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In any conversation about race in America, or in any public debate, words matter. How do we describe what is happening? How do we articulate what we believe to be correct? What words do we avoid using and why?

In his subscribers-only The Times newsletter, linguist and writer John McWhorter explores some of these questions. In your recent newsletters, you have discussed how the word “woke up” became an insult and why our increasingly disorderly way of speaking is not so bad. He has also considered the importance of words in music, as evidenced by efforts to revive an opera about black characters that was written by white men.

Join John for an evening event exploring the evolving role of words in these aspects of our lives.

You will examine words with meanings that you have seen change throughout your life.

She will then speak to Jane Coaston, host of the podcast “The Argument,” about how we can gain an honest foundation to successfully engage in the conversation about race.

Finally, we bring you an original interpretation of the musical “Blues Opera”, which may return to the stage. The opera is based on a play written by the American poets Langston Hughes and Countee Cullen.

It is all part of The Times virtual event series that is for subscribers only. We hope you will join us.

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