Harding Academy will host New York Times bestselling author Jeff Hobbs as part of their Don Schwartz Distinguished Educator Speaker Series.
In The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League, Hobbs documents the life of his roommate and best friend from college. Robert Peace was born in an impoverished neighborhood outside Newark nicknamed “Illtown.” His mother worked long hours, mostly in kitchens, and his father was in prison for murder. Through a rare and delicate interplay of intelligence, ambition, luck, and sacrifice, Peace earned admission to Yale, where he majored in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and graduated with distinction. He also sold marijuana to his fellow classmates. Almost exactly nine years after graduation, Peace was murdered violently, in a drug related homicide, in a basement one mile from the house he’d grown up in.
This is a story about America, its cities and their challenges, education and access and entitlement, identity and the forces that shape it, and the continuing national psychosis of race – unveiled in all their complicated gray areas through this intimate portrait of a singular individual. Peace was a Yale graduate, and he was a drug dealer. He was also a teacher, a coach, a scientist, a traveler, a friend, and above all a son. The rises and falls of his journey force us out of our bubbles to take an honest look at our failures – both individual and systemic. Could Robert Peace’s life have been saved somehow? Possibly, but possibly not. Could the life of a young man or woman be saved by learning of Peace’s story? Absolutely.
Join us Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 7:00 PM in The Henderson Theater at Harding Academy to hear Mr. Hobbs discuss access, inclusion, and other topics we all face in our daily lives.