It’s Okay To Call The Brexit A Racial Problem

Brexit

Across the pond, the United States is enduring social and political crisis as fascinating as it is heartbreaking. Minority Americans are feeling marginalized and in some cases directly persecuted – not purely by Donald Trump or the far-right takeover of government, but by the social atmosphere those things permit and encourage. Police brutality against African-Americans was never properly addressed; Muslim-Americans are practically shunned (if not criminalized); Hispanic and Muslim immigrants from around the world are not welcomed. All of this has led to a sort of era of demonstration and peaceful protest that can almost make you admire the American spirit all over again, even if you’ve lost your appreciation for the nation itself.

In the UK, similar social issues have come to light, though they’ve been a little bit less striking. We have not seen neo-Nazis marching in the streets as we saw in the States, and the UK does not have a leader publicly criticizing professional athletes for protesting racial injustice. Yet more than a year after the Brexit referendum that caught the attention of what seemed like the entire world and then stunned that international community with its result, it’s become fairer to call the situation a racial problem. To be clear, no one is assuming all Brexit voters, or even most of them, harbour racist tendencies. Many admitted to voting almost jokingly, some were concerned about economics, and even those specifically hoping for tighter immigration policies may not have fully realised what that meant for the social climate.

The fundamental issue is that the Brexit was about as loud and clear an isolationist statement as a modern nation could possibly make. Donald Trump gets a lot of international attention for his “America First” policy outlook. But when you think about it, the UK has gone much further with this attitude by actually voting to break away from the world – or at least from its own continent. The Brexit is a declaration of the self-sufficiency of the UK, and by extension its people. The truth is that those people now hail from an untold variety of ethnic, religious, racial, and cultural backgrounds. But to a conservative white British person who believes immigration has hurt his country, this is apparently difficult to recognize. For such a person, the Brexit isn’t just about British independence from Europe, but about white independence from other.

That might sound to some like heated rhetoric or even a reckless assumption. Sadly, however, the data backs it up – and that’s why it’s time to call the Brexit what it is. We learned this past spring that over a third of black, Asian, and minority ethnic (Bame) people have been racially abused or have witnessed racist abuse since the time of the vote. This revelation came from a study by the Trades Union Congress, which also find that racist material has become more prevalent online and that 41 percent of Bame people have “heard racist remarks” since the referendum. These are unacceptable numbers that demonstrate the depth of a problem that seems to be bigger than its coverage.

Knowing all of this, the UK appears to be in very similar shape to the United States, despite the absence of internationally newsworthy events. It is now okay – if not vital – to call the Brexit a racial problem.

Real Faces of Liberty London’s Makeup Campaign

Liberty London has a new beauty campaign.

In a world increasingly saturated by curated self-image and unrelatable beauty standards, the only way to get ‘real’ is to cast your gaze closer to home. So, this October, we’re turning our beauty focus inwards with a new campaign heroing some familiar Liberty London faces. Meet them here as they share their personal perceptions of beauty and the daily essentials that keep them in check.

Liberty London

Weini is just one of 6 faces in the October campaign.

Liberty
The first thing I see when I look in the mirror is my big hair!” “I think it’s super cool having a starring role in the Liberty London windows.

“I loved working on this campaign as, for me, it shows exactly what London is: a strong capital full of beautiful people from all over the world who call London their home. I think being different or slightly off is what makes something beautiful. A crooked tooth, or a freckle in the wrong place or just a naughty glint in the eye.”

–Zoe Taylor, Makeup Artist

Black Europe Summer School 2018

Now accepting applications!

Black Europe Summer School 2018

11th Annual Program

June 25 – July 6, 2018

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Black Europe Summer School

Now in its 11th year, the overall goal of this intensive two-week course is to examine the contemporary circumstances of the African Diaspora in Europe. We will focus on the historical and colonial legacies of European countries to discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies and legislation today.

 

This course addresses the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe, examining the ways in which conceptions of the “other” are institutionalized and reproduced: the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; issues such as global racisms, everyday racism, and epistemic racism; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized “other”; and the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity. Issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality are central analytics, and scholars from the social sciences and humanities and NGOs working against racism and xenophobia in Europe are encouraged to apply.

Applications due February 1, 2018.

People

Director and Summer School Coordinator

KWAME NIMAKO is the Director of the Summer School on Black Europe .

