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Black Power





On September 21st & 22nd, 2012, the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture will host a public history symposium and community event on the topic of “The Fire Every Time: Reframing Black Power Across the Twentieth Century and Beyond”.



In his 1963 collection of essays, The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin reflected on the expulsion of African Americans from the “American Dream” of economic opportunity, political equality, and social belonging.   Rather than be daunted by what Baldwin called “the center of this dreadful storm, this vast confusion,” he connected the present and future struggles of Black people to their past:  “I know that what I’m asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand—and one is, after all, emboldened by the spectacle of human history in general, and American Negro history in particular, for it testifies to nothing less than the perpetual achievement of the impossible.”

In our contemporary age, where some have claimed the nation has achieved the “impossible” through the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first African-American president, we ask scholars, activists, and artists to re-conceptualize the twentieth century through the lens of past, present, and future struggles for Black Power, which in the words of James Baldwin spread as a “fire” every time.



The conference will feature two plenary panels, two roundtable panels, and fourteen paper presentation panels on such topics as policing, incarceration, higher education, Black arts and cultural institutions, the military, self-defense, images and iconography of the Black Panther Party, inter-racial alliances and “Rainbow” coalitions, religion, nationalism, trans-nationalism and global impact of Black Power, and film and documentary film-making.



PLENARY Session: State of the Field
Yohuru Williams (Fairfield University), Peniel Joseph (Tufts University), Donna Murch (Rutgers University), Hasan Jeffries (The Ohio State University), Rhonda Williams (Case Western Reserve University).

PLENARY Session: Activists Then and Now
Cleveland Sellers (Voorhees College & Scholar Activist), Herman Blake (Medical University of South Carolina & Scholar Activist), Millicent Brown (Claflin University & Scholar Activist), James Campbell (Community Leader and Organizer), Osei Terry Chandler (Community Leader).

ROUNDTABLE: Reframing the Orangeburg Massacre: Protest and Police Reprisals
Cleveland Sellers (Voorhees College & Scholar Activist), Judy Richardson (Director & Former SNCC Activist), Jack Shuler (Denison University), Jack Bass (College of Charleston).

ROUNDTABLE Film Excerpt Screenings: Black Power on Film: Documentaries, Hollywood, and Filmmaking
Portia Cobb (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno (Director,Revolution ’67), Judy Richardson, (Former SNCC Activist & Film Director, Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968).

ROUNDTABLE: The Longue Durée: Black Power from the Nineteenth Century to the 1990′s
Van Gosse (Franklin Marshall College), Deborah Gray White (Rutgers University), Curtis Austin(The OhioStateUniversity).



We will also feature a special roundtable on the “Orangeburg Massacre of 1968” during which three African American students were killed by state police in Orangeburg during a civil rights protest of a segregated bowling alley.  This event was quite similar to the KentState shooting of 1971, and yet received little national media attention.  We hope to rectify the media’s lack of attention by bringing together Dr. Cleveland Sellers, a protest organizer and now president of VoorheesCollege, with two recent and noted authors on the incident, namely Jack Bass and Dr. Jack Shuler, and a documentary filmmaker, Judy Richardson, who will show her film on the Orangeburg Massacre of 1968.   This promises to be a valuable and important discussion on a pressing matter of South Carolina’s history that has dominated the history books, but not public dialogue.


Although our community conference and gathering considers the history of African American politics and activism in Charleston, the Lowcountry, and beyond, we also consider how these topics have manifested in the contemporary world, a matter of pressing and national importance as the nation considers the reelection of the country’s first Black president.  Importantly, these scholars aim to create a dialogue with the audience that will think about how civil rights organizing and Black Power activism has fundamentally reshaped and broadened American democracy and citizenship for all peoples.


Altogether, we will bring together over 50 of the country’s top scholars on African American history and culture alongside activists and community members.  This represents a seminal gathering and a rare opportunity to create a memorable dialogue.  Far too often historians and scholars are seen as being removed from the general public and we hope to bridge that distance by creating a unique public history seminar and community gathering.  In addition to offering two-days of plenary speakers, roundtable panels, and presentations, this conference also features documentary film and a juried art exhibition. 

Please come join what will be an engaging conference and conversation.


For additional information contact:
Dr. Robert Chase

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Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory

Marxism Against Postmodernism in Educational Theory


One-Day Conference

Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies

University of Sunderland

Tuesday 17th April 2012

Confirmed keynote speakers: Martin Barker and Ros Brunt.

As the economy has become increasingly named in public debate as the capitalist economy and conventional explanations of the economic crisis and its various social and cultural manifestations seem less and less convincing, Marxism has once again become visible as a viable mode of critical analysis. The aim of the conference is to revive interest in Marxism in work in film, media and cultural studies.  The conference will include papers on ‘race’ and social class, ESPN, the journalism of Marx and Engels, Christianity, the cuts, the Black Panthers, rational optimism, Media and Cultural Studies, social class, hip hop, the current crisis, Batman, Jazz, Treasure Island, Godard, digital Marx.

£60 for full-time staff

£30 for students and part-time staff

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Miles Straum


A Major Conference at the University of Washington, Seattle

May 12-14, 2011

Call for Proposals

From the Industrial Workers of the World and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to the Black Panthers and the Third World Liberation Front strikes, radical movements embracing and demanding racial justice have figured prominently in the history of the “left coast” of the United States. They have also generated violent responses, including state repression, that reverberated across the United States and around the world.

The Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington invite panel and paper proposals on any aspect of race, radicalism, and repression within or somehow related to the Pacific Coast of North America, including linkages to peoples, ideas, and movements across the oceans and continents. We are especially interested in proposals that seek to reorient the study of race and politics in U.S. and world history.

In addition to the conference, the University of Washington Press will publish a collection of essays selected and revised from the conference presentations. George Lipsitz of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will deliver the keynote address.

All proposals must include a title and an abstract of each presentation (no more than 300 words) and a brief CV of each presenter (no more than two pages). Panel proposals must also include a title and a description of the session (no more than 250 words). Please submit all materials as email attachments (Microsoft Word or pdf) to by September 30, 2010.

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