Liberal Studies, in collaboration with the NYU BeTogether Global Scholars & Innovators Series, is thrilled to welcome NYU students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, the public and other members of the NYU community to the latest installment of the Global Lecture Series, which each year brings an internationally renowned speaker to Washington Square Campus. This year’s lecture is part of the LS NYUWomXn100 and Black Lives in Global Contexts series. Historian, author, and professor Keisha N. Blain will speak on The Struggle for Black Lives: Global Visions and Historical Legacies. This lecture will be introduced by NYU Liberal Studies Professors Dean Julie Mostov and Suzanne Maria Menghraj, in discussion with Dr. Karen Jackson-Weaver, Associate Vice President of Global Faculty Engagement and Innovation Advancement.
In this talk, historian Keisha N. Blain discusses the international dimensions of the Black freedom struggle from the early twentieth century to the present. Drawing on a wealth of historical examples, including the organizing efforts of Black women and working-poor activists, Blain’s talk highlights how internationalism has shaped—and continues to shape—Black politics in the United States. African American activists, of all walks of life, have worked to build alliances with other people of color around the globe, linking the fight for civil rights with a vision of international human rights. This understanding of Black internationalism helps to connect the current wave of Black Lives Matter (BLM) uprisings to the political ideas and activism of historical figures such as Madam C.J. Walker, Mittie Maude Lena Gordon, Pearl Sherrod, and many others. The international support for the wave of US protests in 2020 underscores the vitality of these transnational bonds.