Programme Director

MANO DELEA

Project Manager

CAMILLA HAWTHORNE 

Coordinator – East/Central Europe & Russia

GIOVANNI PICKER 

Excursions Coordinator

JENNIFER TOSCH, Black Heritage Amsterdam Tours 
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Summer School Affiliated Faculty

DR. MARTA ARAÚJO is a Principal Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra in Portugal, where she integrates the Research Group ‘Democracy, Citizenship and Law’ and lectures in the Doctoral Programmes ‘Democracy in the 21st Century’ and ‘Human Rights in Contemporary Societies’. Marta has published internationally and is currently a member of the Editorial Board of publications on sociology, race and education in Brazil, Britain, Portugal and the United States. She has also been actively engaged in outreach activities, both with grassroots movements and with schools. Marta obtained her PhD from the University of London, Institute of Education, in 2003, with a thesis on the racialised impact of public policy, focusing on how New Labour’s political initiatives in the late 1990s perpetuated racial inequality in education. Since then, she has expanded her research work to address the (re)production and challenging of Eurocentrism and racism in two complimentary lines: 1) Eurocentrism, knowledge production, history teaching, and decolonial struggles; 2) public policy, racial inequality in the education system and anti-racism. She recently published the following works: “A very ‘prudent integration’: white flight, school segregation and the depoliticization of (anti)racism”, Race, Ethnicity and Education, 19, 2, 300-323, 2016; The Contours of Eurocentrism: Race, History, and Political Texts. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015 (with Silvia Maeso); Eurocentrism, Racism and Knowledge: Debates on History and Power in Europe and the Americas. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015 (with Silvia Maeso).

DR. GEORGE BARGANIER is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at San Francisco State University and Ambassador of International Affairs for the Prisoner’s of Conscience Committee. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley where he subsequently held a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Prior to teaching at San Francisco State University, Dr. Barganier was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, a Research Fellow at the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice and Head Curriculum Developer at the Museum of the African Diaspora. Dr. Barganier’s research examines the dialectical interplay of criminality and internalized oppression, on the one hand, and radicalism and political resistance, on the other, in the formation of Black consciousness in the United States and around the globe. His most recent work, a comparative study of the political economy of street gangs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and The Hague, Holland, examines the development of Black political consciousness amongst the Crips of the Netherlands and the Comando Vermelho of Brazil and the ways in which their articulations of Blackness both internalize and resist coloniality. Dr. Barganier is also currently completing a book manuscript which analyzes the psychosocial splintering impact of colonialism on Black consciousness and charts this bifurcation through an examination of the historical relationship between the Black Panther Party and the Crips and Bloods in Los Angeles.

DR. JEANETTE DAVIDSON, ASCW, is an Associate Professor and Director of Africana and African American Studies program at the University of Oklahoma. She completed her BA (With Honors) at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, and her MSSW and PhD in Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington, USA. Prior to teaching at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Davidson taught at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Davidson’s research focuses generally on topics related to race and clinical practice, and race and education and she has published widely in these areas. Her most recent grant is from the National Science Foundation for the study of success in Engineering of students from underrepresented racial groups. Her recent text, African American Studies, is published by Edinburgh University Press (distributed by Columbia University Press, NY, in the USA). Jeanette Davidson is a member of the Executive Board of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies and is a Board member of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and a Board member of the National Council for Black Studies. She has served as a Consultant to Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Welfare supervisors for twelve years. Dr. Davidson serves a number of community organizations in Oklahoma, including Public Strategies and It’s My Community, organizations that work with the most economically challenged African Americans in the state of Oklahoma. She has recently been appointed to the Board of the Women’s Resource Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

DR. PHILOMENA ESSED has a PhD from the University of Amsterdam and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pretoria (2011). She is professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership studies, Antioch University (USA), PhD in Leadership and Change Program and affiliated researcher, Utrecht University (The Netherlands) Graduate Gender Program.

Her research and teaching transcends national, cultural and disciplinary boundaries. Well known for introducing the concepts of everyday racism and gendered racism in the Netherlands and internationally, her work has been adopted and applied in a range of countries, including the US, Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the UK, Switzerland, and Australia. She has lectured in many countries – from Germany to Brazil; from South-Africa to Canada – and published numerous articles in English and in Dutch, some of which have been translated into French, German, Italian, Swedish and Portuguese. Her books include Everyday Racism; Understanding Everyday Racism; and Diversity: Gender, Color and Culture. Co-edited Volumes: Race Critical Theories; Refugees and the Transformation of Societies; and A Companion to Gender Studies(‘outstanding’ 2005 CHOICE award). A volume on Dutch Racism is in progress and another volume Clones, Fakes and Posthumans: Cultures of Replication is in press (2012). Her current research focuses on dignity as experience and practice in processes of change.

