Join Harvey Young, Flint Taylor, and exonerated prisoner Darrell Cannon in a conversation that brings together theoretical advocacy and experiential perspectives on the disciplining of the black male body from lynching to contemporary mass incarceration. The conversation will explore the resonances of contemporary mass incarceration in the United States - what has been termed ‘legal lynching’ - with its historical antecedent.
Harvey Young is an Associate Professor of Theatre, Performance Studies, African-American Studies, and Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University. His research on the performance and experience of race has been widely published in academic journals and he has been profiled in The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal. He has published seven books, including Embodying Black Experience, winner of “Book of the Year” awards from the National Communication Association and the American Society for Theatre Research. Young has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society for Theatre Research, the Yale Club of Chicago, and the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. A former Harvard and Stanford fellow, he graduated with honors from Yale and holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Flint Taylor, a graduate of Brown University and Northwestern Law School, is a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago, an office which has been dedicated to litigating civil rights, police violence, government misconduct, and death penalty cases for more than 40 years. Among the landmark cases that Mr. Taylor has litigated are the Fred Hampton Black Panther case; the Greensboro, North Carolina case against the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis; the Ford Heights Four case in which four innocent men received a record $36 million settlement for their wrongful conviction and imprisonment; and a series of cases arising from a pattern and practice of police torture and cover-up by former Chicago police commander Jon Burge, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, former State’s Attorney Richard Devine, and numerous other police and government officials. Taylor is also an accomplished appellate advocate and is a longtime National Lawyers Guild member, a founding editor of the Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Reporter, and has extensively written and lectured in the field of civil rights litigation and police torture.
On November 2, 1983, three charter members of Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge’s police department took African-American murder suspect Darrell Cannon to an isolated area on the South Side of Chicago and tortured him. After he confessed under torture to a crime he did not commit, he spent 24 years in prison. He was exonerated in 2004 and the Illinois Prisoner Review Board rescinded a parole hold that was premised on the dismissed murder conviction; Cannon was released from prison in 2007.