MTSU institute to host WSJ columnist for Black His...

MTSU institute to host WSJ columnist for Black History Month lecture on economist Thomas Sowell

In celebration of Black History Month at MTSU, the Political Economy Research Institute is hosting a presentation on the life and works of African American economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell.

The presentation, “Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell,” by author and Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Riley, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, in the Academic Classroom Building Room 102. The public event is free and hosted by the MTSU Political Economy Research Institute in conjunction with the Thomas and Martha R. Collins Free Enterprise Lecture Series.

Jason Riley, Wall Street Journal columnist, author

Jason Riley

Dr. Daniel Smith, director of the Political Economy Research Institute; associate professor in Economics and Finance

Dr. Daniel Smith

Economics professor and PERI Director Daniel Smith and his staff worked to coordinate Riley’s appearance on campus to speak to students and the wider community as part of MTSU’s monthlong celebration of history and heritage of African Americans.

“We are delighted to host Jason Riley on campus to share his firsthand knowledge of Thomas Sowell. Not only is Sowell a leading African American economist, but he is also one of the foremost experts in the world on race and discrimination,” said Smith.

In this first‐​ever biography of Sowell, Riley gives this iconic thinker his due, responds to the detractors, and explains their motives. In a career spanning more than a half-century, Sowell has written over 30 books, covering topics from economic history and social inequality to political theory, race, and culture. “Maverick” not only showcases Sowell’s most significant writings but also vividly traces the life events that shaped his ideas and resulted in a black orphan from the Jim Crow South going on to spend the past four decades as one of America’s foremost public intellectuals.

Political Economy Research Institute logoRiley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He has published opinion pieces for more than 20 years on topics including politics, economics, education, immigration, social inequality, and race. He’s also a frequent public speaker and provides commentary for television and radio news outlets.

This lecture is made possible by the generous support of Thomas and Martha Collins as part of the Free Enterprise Lecture series. For more information about the event, visit the PERI’s event page. Additional Black History Month events at MTSU are listed in the calendar of events.

An MTSU parking map is available at Off-campus visitors can get a one-day permit at or park free in the university’s Rutherford Boulevard Lot and ride the Raider Xpress shuttle to the Honors Building at 1737 Blue Raider Drive.

MTSU’s Political Economy Research Institute is a joint project between the Jennings A. Jones College of Business and the University Honors College. To advance its mission, the institute strives to engage in research and educational programs which uncover the institutions and policies that encourage and enhance human well-being.

— Brian Delaney (