Essed has a life long commitment to social justice. In addition to her academic work in this area she has been advisor to governmental and non-governmental organizations, nationally and internationally. In the Netherlands she co-founded the Network for College Educated Black, Migrant and Refugee Women (mid 1980s) and the national institute E-quality: Experts in Gender and Ethnicity (1997/8). She has been a Member of the Dutch national Temporary Expert Commission for Women’s Emancipation (1998-2001) and a Member of the Dutch Selection Commission of Members of the Judiciary (2003-2010) Since 2004 she is Deputy Member of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission where she serves as a panel member in hearings and investigations about structural discrimination, including race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation and disability.

As an expert witness on race, gender and racism in Europe she addressed among others the European Parliament(Brussels, 1984); The United Nations Economic and Social Council (New York, 2001); The House of Representatives of the States-General (The Hague, the Netherlands, 2004); and the United States Helsinki Commission (Capitol Hill, Washington, 2008). In 2011 The Queen of the Netherlands honored her with a Knighthood.

DR. DAVID THEO GOLDBERG is Director of the system-wide University of California Humanities Research Institute, and and Executive Director of the MacArthur-UCI Research Hub in Digital Media and Learning. He is a Professor in Comparative Literature, Anthropology, and Criminology, Law and Society, and a Fellow of the Critical Theory Institute, at the University of California, Irvine. He has written extensively on digital media¹s impact on higher education, on race and racism, law and society, and on critical theory. His most recent books include The Racial State; The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism; and The Future of Thinking: Higher Education in the Age of Digital Media.

DR. RAMÓN GROSFOGUEL (PhD, Sociology, Temple University, 1992) is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Fernand Braudel Center/Maison des Sciences de l‘Homme, Paris, France, 1993-94, and teaches courses in Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the US, Social Science Methods, Black Thought, Comparative Latino Migration, and Transnational Paradigms in Ethnic Studies.

His publications includes the books Colonial Subjects: Puerto Rican Subjects in a Global Perspective (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003); The Modern/Colonial/Capitalist World-System in the Twentieth Century: Global Processes, Antisystemic Movements, and the Geopolitics of Knowledge. Co-edited with Ana Margarita Cervantes-Rodriguez (New York: Praeger, 2002); and dozens of articles. A selected representation includes: “Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United States” (with Anna Margarita Cervantes-Rodriguez and Brice Mielants), in Caribbean Migration to Western Europe and the United States: Essays on Incorporation, Identity and Citizenship (2002), co-edited with Eric Mileants and Margarita Cervantes-Rodriguez; “Latinos and Decolonization of the US Empire in the 21st Century.” Social Science Information 47(4) (2009):605-22; “World-System Analysis and Postcolonial Studies: A Call for Dialogue from the ‘Coloniality of Power‘ Approach”, in Revathi Krishnaswamy and John C. Hawley, eds., The Postcolonial and the Global. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008), pp. 94-104; “The Epistemic Decolonial Turn: Beyond Political Economy Paradigms.” Cultural Studies 21(2-3) (2007):211-23; “The Long-Durée: Entanglement Between Islamophobia and Racism in the Modern-Colonial Capitalist/Patriarchal World-System.” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge V(1):Fall 2006.

