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DO NOT BE AFRAID OF SPEAKING UP: Soccer Star Lilian Thuram Addresses Racism, History and the World Cup

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Moderated by Régine Jean-Charles, Director of Africana Studies, Dean’s Professor of Culture and Social Justice, and Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern.

On Monday, December 5, 2022, Thuram visited the Fenway Center on Northeastern’s Boston campus to discuss racism and the points he makes in his book, “White Thinking⏤Behind the Mask of Racial Identity,” with the university community, as well as students from the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury and Milton public schools.

“I became a Black person at the age of 9,” Thuram says. That’s the age he was when his family moved to France from Guadeloupe in the West Indies.

Shortly after he arrived, some children insulted him by calling him “dirty Black guy.” Thuram did not understand what was happening and turned to his mother for an explanation.

He believes that to go beyond those prejudices people need to study history. After reading books on psychology, sociology and economics, Thuram came to a conclusion that racism is an ideology to justify economic violence.

“It is economic systems that need to legitimize violence so some people can be exploited,”

Lilian Thuram

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