Schedule for the Fall 2017 Season

August 10, 2017

Join us this fall for these exciting and urgent conversations! CBFS is held from 6-8 on the first Thursday of each month at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Check back later in the month for more updates.

September 7 - Fifty Years After the Newark and Detroit Uprisings

50 years after rebellion and repression in Newark and Detroit, the causes, meanings and legacies of the urban uprisings of the 1960s remain controversial. Were hundreds of Black Rebellions the “Harvest of Racism”?

Guest include Say Burgin, Mark Krasovic, and Junius Williams.

October 5 - The Fannie Lou Hamer Centennial and Black Women's Organizing Traditions

Out of the shadows of the John F. Kennedy centennial, join the Fannie Lou Hammer Centennial (1917-2017). Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer set the pace for the Mississippi Freedom Movement in the 1960s, knocking down Jim Crow barriers, protesting the Vietnam War, and fighting American poverty. In South Carolina, Septima Clark pioneered the Grassroots organizing tradition with the Citizenship Schools, while in the Jim Crow North the Black Women’s United Front established African Free Schools and insisted on women’s rights of self-defense against white terror.

Guests include Katherine Charron, Ashley Farmer, Charles Payne, and Gloria Richardson.

November 2 - The Black Freedom Struggle and the Strange Career of Jim Crow New York

The Black freedom struggle against Jim Crow New York is one of the most protracted yet criminally neglected movements for human rights in the USA.

Guests include Tahir Butt, Brian Purnell, and Christopher Tinson.

December 7 - The Black Freedom Struggle and the Strange Career of Jim Crow in the Midwest

The face of employment discrimination was unmasked by the March on Washington Movement in Detroit’s auto plants in the 1940s. The face of killer cops was revealed by Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers and by Cha Cha Jimenez and the Young Lords in Chicago. The face of religious discrimination was exposed by Rev. Albert Cleage and Black Christian Nationalism in Detroit. The face of cultural imperialism was exposed by the Black Arts Renaissance from Detroit to Chicago. And the faces of housing and employment discrimination were protested by the NAACP in Milwaukee.

Guests include Keona Ervin, Nishani Frazier, and Patrick Jones.

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Schedule for the Spring 2017 Season

November 04, 2016

This spring Conversations in Black Freedom Studies will bring together a host of experts to address several burning issues: Decades of movements to stop killer cops and police brutality; the legacy of Black Power and  especially women in the Black Panther Party 50 years later; and the historic contributions of the Black sports ethos of women and men to the freedom struggle. Check back soon for more details, additions, and updates.

February 2: Black Power at 50

With Jamala Rogers, Mark Speltz, Stephen Ward, and Komozi Woodard 

March 2: Intersectional Black Panther History Project

With Angela LeBlanc Ernest, Robyn Spencer, Mary Phillips, and Tracye Matthews 

April 6: Black Athletes and the Freedom Struggle 

With John Smith and Jennifer Lansbury 

May 4: The Long history of Police Brutality and the Fight Against It 

With Clarence Taylor, Cathy Schneider, and Michael Flamm

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Schedule for the Fall 2016 Season

June 17, 2016

This fall semester, the Conversations in Black Freedom Studies will feature experts to address four critical issues: 1) the menace of white terror and criminal injustice against the Black community in general and Black women in particular; 2) the gift of Black & Puerto Rican Renaissance and the Northern organizing tradition from New York to Chicago; 3) The road from the War on Poverty 50 Years Later to the criminalization of the poor under the mask of welfare reform; and 4) the new research honoring the militant role of Black Women Radicals in the freedom struggle, including Gloria Richardson and Mae Mallory.

Our events are held the first Thursday of the month from 6-8 pm. Be sure to stay in touch with us through this website and follow us on Facebook at @BlackFreedomStudies and on Twitter at @SchomburgCBFS. And you can RSVP through Eventbrite to reserve your seats.

September 1 – Black Women and the Criminal Justice System

with Keisha Blain, Sarah Haley, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

October 6 – Northern Organizing and Cultural Renaissance

with Deborah Cullen-Morales, Erik Gellman, Anne Knupfer, and Yasmin Ramirez

November 3 – The War on Poverty at 50

with Elizabeth Hinton, Alejandra Marchevsky, and Crystal Sanders

December 1– Honoring the Legacy of Black Women Radicals Gloria Richardson and Mae Mallory

with Ashley Farmer, Joseph Fitzgerald, and Gloria Richardson

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Schedule for the Spring 2016 Season

January 02, 2016

The Spring 2016 Season of Conversations in Black Freedom Studies will begin on February 4th! This is the next in our series at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Our events are held the first Thursday of the month from 6-8 pm. Be sure to stay in touch with us through this website and follow us on Twitter at @SchomburgCBFS. Remember to RSVP through Eventbrite to reserve your seats.

February 4 – Black Power and Political Repression

with Rhonda Williams, Kenneth Janken, Erik McDuffie

March 3 – Women in the Black Panther Party

with Robyn Spencer, Ericka Huggins, Mary Phillips

April 7 – The Church and the Struggle 

with Jennifer Scanlon, Genna Rae McNeil, Kevin McGruder

May 5 – Educational Injustice and Organizing

with Matt Delmont, Ansley Erickson, Carla Shedd 

June 2 – The Struggle against Racism and Repression

with Aram Goudsouzian, Aldon Morris and Caleb Smith

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Schedule for the Fall 2015 season

August 26, 2015

The Fall 2015 Season will begin on September 3rd! This is the next in our series of conversations at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Our events are held the first Thursday of the month from 6-8 pm. Be sure to stay in touch with us through this website and follow us on Twitter at @SchomburgCBFS.We have posted the full schedule.

