In September 2017, Birmingham City University will launch the first Black Studies degree in Europe. But Black Studies has been thriving in the Britain for decades, based in grassroots organisations with activist, artists, teachers and parents developing and sharing Black Studies knowledge to help survive and resist racism. Black Studies has never been, and will never be confined to universities and we are keen to remember and explore how Black education has been, and can be used to further the cause of Black liberation.
Connecting the struggle across the African Diaspora changes the nature of politics protecting us from developing too narrow a focus concentrated solely on the successes of failures within the countries we find ourselves in. Therefore one of the aims of this event will be to make connections to Latin America, a part of the Diaspora that has been underserved in our discussion of Black Studies. The region enslaved millions of Africans, and economy and social system is just as dependent on racism as the Americas, Caribbean, Europe or Africa.
We are inviting proposals for papers, talks, workshops, performances and any other form of expression on the role that Black education has and can play for Black liberation. We are particularly focused on a dialogue between Latin America and Black Studies in Europe, but by no means does this exclude participation from across the Diaspora. We also mean education in the broadest sense, Black knowledge, experiences and expression.
Themes for conference are below and we ask for submission specifically responding to the questions these themes raise:
As well as these objectives there are number of principles that underline what we are trying to with the conference:
Black liberation will not be found in simply copying the mainstream. Whilst we are not against mainstream success, Black liberation cannot be measured by the extent we enjoy the spoils of the society’s we find ourselves in.
Being an academic does not make someone an intellectual. We are keen for a broad range of inputs from academics, activists, artists, performers, teachers, community workers, young people.
Make it Plain. One of the main criteria will be that the proposal is presented in accessible language that does not exclude. Theory and complex ideas are fine, but ‘just because no one can understand what you’re saying, doesn’t mean that it’s deep’ (Jessica Care Moore).
Youth participation. We are very keen to have young people participate in in presentations and the conference in general.
If you are interested in taking part in the conference then please email proposals for papers, panels, workshops, performances or any form of expression to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 15th July.
For any enquiries email Shey.Grant@mail.bcu.ac.uk
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