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Keisha Blain | Associate professor of History, University of Pittsburgh
This talk highlights the political activism of Black nationalist women who organized in the US South in tandem with women activists in the Global South—especially Latin America and the Caribbean. While mainstream historical narratives tend to focus on the political work of Black women during the modern Civil Rights Movement, this talk highlights the local, national, and transnational efforts of women who organized Black working-poor people during the tumultuous years of the Great Depression.These women's stories underscore how Black women have shaped national and global politics, and they reveal how those who were outside traditional halls of power still found ways to effect change in the US and abroad.
Dr. Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian of the 20th century United States with broad interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and the president of the African American Intellectual History Society. She is currently a 2020-2021 fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. She also serves as an editor for the Washington Post’s "Made by History" section.
Blain has published extensively on race, gender, and politics in both national and global perspectives. She is the author of the multi-prize-winning book Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018) and co-editor of three books: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016).
Her latest books are Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House/One World, February 2, 2021); and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America (Beacon Press, October 5, 2021).
Follow her on Twitter @KeishaBlain and on Instagram @KeishaNBlain.