DR. DIENKE HONDIUS is an Associate Professor of Contemporary History in the History Department, Faculty of Arts at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her research and teaching covers areas and issues around History of Anti-Semitism and Racism, History and Memory of the Holocaust, the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery, idea of “Race”, “Toleration”, “Citizenship”, “Equality”, “Inclusion and Exclusion”, Humanities, and Oral History. She is also affiliated to the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, as advisor for new exhibitions and educational projects. Dr. Hondius is also ad interim Chair of the Dutch Board of Directors of Humanity in Action, an International (American-Danish-Dutch-German) Summer leadership program on Human Rights, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Among her publications are: Return: Holocaust Survivors and Dutch Anti-Semitism. Praeger/Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 2003; Gemengde huwelijken, gemengde gevoelens. Aanvaarding en ontwijking van etnisch en religieus verschil in Nederland sinds 1945. (Acceptance of Mixed Marriages) PhD thesis, University of Amsterdam. SDU Uitgevers, Den Haag 1999. 2nd edition 2001; Access to the Netherlands of Enslaved and Free Black Africans. Legal and informal practices, 16th-19th century. Journal of Slavery & Abolition, Special issue: Free Soil in the Atlantic World, forthcoming 2011. Editors: Sue Peabody, Keila Grinberg; Finding common ground in education about the Holocaust and slavery. Intercultural Education, Vol. 21, Suppl. No. S1, 2010, S61-69. Routledge, Taylor & Francis, London; Blacks in Early Modern Europe: New Research from the Netherlands. In: Darlene Clark Hine, Trica Danielle Keaton, and Stephen Small (eds.), Black Europe and the African Diaspora: Blackness in Europe. University of Illinois Press, Champaign, Il 2009; Race and the Dutch: on the uneasiness surrounding racial issues in the Netherlands. In: Sharam Alghazi, Thomas Hylland Erikson and Halleh Ghorashi (eds.), Paradoxes of Cultural Recognition. Perspectives from Northern Europe. Ashgate, Aldershot 2009. Chapter 3, p. 39-57; Black Africans in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam. In: Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme, Center for Renaissance and Reformation Studies, CRRS, Toronto, Canada 2008. Special issue / Numéro spécial: Sub-Saharan Africa and Renaissance and Reformation Europe. New findings and New Perspectives. Vol. 31 (2008), no.2, p 85-103 ; Dienke Hondius and Carl Haarnack, ‘Swart’(black) in the Netherlands. Africans and Creoles in the Northern Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. In: Esther Schreuder and Elmer Kolfin (eds.), Black is Beautiful: Rubens to Dumas. Waanders, Zwolle 2008, p. 88-107; (2006). Coming to terms with murder: The rise and fall of ‘resistance’ and ‘anti-racist’ norms in Dutch society since 1945. In D. Oostdijk & M.G. Valenta (Eds.), Tales of the great American victory: World War II in politics and poetics. Amsterdam: VU University Press.

DR. BARON KELLY is an Associate Professor and Director of the African American Theatre program at the University of Louisville. Dr. Kelly has the distinction of being a three-time Fulbright Scholar and an elected member of the National Theatre Conference. He holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a diploma from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and an MFA in Acting from California State University Long Beach. He has traveled extensively as a Cultural Specialist for the United States Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs teaching and lecturing on the theatre in Russia; Scandinavia; Africa; Europe; and Asia. He has been a fellow at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African American Research. Currently, he serves on the boards of both the Comparative Drama Conference and Stanislavsky Institute. He is currently under contract to Focus Publishing for his forthcoming book, An Actor’s Task: Engaging the Senses. Acting assignments include Broadway (Salome and Electra); Royal National Theatre of Great Britain; Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada; Edinburgh Theatre Festival; the Oregon, Utah, Dallas Fort Worth, California Shakespeare Festivals; Actors Theatre of Louisville; The Guthrie; San Diego’s Old Globe; Shakespeare Theatre, Washington D.C.; Mark Taper Forum; South Coast Repertory; McCarter Theatre. Film and television credits include featured roles in Bird, A Day Without a Mexican, Loving, Frasier, The Innocent, and Majority Rule.

DR. KAMALA KEMPADOO is Professor in the Department of Social Science, affiliated with Latin American and Caribbean Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. She also holds appointments in the graduate programs in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, Political Science, Social and Political Thought, and Development Studies. She is a former director of the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University. She has lived and worked in Britain, the Netherlands, the USA, several countries in the Dutch- and English-speaking Caribbean, and, since 2002, in Canada. Areas of specialization: transnational and Caribbean feminisms, human trafficking discourses, studies of sexual labour-economic relations, Black studies, Caribbean studies, and gender and development. Publications include Global Sex Workers(Routledge 1998); Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean (Rowman and Littlefield 1999); Sexing the Caribbean (Routledge 2004) and Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered (Paradigm 2005/2012).

DR. KWAME NIMAKO (BA/MA, Sociology; PhD Economics, University of Amsterdam) teaches International Relations at the Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) in the Universiteit van Amsterdam. He worked as a Tinbergen Fellow at the Department of Agricultural and Development Economics (Tinbergen Institute, 1989-1991) and Lecturer in Race and Ethnic Relations and Development Studies at the Centre for Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES, 1986-1991) at the same university.

