In the first episode of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s new podcast, “How Is That Legal?,” Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, discusses the racialized history of parenting, family autonomy, and the child welfare system.
From Community Legal Services of Philadelphia:
How many times have you encountered an injustice that shocked you so much that you wondered, “How in the world could this possibly be legal?”
Well, that’s exactly why we at Community Legal Services created our new podcast, How Is That Legal. With help from our host, CLS Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Kee Tobar, expert guests will break down specific examples of systemic racism in the law and policy and share how we can all work together to build a future free of injustice. As a queer Black woman from a working-class background, native southerner, and legal aid attorney, Kee brings a grounded perspective and fierce commitment to dismantling legalized racism to every interview. Airing weekly on Wednesdays.
Roberts is an acclaimed scholar of race, gender, and the law. She joined the University of Pennsylvania as its 14th Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor with joint appointments in the Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology and the Law School. Roberts is also founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society in the Center for Africana Studies.
Roberts’ most recent book, Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families — And How Abolition Can Build a Safer World, draws on decades of her research and scholarship, builds upon her previous groundbreaking book, Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare, and reveals that the child welfare system is yet another punitive way the government treats Black mothers; Black children are disproportionately torn from their families and placed in foster care, interfering with their education, social relationships, and well-being and driving many to juvenile detention and imprisonment.
Roberts also recently penned “Race,” a chapter in The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, focusing on race as a construct and the historical regulation of Black women’s bodies.