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Thu 9/14, 2023, 7:30pm
Christopher Paul Harris with Jelani Ince
The Future of Black Politics
Headshots of Christopher Paul Harris (with short black hair twists and denim jacket) and Jelani Ince (with twists, black glasses, and blue sweater)

When #BlackLivesMatter emerged in 2013, it sparked the most consequential Black-led mobilization since the civil rights and Black power era. Today, the hashtag-turned-rallying-cry is part of a heightened awareness of Black politics, protest, and political thought. How did America get here? What underlying forces shaped where it is today?

Professor Christopher Paul Harris, author of To Build a Black Future, puts it all into historical context. He shares how Black thought, politics, and culture have been working to redefine today’s Western society. Drawing on his own experiences as an activist and organizer, Harris examines the spirit and significance of today’s movements. He looks at the history of Black rebellion, a centuries-long arc that traces back to the Black slave, and how it has shaped today’s political era. Using organized coalitions such as #BlackLivesMatter and the Movement for Black Lives as backdrops, Harris aims to chart out a better future while also issuing an outward challenge to the world. Through his work, Harris offers a chance to examine how and why America got to where it is and where it might go.

Christopher Paul Harris is assistant professor of Global and International Studies at University of California, Irvine. His work aims to understand the political lives, thought, and cultures of the Black diaspora and the underlying forces that shape them. Harris earned his Ph.D. in politics and historical studies from The New School for Social Research. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. To Build a Black Future is his first book.

Jelani Ince is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. His research employs the lens of cultural sociology, qualitative methods, and computational methods to examine racial inequality in formal organizations and the political process. His main work draws on ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews with attendees of an interracial church in St. Louis, MO to illustrate how the power to define interactional situations impedes the success of racial diversity efforts. He also studies how the Movement for Black Lives shifts public discourse about racial inequality and uses social media to deploy pertinent movement ideas about antiracism, joy, and resistance.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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