The Black Room: Revisiting "Blackness" in the Global 21st Century

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The Black Room: Revisiting “Blackness” in the Global 21st Century organized by Nadia Ellis (English), Leigh Raiford (African American Studies), Darieck Scott (African American Studies), and Bryan Wagner (English), deals with “The Black Room,” an inclusive space that exists to foster critical reflection and exchange about foundational terms and concepts in African American and African Diaspora Studies.  This project will answer questions such as: What is blackness? Is it a culture, a politics, a standpoint, or a way of being? What does it mean to belong to the black diaspora?  Is the meaning of blackness anchored in the history of slavery, or does it have other fundamental characteristics that need to be considered? What does it mean, moreover, to raise these questions about blackness at a moment when the political movements against slavery, colonization, and segregation are so frequently invoked as the paradigm or primary example for understanding other struggles for freedom and equality?  The Black Room will invite scholars and artists to campus whose work engages with blackness not as a historical condition whose meaning is already known but instead as a problem for thought.