Cobb talks Trump for Community Book Read

Jon Rivera, Staff Reporter

On April 12, Lakeland took an unconventional approach to the annual Community Book Read by hosting a lecture from someone other than the author of the book.

Dr. Jelani Cobb, a journalist, dropped in Thursday evening to bring a different world of perspectives amongst the Lakeland University community. He spoke of segregation and shared his belief that history could repeat itself in the Donald Trump era.

The lecture was branded as the main event of the Community Book Read, which centered around “Between the World and Me,” a nonfiction book by Ta-Nehisi Coates about his experiences as an African American. In previous years, the main event of the book read was a live interview with the author of the book itself.

Cobb started the convocation with a brief history about how African Americans came to be in America with Jamestown. Then, he shared various stories of his life experiences, including his time seeking a connection with the African tradition. This connection influenced him to leave behind his original name, William, and call himself Jelani, meaning “powerful” in Swahili.

Dr. Cobb graduated from Harvard University and then went to Rutgers University to obtain his doctorate in American history. He has been around the world to lecture and has published multiple books including “The Devil & Dave Chapelle,” which was mentioned at the beginning of the convocation.