Martin Luther King Jr.

MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry to speak in Kansas City

Updated: 2014-01-11T04:17:54Z


The Kansas City Star

MSNBC news host Melissa Harris-Perry is scheduled to speak at the University of Missouri-Kansas City as part of the school’s Martin Luther King Day recognition.

Harris-Perry, a political science professor at Tulane University and the founder and director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project in New Orleans, will be the keynote speaker at a lecture Jan. 27.

Harris-Perry’s project supports programs and research dealing with gender, race and politics in the South. She is the author of several books on race, gender and politics, including the award-winning book published in 2004 “Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought.”

Harris-Perry previously served on the faculties of the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

Her website says much of her research was “inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans.”

Harris-Perry recently made headlines herself after a December segment on her Sunday morning show — “The Melissa Harris-Perry Show” — poked fun at a Mitt Romney family Christmas card that showed Romney, his wife and their 22 grandchildren, including their adopted African-American infant grandson.

Comedians on the MSNBC segment made the jokes. Harris-Perry, who is bi-racial, later made a tearful public apology.

Harris-Perry’s lecture, sponsored by UMKC’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, begins at 6 p.m. at the Swinney Recreation Center. Registration is required at mlk2014.

To reach Mará Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send email to

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