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Juniata Hosts NYU Professor for Lecture on Urban Culture

(Posted September 20, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. Terry Williams, a professor at the New York Univerity's New School for Social Research, will offer a unique glimpse into the heart of a world rarely seen by outsiders on in a presentation on drug culture and its effects on daily city life at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28, in Neff Lecture Hall in the Von Liebig Center for Science.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Williams, a specialist on drug and gang culture in the United States, is best known for his book, "The Cocaine Kids," about two brothers and their cocaine exploits. Williams intertwined himself in the lives of these teens living on the streets of New York in the 1980s; documenting, observing, and writing about their cocaine gang as they began to build a drug ring that ultimately dumped kilos of cocaine into New York.

Williams spares no gritty detail and describes in a calm and scientific manner the harrowing and mind-blowing details that make up an average day of a cocaine-dealing teenager in the Spanish Bronx.

Williams is also the author of, "The Uptown Kids: Hope and Struggle in the Projects," "Crack House," and "Growing Up Poor." He has spent many years traveling the United States and speaking on the impact of drug use, its effects on daily city life, homelessness, and what it means in terms of race and discrimination.

Williams received a MacArthur "Genius" Grant in 1988 to study the culture of housing projects. He is the founder of the Harlem Writers Crew Project and has served fellowships with the National Institute on Drug Abuse Research and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Williams earned a bachelor's degree from Richmond College and went on to earn his doctoral degree in sociology from City University of New York.

Written by Caitlin Bigelow

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.