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9 questions with Eddie Glaude Jr.

The Princeton professor on David Brooks, James Baldwin, and his call for a 2016 protest vote.

Javier Zarracina

This week, Eddie Glaude Jr. — MSNBC commentator, professor of African-American studies at Princeton University, and author of Democracy in Black — answers our questions.

What’s the first piece of media you consume every day?

The New York Times.

Name a writer or publication you disagree with but still read.

David Brooks.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?

James Baldwin.

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?

During the recent general election I called for a complete blank out: that African Americans should turn out to vote in massive numbers and leave the presidential ballot blank. With Donald Trump’s nomination, I decided that we should not do that in battleground states.

What’s your worst intellectual habit?

Impatience. My mind moves rapidly.

What inspires you to learn?

Curiosity. In awe at the wonder of the world(s) we inhabit.

What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?

That what I say and do — what we say and do — actually matters. As William James puts it, “What we say about reality thus depends on the perspective into which we throw it. The that of it is its own; but the what depends on the which; and the which depends on us.”

What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?

The seafood on the Gulf Coast is the best in the entire world.

What book have you recommended the most?

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time.

You can read last week’s edition of 9 Questions with Henry Rollins here.