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Black Generation Gap Event: Scenes from the Evening

Heading the Conversation

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The Root hosted a panel in Washington, D.C., on June 6 to discuss the generational attitude differences among blacks that are detailed in Ellis Cose's new book, The End of Anger. From right: The night's panelists — political analyst Jamal Simmons, Erica L. Williams (Citizen Engagement Laboratory), Cheryl Contee (Jack & Jill Politics) and political and cultural columnist Eugene Robinson; The Root's publisher, Donna Byrd; Cose; and The Root's managing editor, Joel Dreyfuss.

Captions by Joshua R. Weaver

Kick Off

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The Root Publisher Donna Byrd started the evening by welcoming the discussion's 100-plus guests to the Washington Post building, as well as introducing the night's panelists and moderator. 

A Generational Divide

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Author Ellis Cose explained several of the findings in The End of Anger, including the drastic difference between baby boomers and today's Harvard MBAs when it comes to viewing racism as a career obstacle. While optimistic, Cose disclaimed, "I have not declared the end of racism in America."

Moderating the Night

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The Root's managing editor, Joel Dreyfuss, moderated the night's riveting discussion as the panelists talked about Cose's findings and their own impressions of the black generation gap.

Cheryl Contee

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Jack & Jill Politics co-founder Cheryl Contee speaks.

Erica L. Williams

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Senior strategist for Citizen Engagement Laboratory and The Root 100 honoree Erica L. Williams was previously the policy and advocacy manager for the Center for American Progress' Campus Progress. When asked if she is optimistic about being a black millennial, she responded: "Yes, I am optimistic, but optimism and anger are not mutually exclusive."

Eugene Robinson

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Eugene Robinson, a political and cultural columnist for the Washington Post, offered his insight from the baby boomer generation. Robinson, who received a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for his work during the 2008 presidential campaign, asked, "There used to be a black agenda; do we still need one?"

Jamal Simmons

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Political strategist and TV commentator Jamal Simmons rounded out the panel. "The age of Obama is not the cause of a thing, but a result of the thing," he remarked.

A Little Fun and Games

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The panelists shared a laugh while discussing Cose's book and the shifting views of racism held by the newest generation of black Americans.

A Diverse Conversation

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The panelists weighed in on a variety of topics, from job security to gender inequality. The group agreed, however, that racism has not fallen by the wayside.

Contemplative

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An attendee watched as the panel examined the growing division between new and old generations of blacks.

Food for Thought

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Niara Phillips (left), Sade Adeeyo and Mallory Mpare discussed Cose's findings and the panel's thoughts over hors d'oeuvres as the evening came to a close.

Generations United

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John Britton (left), Oliver Cromwell, Cherrie Britton and William Raspberry were among the night's diverse group of attendees.

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