Dr. Nimako is also President of OBEE Consultancy, which he founded in 1992, and has consulted for several private and public institutions. He has consulted for the Amsterdam Municipal Council and the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs (The Hague) on Urban Renewal projects and Ethnic Minorities/Immigrants Policy. In 1995 and 1996 he was a rapporteur on the evaluation of Social Renewal Projects in five cities (Amsterdam, Deventer, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, and Utrecht) in the Netherlands.

He was (1996-1997) the Principal Research Consultant for Focus Consultancy Ltd (UK) on the ACP and ODT* Migrants in Europe Project commissioned by the General-Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States (in Brussels). Specifically, the ACP Migrants in Europe project recorded a number of significant issues which affect the everyday life of African, Caribbean and Pacific diaspora in the European Union; these included problems which rotate around citizenship and mobility, ‘human rights’, and ‘racism’ and ‘xenophobia’. In his capacity as Principal Research Consultant he produced 1) Demographic Survey Report and 2) Status and Legality Survey Report on ACP and ODT Migrants in the European Union (EU), and co-authored four Guide Books for the 70 African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

Dr. Nimako is the author or co-author of some 30 books, reports and guide books on economic development, ethnic relations, social policy, urban renewal, and migration. Among his works are: The Dutch Atlantic: Slavery, Abolition and Emancipation(with Glenn Willemsen) (London, Pluto Press, 2011); “Nkrumah, African Awakening and Neo-colonialism: How Black America awakened Nkrumah and Nkrumah awakened Black America”, In: The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research(Vol 40, No.2, Summer 2010); “Theorizing Black Europe and African Diaspora: Implications for Citizenship, Nativism and Xenophobia” (with Stephen Small) In: Black Europe and the African Diaspora: ed. D. C. Hine, T. D. Keaton & S. Small (University of Illinois Press, 2009); “African Regional Groupings and Emerging Chinese Conglomerates”, In: Big Business and Economic Development: Conglomerates and Economic Groups in Developing Countries and Transition Economies under Globalization, ed. Barbara Hogenboom and Alex E. Fernandez Jilberto (Routledge, London. 2007); “Designs and (Co)-incidents: Cultures of Scholarship and Public Policy on Immigrants/Minorities in the Netherlands” (with Philomena Essed) In: International Journal of Comparative Sociology (2006, vol. 47: 281-312); “Labour and Ghana’s Debt Burden: The Democratization of Dependency”, In: Labour Relations in Development, ed. Alex E. Fernandez Jilberto et.al (Routledge, London 2002); “Repositioning Social Policy: North-South dialogue in the context of donor-recipient Relation”, In: Bridging the Gaps: Essays on economic, social and cultural opportunities at global and local levels (NIZW International Centre, Utrecht, 2002); Beyond Multiculturalisation: Amsterdam Southeast as Strategic Location (Rotterdam: Gramo de Combinatie, 1998, in Dutch).

*Overseas Departments and Territories

DR. STEPHEN SMALL is an Associate Professor of African American Studies and former Associate Director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He was appointed “Extraordinary Professor for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy” at the University of Amsterdam (from September 1, 2010). Born and raised in Liverpool, England, he earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, his MSc. at the University of Bristol, and his BA at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He was a Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute (1980-1984), Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, (1988-1992), and Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester (1992-1995). He also taught at the University of Warwick (1991). He was Guest Curator at the Merseyside Maritime Museum’s Atlantic Slave Trade Gallery (now the International Slavery Museum) that opened in 1994. He has worked closely with the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy (Ninsee), since 2006. He has been actively involved in Black organizations and community education centres in Britain, since the 1970s, and continues to contribute to their activities. He was director of the University of California Education Abroad Program in Bordeaux, 2002-2004; and Director of the UC, Berkeley summer school program in Brazil, 2001-2005.

