Authors in the Afternoon: Rob Eschmann and Jelani Cobb Discuss “When the Hood Comes Off”

AUTHORS IN THE AFTERNOON is CBH’s daytime series of book talks. Programs are followed by informal conversation with the author. 

Join Jelani Cobb (The New Yorker, Dean of Columbia Journalism School) and Rob Eschmann (Columbia University, Harvard University) for a discussion of Eschmann’s new book, When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Age. Blending rigorous research and personal narrative, When the Hood Comes Off, examines the effects of online racism on communities of color and society, and the unexpected ways that digital technologies enable innovative everyday tools of antiracist resistance. From cell phone footage of police killing unarmed Black people to leaked racist messages, online communication exposes how racism operates in a world that pretends to be colorblind.

After the moderated conversation, stay and talk informally with Dr. Eschmann in CBH’s living room. 


Rob Eschmann is a writer, scholar, filmmaker, and educator from Chicago. He is Associate Professor of Social Work and a member of the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, as well as Faculty Associate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. A proud product of the Chicago Public Schools, he received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2017. Dr. Eschmann writes on educational inequality, community violence, racism, social media, and youth wellbeing. His research seeks to uncover individual, group, and intuitional-level barriers to racial and economic equity, and he pays special attention to the heroic efforts everyday people make to combat those barriers.

Dr. Eschmann is among the first scholars to systematically explore the effects of online experiences on real-world outcomes. In addition to authoring When the Hood Comes Off, Dr. Eschmann wrote and directed Choose Your Own Resistance, an immersive, multi-perspective film about choosing to challenge racism.

Jelani Cobb joined the Columbia Journalism School faculty in 2016 and became Dean in 2022. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2015. He received a Peabody Award for his 2020 PBS Frontline film Whose Vote Counts? and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 2018. He has also been a political analyst for MSNBC since 2019. He is the author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. He is the editor or co-editor of several volumes including The Matter of Black Lives, a collection of The New Yorker’s writings on race, and The Essential Kerner Commission Report. He is producer or co-producer on a number of documentaries including Lincoln’s Dilemma, Obama: A More Perfect Union and Policing the Police.

Dr. Cobb was educated at Jamaica High School in Queens, NY, Howard University, where he earned a B.A. in English, and Rutgers University, where he completed his MA and doctorate in American History in 2003. He is also a recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation and the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


Nov 13 2023


2:00 pm - 3:45 pm

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Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street Brooklyn, NY 11201


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