UC Hastings will celebrate the publication of Professor Osagie K. Obasogie’s first book, Blinded by Sight: Seeing Race Through the Eyes of the Blind.
Professor Devon Carbado of UCLA Law School, a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of Constitutional Law and Critical Race Theory, will speak about the book and offer thoughts about its themes and conclusions, and its place among the canon of work on race theory. Professor Obasogie will also speak briefly in response to Professor Carbado. The book discussion, followed by a reception, is free and open to the public.
In the book, published by Stanford University Press, Obasogie argues that contrary to popular thought, race is not a self-evidently known or visually obvious trait. Rather, his research shows the extent to which we are socialized to see race. This is done through a series of interviews with blind individuals who, despite assumptions that race cannot be important to them, are shown to think about and experience race the same way that sighted people do, i.e. visually, even to a point where blind people, in a sense, “see” race. “We live in a world where people think that everything is now colorblind and postracial,” Obasogie says. “With the election of Barack Obama, we assume that well, we have a black president, racism is over, the end. And I’m really trying to challenge that notion.... If blind people are seeing race and organizing their lives around race, you can be damn sure that race is still an important part of other people’s lives.”
Blinded by Sight has already garnered significant attention in both popular media and academic circles.