Dr. Small has undertaken research and published on issues of the Black presence and the African Diaspora in Europe, the United States and the Caribbean for more than 25 years; and on issues to do with museums, public history and collective memory for 20 years. His recent books include Black Europe and the African Diaspora (co-edited with Darlene Clark Hine and Trica Daniel Keaton, University of Illinois Press, 2009); Representations of Slavery: Race and Ideology in Southern Plantation Museums (with Jennifer L Eichstedt, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002); Race and Power: Global Racism in the 21st Century (with Gargi Bhattacharyya and John Gabriel, Routledge, 2002); Racialised Barriers: Black People in the United States and England in the 1980s (Routledge, 1994). He is currently working on two projects: the first is a book on “21st century Antebellum Slave Cabins and Heritage Tourism” in Louisiana, USA, which explores representations of slavery and slave cabins at contemporary heritage tourism locations; the second is a research project on “Public History, Museums and African Diasporic Memory in England and The Netherlands” (with Kwame Nimako).

DR. GLORIA WEKKER (MA University of Amsterdam 1981; PhD UCLA, 1992) is a social and cultural anthropologist, specializing in Gender Studies, African American Studies, Caribbean Studies and Sexuality Studies in the faculty of the Arts at Universiteit Utrecht. She is a professor in Gender and Ethnicity at the Department of Gender Studies, the Faculty of the Arts at Utrecht University. Wekker locates herself as a representative of transnational, anti-racist, intersectional feminist theory.

Her research interests are in the following domains:

  • 1. constructions of sexual subjectivity in the black Diaspora.
  • 2. the history of the black, migrant and refugee womens’s movement in the Netherlands
  • 3. gendered and ethnicized/ racialized knowledge systems in Dutch society, including the academy.

Among her recent publications is The Politics of Passion; Women’s sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora(Columbia University Press, 2006), for which she won the Ruth Benedict Prize of American Anthropological Association (December 2007). Currently, Wekker is on sabbatical at NIAS, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies, where she is working on a new book on the Netherlands, provisionally entitled Innocence Unltd.: Gender,`Race` and Sexuality in the Dutch cultural Archive.

DR. MELISSA F. WEINER (Ph.D, Sociology, University of Minnesota; BA & BS in Sociology and Journalism, Boston University) participated in the 2012 Black Europe Summer School as a student and is looking forward to returning as faculty. She is an Associate Professor of Sociology at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has also taught at Quinnipiac University and was affiliated with the NiNsee, the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy, and Ercomer, the European Research Center on Migration and Ethnic Relations at Utrecht University.

Weiner’s research and teaching focuses on racial identity formation and racializing mechanisms in the context of education in the United States, The Netherlands, and from a global perspective. Weiner is currently analyzing data collected during her fieldwork in The Netherlands and will publish findings related to depictions of slavery and multiculturalism in Dutch primary school history textbooks and norms and practices privileging whiteness in a diverse Dutch primary school classroom. Her book, Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City (Rutgers, 2010) revealed how educational structures maintained racial identities and inequalities in the face of significant protests to alleviate race-based resource and curricular inequalities. “Towards a Global Critical Race Theory” (Sociology Compass, 2012) argues that international scholars must use empirical indicators to assess whether racializing phenomena occur in nations where race is denied. Her work has also appeared in Social Problems, The Sociological Quarterly, Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change and multiple edited volumes.

Weiner has long integrated her academic work in race and education with political action. While in graduate school in Minnesota, she worked on numerous political and social justice campaigns with, among others, the Institute on Race and Poverty (Law School, University of Minnesota), Progressive Minnesota (currently MNPAC), and as a policy writer for a winning city councilman’s campaign. In addition to teaching and researching these issues, Weiner founded and runs an NGO, Brighter World Books, dedicated to working with low-income African schools in South Africa to fill their libraries with the books they need. She currently works with the Worcester, MA chapter of the Student Immigrant Movement to promote legislation and educational opportunities for undocumented immigrant youth.

DR. DONNA DRIVER-ZWARTKRUIS is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics and Business at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

 

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BBC salutes Black Women during Black History Month

Black History Month in The United Kingdom

In the US some black joke that our Black History month is in February because it is the shortest month of the year. In Britain, Black History Month is celebrated in October which has 31 days.

And while the British Broadcasting Corporation affectionately known as the BBC didn’t shine a light on 31 fabulous Black Women this month they did highlight 12. And they wrote it for a young audience. In a time when many adult Brits deny the existence of racism in the UK, this history lesson is huge in my opinion. Here the chosen 12.

BBC Black History Month
Photo credit: Various

Source: BBC

Black History Month has been marked in the UK for more than 30 years. It takes place during the month of October.

It is held to highlight and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the black community in the UK.

Throughout history, black people have made huge contributions to society in the fields of art, music, science, literature and many more areas.