Do RSVP through Eventbrite to reserve your seats.

September 3rd

Fallen Freedom Fighters: An Evening Commemorating the Lives of Maya Angelou, Chokwe Lumumba, General Baker, Thelma Dale and Amiri Baraka

with Farah Jasmine Griffin, Dayo Gore, Robyn Spencer, Akinyele Umoja and Komozi Woodard

October 1st

The Young Lords Party

with Johanna Fernandez, Jose Cha-Cha Jimenez, Felipe Luciano, Denise Oliver-Velez, and Wilson Valentin

November 5

Protest, Women, and Performance

with Ruth Feldstein, Tanisha Ford and Sherie Randolph

December 3

Problems with History of Racial Policing in NYC

with Mary Frances Berry, LaShawn Harris and Shannon King

And, be sure to check out all our past sessions, with video recordings.

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Schedule for the Spring 2015 season

December 11, 2014

  • Malcolm X
  • Daisy Bates

Our next season is shaping out to be another excellent series of conversations at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Our events are held the first Thursday of the month from 6-8 pm. Be sure to stay in touch with us through this website and follow us on Twitter at @SchomburgCBFS.

February 5 -- 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X: Malcolm X and Black Radical Women
with Rosemary Mealy, Komozi Woodard and Gloria Richardson

March 5 -- Race and the Criminal Justice System: Political Prisoners, Resistance, and Mass Incarceration Part I
with Bryan Stevenson, Dan Berger and Victoria Law

April 2 -- Race and the Criminal Justice System: Political Prisoners, Resistance, and Mass Incarceration Part II
with Laura Whitehorn, Ruth Gilmore, Arun Kundnani

May 7 -- Black and Brown Coalitions
with Sonia Lee, Alejandra Marchevsky and Johanna Fernandez

The Schomburg Center is located at 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037.

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Fall 2014 season starts September 4th

September 02, 2014

CBFS is set to kick off the Fall 2014 season this Thursday September 4th with a timely conversation on the urban crisis and the Black Revolt

The time is ripe to revisit the unfinished agenda of the Black Revolt against the urban crisis: What is to be done? The Stop Killer Cops Campaign has a rich yet neglected history from the shooting of black children in Brooklyn in the 1970s to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014. 
This roundtable of experts will unpack the congested issues of the urban crisis and suggest some current alternatives. Clarence Taylor is a pioneering expert on Civil Rights in the Jim Crow North, writing a book on the history of police brutality in NYC. Junius Williams is a veteran of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or SNCC and the Students for a Democratic Society or SDS, who pioneered advocacy planning and community development. Mr. Williams will discuss his memoir, Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power. And, Robert Curvin is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE in Essex County, New Jersey, former dean at the New School & past member of the New York Times editorial board, who has stayed on the cutting edge of alternative community development and economic empowerment from his work at the Ford Foundation to his teaching at Rutgers University. Mr. Curvin will discuss his new book, with an overview of those issues in Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation. 

-- Komozi Woodard

Be sure to register for the event.

And remember to checkout  the schedule for the rest of the season!

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NEH Summer 2015 Seminar

August 25, 2014

Rethinking Black Freedom Studies in the Jim Crow North

Deadline: March 2, 2015
Dates: June 15-June 26 (2 weeks)
Project Directors: Komozi Woodard, Sarah Lawrence College, and Jeanne Theoharis, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Location: Bronxville, NY
For more information: (914) 395-2427

Supported by a grant from the  National Endowment of the Humanities

Many faculty working in this area, particularly younger scholars, would like to deepen their knowledge of this burgeoning field of study as well as work on their own scholarship in the company of others versed in the subject. Thus, the time is ripe to reform the college curriculum on the Black Freedom Struggle and to convene a summer workshop specifically devoted to producing scholarship in this area.

For decades the academic disciplines focused exclusively on the history of the Civil Rights struggle in the Jim Crow South, neglecting the rich and critical legacy of the Black Freedom struggle from the Jim Crow North to the Jim Crow West. This seminar would introduce the emerging paradigm in Black Freedom Studies that is replacing the old master narrative in terms of leadership, geography, chronology, economy, and polity.

The old paradigm of Civil Rights as an exclusively Southern history and Black Power as a predominantly Northern phenomenon has been powerfully challenged by a new generation of scholarship that analyzes the Civil Rights & Black Power movements in several regions and numerous locations in the United States. The old North-South and Civil Rights-Black Power dichotomies blinded scholars to serious problems in the logic of geography, chronology, economy and policy, as well as stories of leadership and culture that blended approaches. In fact, similar to the lives of many of the activists who worked in both the South and North, the story is intertwined. For instance, the 1950s Montgomery Bus Boycott was preceded by the Harlem Bus Boycott of the 1940s. Angered by the bus boycott and Northern hypocrisy, the Montgomery Advertiser, the main Montgomery newspaper, took to running articles during the boycott year on Northern towns with attitudes and practices similar to Montgomery. Rosa Parks herself was forced to leave Montgomery and moved to Detroit—“the promised land that wasn’t” as she termed it—where she would spend the second half of her life challenging racial inequality in the city. Yet, in the old master narrative, that half of her life was historically invisible.

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