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Race, Blackness, & Abolition

Aaron Douglas, "The Judgment Day" (1939)


Attending to Blackness, Abolition, and Race is intellectual resistance. This cluster brings together faculty and graduate students working on race and race-making– especially, though not exclusively in the African Diaspora. We investigate the historically contingent ways that race has been imagined and institutionalized, resisted and repurposed, over time and across geographies. How has race has shaped political, legal, and social institutions? How have the lives and communities of people of color shaped and been shaped by them? To address these questions we necessarily engage epistemologies of Blackness, grounding our inquiry in the rich theoretical and historical scholarship produced by Black communities, scholars of Black Studies, the Black radical tradition, and Abolitionism. This cluster is united by a focus on Abolition–defined here as the struggle to end oppressive institutions of white supremacy, from the slave-trade and slavery, to colonialism, scientific racism, and the carceral state.