But in the past, these contributions have often been ignored or played down because black people weren’t treated the same way as other people because of the colour of their skin.

BBC Black History Month
GETTY IMAGES This picture from the 1960s shows people protesting for equal rights

Black History Month aims to address this unfairness by celebrating these achievements and contributions.

Read on to find out about the incredible things that 12 women, in particular, have done for Britain.

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Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784)

BBC Black History Month
Image BLACKHISTORYMONTH.ORG.UK

Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa.

When she was a young girl, she was put on board a ship and sent to the US, where she was sold as a slave to a family called the Wheatleys. She was named after that ship – the Phillis.

While Phillis was a slave, she was taught to read and write, which was unusual at the time.

She wrote her first poem at the age of 14. At the age of 20, she moved to England with her son and within a year, published her first book.

This made her the first African-American poet to be published, with her first volume of poetry in 1773.

The fact that her writing was so brilliant proved that women who were slaves could have amazing intellectual ideas, when people hadn’t thought that they could, and this contributed towards the anti-slavery movement.

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Mary Seacole (1805-1881)

BBC Black History Month
IMAGE National Geographical Society

Mary Seacole was born and grew up in Jamaica, but came over to England in 1854.

She asked the War Office if she could go to help wounded soldiers who were fighting in the Crimean War (1853-1856), but she wasn’t allowed.

So she raised the money herself and travelled to Balaclava, Ukraine. Here, she looked after British soldiers who had been injured.

Despite all that she did, not many people knew who she was or the amazing work that she had done after she died. Most people remember Florence Nightingale, who helped many people too.

However, people have campaigned to make sure that people remember everything that Mary Seacole did.

In 2016, a statue of her was built outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Ayshah went to find out more about it ahead of it being built.

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Fanny Eaton (1835-unknown)

BBC Black History Month
Image BRIDGEMAN IMAGES

You can see Fanny Eaton featured in a lot of artwork by Pre-Raphaelite artists (a period of art which started in the mid-1880s).

That’s because she worked as a model for several well-known artists.

She moved to London from Jamaica and worked at the Royal Academy. The Royal Academy is an extremely famous place in London for art – especially painting, sculpture and architecture – which started in 1768.

One of the artists that she modelled for called Dante Gabriel Rossetti praised how beautiful Fanny was. This was significant because, at the time, many people did not see black people as beautiful, so black women were not featured very much in Western art.

But Fanny Eaton challenged this and is an important figure in the history of art.

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Evelyn Dove (1902-1987)

BBC Black History Month
Image BBC

Evelyn was the daughter of a lawyer from Sierra Leone in Africa and his English wife.

She was a student at the Royal Academy of Music, which is a bit like the Royal Academy where Fanny Eaton modelled, but for music.

While she was there, she performed with some of the world’s top black entertainers and went on to become a singing and acting star of the 1920s.

She became famous all over the world, at a time when black female performers would struggle to get the same recognition as white entertainers because of racial prejudices.

 

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Lilian Bader (1918-2015)

BBC Black History Month
Image IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM VIA BLACKHISTORYMONTH.ORG.UK

Lilian Bader was born in 1918 in Liverpool and went on to become one of the very first black women to join the British Armed Forces.

Starting out as a canteen assistant at an army base in Yorkshire, she eventually trained as an instrument repairer, before becoming a leading aircraftwoman and soon afterwards earning herself the rank of Corporal.

Three generations of her family served in the armed forces.

When she left the army to have children of her own, she retrained and got a degree from the University of London to become a teacher.

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Joan Armatrading (1950-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image BBC

Back to music and Joan Armatrading is a name that if you are into blues you may already know.

This is because she was the first ever female UK artist to be nominated for a Grammy in the blues category. She went on to be nominated three times.

She arrived in the UK at the age of seven, from the Caribbean island of Saint Kitts. She started writing songs at the age of 14. She also taught herself to play the guitar.

In the 1970s, she became the first black British singer songwriter to enjoy great success abroad.

Then, in 2007, she became the first female UK artist to debut at number 1 in the Billboards blues chart (which is like the top 40 chart for blues music in America).

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Olive Morris (1952-1979)

BBC Black History Month
IMAGE Nyansapo – The Pan African Drum

Olive Morris was an important figure in terms of civil rights.

Black people didn’t used to have the same rights as other people, simply because of the colour of their skin – and Olive was one of many people who worked tirelessly to change that.

