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On Reparations and Decolonization
June 29 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
with Professor Robin D.G. Kelley
Distinguished Professor of History & Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair of U.S. History, UCLA
Troubled by how the current discourse or “plans” for reparations do not, for the most part, challenge the terms of racial capitalism, this talk will revisit the question of reparations which was examined in Freedom Dreams two decades ago. Following a brief discussion of the history or reparations movements, Professor Kelley will explore how, as the reparations movement becomes legitimized, its scope may be narrowed to be consistent with neoliberal thinking and capitalism, including the logic of property rights and compensation without radical transformation. As such reparations discourse may exclude Indigenous dispossession, potentially derailing struggles for decolonization. Also, this lecture will explore the meaning of decolonization and the larger question of repair: What is required to reverse 500 plus years of history and to make a new world? How may we think of reparations and decolonization as processes complimentary to one another, rather than at odds?
Robin Davis Gibran Kelley is the Distinguished Professor of History and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His extensive work has covered many topics including the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; black intellectuals; music and visual culture; Marxism and Surrealism. His books include Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original; Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class; Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression and Into the Fire: African Americans since 1970 and Three Strikes: Miners, Musicians, Salesgirls, and the Fighting Spirit of Labor’s Last Century, written collaboratively with Dana Frank and Howard Zinn. Among his numerous co-edited books are Walter Rodney, The Russian Revolution: A View From the Third World (with Jesse Benjamin) (a collection of Rodney’s lectures The Other Special Relationship: Race, Rights and Riots in Britain and the United States (with Stephen Tuck); Black, Brown and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the African Diaspora (with Franklin Rosemont) and To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans (with Earl Lewis) (Oxford University Press, 2000). Kelley's essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and publications among them the Nation, the New York Times, Counterpunch, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Signs, American Quarterly, Re-Thinking Marxism, and Jacobin.
Presented by: The Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change & The Department of Political Science
Sponsored by: The Graduate Programs in Environmental Studies, Geography, and Politics at York University
Co-sponsored by: The Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, Department of Politics, LAPS Anti-Black Racism Initiatives Fund, Department of Anthropology, Department of Sociology, CERLAC and the Harriet Tubman Institute