‘American Policing: Lessons on Resistance’ is the title of a panel discussion that took place at the Schomburg in New York on 18th February 2015 as a follow-up conversation to their recent town-hall-style debate on ‘American Policing: The War on Black Bodies’. The session featured wide-ranging commentary on issues related to police brutality, racial discrimination, ‘stop and frisk’/’stop and search’ policies, and community-led responses to the killing of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and others in recent news.
The panel discussion was moderated by writer Mychal Denzel Smith (The Nation), with contributions from the following four political activists and social commentators: Ashley Yates (poet and co-creator of Millennial Activists United), Dante Barry (Director of Million Hoodies Movement for Justice), Philip Agnew (Co-founder of Dream Defenders) and Cherrell Brown (National Organizer with Equal Justice USA). Closing comments were also provided by Dr Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Central to the debate were questions about what justice might look like if black lives actually mattered in the USA; strategies for restructuring, de-militarizing and dismantling policing systems so that their historical origins in the States as organisations founded on the surveillance and restriction of the lives, mobilities and freedoms of black and brown people did not continue to perpetuate racialized discrimination; critiquing the complexities of campaigning against the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) and the increasing monetization of incarcerated black bodies; envisioning safe communities; aligning anti-racist political activism with wider education and culture agendas – including activism via the arts; routes into community-based activism and leadership for young people; self-esteem/’self-love’/self-care and spirituality issues within movements for social change; and effective ways to disseminate counter-narratives to help challenge the normalisation of privileged white citizenship to the detriment of others’ lived realities.
The fifth African European Studies conference (AfroEurope@ns V: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe) will be held at the University of Münster (Germany) from 16th to 19th September 2015.
The event has been organised as an inter-disciplinary conference with papers covering literature, history, music, theatre, art, translation, politics, immigration, youth culture and European policies. Afroeurope@ns V brings together scholars, critics, activists and artists to debate and discuss these issues.
With contributions envisaged from across Europe, Africa and Asia, and the Americas, the conference will enhance the field of African European Studies as well as lead the way towards a new awareness of the essential contributions of Europe’s black populations in all fields.
Abstracts for AfroEurope@ns V (up to 300 words, written in English) should be submitted no later than 1 March 2015 via the conference website: http://www.wwu.de/AFROEU2015/.
The academic committee will reply to all submissions no later than 15 April 2015.
Submissions addressing the following topic and themes are welcomed:
Racism(s) and austerity: comparative approaches across Europe
Colonial remains and historical interaction between Africa and Europe