pulitzer prize-winning reporter and creator of the 1619 project nicole hannah jones and her look at american history, slavery and its legacy in present-day america. most of these authors have appeared on book tv and you can watch their programs anytime at booktv.org. bonnie lanier was a law professor when bill clinton nominated her to be a professor for civil rights. her nomination with was withdrawn after strong opposition to policy positions. she taught at harvard law school and authored many books.
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she's against on in depth in 2015. here's a portion of her appearance discussing her justice department nomination . >> i was called the quota queen but there was no basis for this because i wasn't arguing about quota. i was arguing about the allocation of power in a way that respected the citizens of the united states and i wasn't sayingyou had to have a particular amount of white people or black people or latinos or asian americans . i was talking about a fairer system of allowing citizens to have a larger voice in the election of and the operation of our senators or of our congressmen or women or of the people who actually in the states, the governor's, the representatives there. but there were other ways of ensuring that the citizens of
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the united states were playing a significant role in determining what the responsibility was elected officials and whether the elected officials were in touch with the citizens themselves and representing the citizens themselves rather than an ideology or some other identity that the elected officials had always complete management and power over and the citizens themselves were in some ways very much ignored, except to come to the ballot box and elect a, b, c or d. they really weren't in a position of making decisions or influencing the decisions that were being made because we have a system of elections
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that was created in the 18th century but now in the 21st century , the idea that we're stuck with people in the 18th or 19th century were doing is ridiculous as far as i'm concerned because they didn't have computers. they didn't have cars . there are lots of ways in which citizens could have a lot more influence and opportunity in the democratic processes of the united states. >> lonnie when he or died recently at the age of 71. to watch the rest of this interview visit booktv.org. use the searchbox at the top of the page to find all her appearances . >> i am david remnick, editor of the new yorker and thank for coming to today's talk on a book called "the matter of black lives: writing from the new yorker". it's a new anthology that collects almost a century of reporting, profiling

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