Black Feminist Geographies of Emancipation

Black Feminist Geographies of Emancipation


The Department of African American Studies invites you to join us to discuss how black communities have navigated their everyday lives through practices of space-making and survival, resistance and refusal, in the context of antiblackness, gentrification and neoliberal multiculturalism. This conversation will also explore what black feminism offers for understanding these complex practices and ultimately toward the goal of emancipation.

This event is part of our Critical Conversations Series that focuses on abolition democracy and will feature the authors of two new breathtaking ethnographies, Savannah Shange, author of Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Antiblackness, and Schooling in San Francisco and Brandi Summers, author of Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City. Shange and Summers will be in conversation with UC Berkeley’s reelaviolette botts-ward and Tianna S. Paschel.




Brandi T. Summers, PhD is assistant professor of Geography and Global Metropolitan Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research examines the relationship between and function of race, space, urban infrastructure, and architecture. She is the author of, Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City (UNC Press, 2019).



Savannah Shange is assistant professor of Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz and also serves as principal faculty in Critical Race & Ethnic Studies. Her research interests include gentrification, multiracial coalition, ethnographic ethics, Black femme gender, and abolition. She earned a PhD in Africana Studies and Education from the University of Pennsylvania, a MAT from Tufts University, and a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Her first book, Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, Anti-Blackness and Schooling in San Francisco (Duke 2019) is an ethnography of the afterlife of slavery as lived in the Bay Area.








reelaviolette botts-ward is a homegirl, artist, and nontraditional community curator from Philadelphia, PA. A doctoral candidate in UC Berkeley’s African Diaspora Studies Department, ree’s work centers Black women’s healing spaces in Oakland. Her first book, mourning my inner[blackgirl]child, was published with Nomadic Press in 2021. For more, visit






Paschel pic.jpgTianna Paschel is associate professor of African American Studies and Sociology at the University of California – Berkeley. She is the author of the award-winning book, Becoming Black Political Subjects: Movements and Ethno-Racial Rights in Colombia and Brazil, which draws on ethnographic and archival methods to explore the shift in the 1990s from ideas of unmarked universal citizenship to multicultural citizenship regimes and the recognition of black rights. Dr. Paschel has published in the American Journal of Sociology, the Dubois Review, SOULS and Sociological Forum. She spends her weekends with her kid growing food and medicine and thinking about black liberation.