Dean’s Lecture Series: Critical Conversations on Black History: Dr. Keisha Blain
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.