She campaigned for the rights of black people in South London and Manchester and was a founding member of groups like the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) and the Brixton Black Women’s Group.

She passed away at the age of just 27, but even by this age she had contributed an enormous amount to black communities across the country.

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Margaret Busby (1944-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

Margaret is an extremely influential name in the world of publishing.

That’s because she was Britain’s youngest and first black female book publisher, when she co-founded the publishing company Allison & Busby in 1967, alongside a man called Clive Allison.

The company didn’t only publish work by black writers, but it did help to make the names of many black writers more well-known.

Talking about writing today, Margaret says: “Technology permits you to be your own publisher and editor, which should encourage a lot of us – especially young people – to write and express themselves.”

“Write because you really enjoy it and learn to be a good reader because the best writers read voraciously. Get to know the best books out there.”

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Diane Abbott (1953-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

In 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever to be elected to Parliament.

Her career in politics began in 1982, when she was elected to Westminster City Council, before being voted into the House of Commons five years later.

It made her part of the first group of black and Asian people to sit in Parliament for almost a century – but back then, only men got the jobs.

She also started the London Schools and the Black Child programme, which aims to help black children to do well in school.

She still serves in Parliament to this day as one of the main politicians in the Labour party.

Editor’s note: Dianne Abbott is on our 2010 Power List.

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Malorie Blackman (1962-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

Another author that you may well have heard of is the best-selling author of the Noughts & Crosses series – Malorie Blackman.

When she was chosen to become the eighth Children’s Laureate, she became the first black person to take on the role.

She got the job in 2013, before passing on the baton to British illustrator and writer Chris Riddell in 2015.

Malorie says she wanted to “make reading irresistible” for children, by encouraging them to explore a range of literature, from short stories to graphic novels.

Editor’s note: Malorie Blackman in on our 2011 Power List.

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Dr. Shirley Thompson

BBC Black History Month
Image WINSTON SILL

Only recently, Dr. Shirley Thomson was named as “one of the most inspirational Black British women” by the newspaper Metro.

In 2004, she became the first woman in Europe to conduct and compose a symphony within the last 40 years. It was called New Nation Rising, A 21st Century Symphony.

The piece of music celebrated London’s history and was composed to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

She has also written pieces to be used in films, on television, by dancers and on stage.

Because of her work, she was named on the Evening Standard’s Power List of Britain’s Top 100 Most Influential Black People in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

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Zadie Smith (1975-today)

BBC Black History Month
Image GETTY IMAGES

If you go into a book shop, you would be very likely to spot one of Zadie Smith’s books on the shelves.

She is an extremely successful author, having published her first book at the age of just 24.

Her books, which are inspired by her experience of issues around race and what society is like, have received many prizes.

She has also written essays and short stories, and now teaches at New York University.

Editor’s note: Zadie Smith is on our 2010 Power List.

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Help me get to the Democratic National Committee Meeting

Any contribution I receive for my expenses will be great, greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
I am one of 8 Democratic National Committee (DNC) members elected by Democrats Abroad (DA). My term is 2016 – 2020. The DNC meets twice a year in the US. I live in Sweden. I am born and raised in Washington, DC at before 2016 at least one of the DNC meetings was held in DC. That has not been the case for me so far. We met briefly in Philadelphia, met again in Atlanta to elect new leadership and are now meeting in Las Vegas with Association of Democratic State Chairs starting on October 17.

State party DNC members are volunteers. As a DA DNC member I represent the millions of Americans who live outside of the US and vote in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories. I am also the Global Volunteer Coordinator for Democrats Abroad and that is also voluntary. In that role I work to help our global caucuses form and have the members they need to accomplish their goals.

To attend our fall meeting in Las Vegas my expenses are:
Flights – $511
Airport transfers – $22
Hotel (we are sleeping 4 in a room) – $180
Meals – $150

Bringing the protest to London

We support our brothers in the NFL.

protest

Jacksonville Jaguars NFL players kneeling in protest as the US national anthem was played at Wembley stadium in London at the start of their match against the Baltimore Ravens yesterday. Each season, four NFL matches are held in London in front of 80,000 fans, many of whom travel from the US for the event. The display of defiance from members of both teams came after President Donald Trump encouraged American football fans to boycott matches over such protests, which were started by player Colin Kaepernick last year when he kneeled during the national anthem to highlight the treatment of black citizens in the US. (Source: ABC News)