Robin D.G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. Historyat UCLA. A prolific historian for the people, Dr. Kelley's research on social movements, the Black diaspora, cultural production, and international solidarity, have impacted both the historical profession and every understanding of history from below, that is, history from people in the struggle against oppression.
Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination; Hammer and Hoe; Race Rebels; and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original are just a few of Kelley's titles.
On Freedom Dreams:
"Unearthing the thrilling history of grassroots movements and renegade intellectuals and artists, Kelley recovers the dreams of the future worlds Black radicals struggled to achieve. Focusing on the insights of activists, from the Revolutionary Action Movement to the insurgent poetics of Aimé and Suzanne Césaire, Kelley chronicles the quest for a homeland, the hope that communism offered, the politics of surrealism, the transformative potential of Black feminism, and the long dream of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow. In this edition, Kelley includes a new introduction reflecting on how movements of the past 20 years have expanded his own vision of freedom to include mutual care, disability justice, abolition, and decolonization, and a new epilogue exploring the visionary organizing of today's freedom dreamers."
The book is celebrating 20 years of publication, and Haymarket Books and Kelley have collaborated on a discussion series.
"In this live event series, Robin D. G. Kelley will explore the connections between radical imagination and movements for social transformation with pathbreaking artists and scholars."
The series begins on Thursday, October 20, 2022, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EDT. You can RSVP here for this first online event. Episodes are scheduled as follows:
Episode 1, October 20
aja monet "is a surrealist blues poet, storyteller, and organizer born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She won the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam poetry award title in 2007, and aja monet follows in the long legacy and tradition of poets participating and assembling in social movements. Her first full collection of poems is titled, My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter on Haymarket Books. Her poems explore gender, race, migration, and spirituality."
Episode 2, November 17
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor "is an award-winning scholar and public intellectual. Taylor is author of Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership, published in 2019 by the University of North Carolina Press. Race for Profit was a semi-finalist for the 2019 National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2020. She was named a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2021." RSVP here.
Episode 3, December 13
Samora Pinderhughes "is a composer, pianist, vocalist, filmmaker, and multidisciplinary artist known for striking intimacy and carefully crafted, radically honest lyrics alongside high-level musicianship. He is also known for using his music to examine sociopolitical issues and fight for change and works in the tradition of the black surrealists throughout the African Diaspora, those who bend word, sound, and image towards the causes of revolution. Pinderhughes is a prison and police abolitionist, an anti-capitalist, and an advocate for process over product."
Episode 4, January 14
Elleza Kelley is an Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies at Yale University. "I am interested in space, form, visual art, and black aesthetics. I specialize in African American literature, with an emphasis on black geographies and radical spatial practice in the United States. My research traces how black spatial knowledge and practice appear in literature and art, particularly through experimentations with form, genre and media. My current book project looks at practices of inscription and mark-making as modes of spatial production, representation, and reinvention."
Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event. This event will also be recorded, and live captioning will be provided.