What advice do we all receive when speaking of our goals and dreams? I would answer, as many would, saying never quit pursuing your goals and dreams until they are recognized. These words of wisdom are utilized every day by countless people and will continue to be of utmost importance throughout history. Randall Kennedy perfectly embodies this very idea. Kennedy is a colored American Law professor at the University of Harvard and is also a famous author. He writes of topics such as race relations law, civil rights legislation, and freedom of expression. Randall was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 10th, 1964, and is currently sixty-one years old. After graduating high school he started his secondary education at St. Albans School in Washington D.C, and then moved on to Princeton University and earned his Bachelor of Arts. Kennedy followed that by attending graduate school at the University of Oxford where he obtained his Master's degree, and finally completed his education at Yale University to become a Doctor of Law. While acquiring his Doctorate, Randall was an editor for the Yale Law Journal, possibly where he took an interest in writing. Kennedy has written several books and other shorter works: almost all regarding to the promotion of equal rights for blacks and all people. The essay to be analyzed, Lifting as We Climb, was published on October 15th, 2015 in Harper's Magazine.
In this essay, Lifting as We Climb, Randall Kennedy defends the politics of respectability and persuades people of color to apply them in today's society. These politics of respectability are a series of unwritten guidelines that describe how blacks in America should speak, act, dress, present themselves, etc., to Caucasian Americans specifically. Kennedy both defends and promotes these politics in an attempt to rid of stereotypes placed upon African-Americans by whites, some examples of which include having a violent, disrespectful, and vacuous nature.