Black Lives Matter: The Past, Present & Future of a Movement for Justice

Wed 28th October

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UK Race Relations Act and American Civil Rights Movement, during Black History Month, please join the Centre for Research in Race and Rights (University of Nottingham), Bright Ideas Nottingham, the Monitoring Group and Nottingham Contemporary for The October Dialogues 2015:

Plus an evening of Hip Hop performance and dialogues featuring Akala and activist-scholars Dr. Monica Miller and Dr. James Peterson (Lehigh University) (6.30-9pm).

Christopher Alder. Sandra Bland. Michael Brown. Kingsley Burrell. Kindra Chapman. Julian Cole. Smiley Culture. Joyce Curnell. Mark Duggan. Demetre Fraser. Joy Gardner. Eric Garner. Oscar Grant. Freddie Gray. Cherry Groce. Mya Hall. Cynthia Jarrett. Ralkina Jones. Rodney King. Stephen Lawrence. Olaseni Lewis. Trayvon Martin. Edita Pommel. Tamir Rice. Sean Rigg. Colin Roach. Tony Robinson. Azelle Rodney. Walter Scott. Raynette Turner. #SayTheirNames #ICantBreathe #HandsUpDontShoot #BlackLivesMatter

The rallying calls of a new movement have spread across the US and the UK. There have been over 1000 Black Lives Matter protests worldwide in the last two years and mobilisations in at least 10 UK cities. There are now 30 Black Lives Matter chapters across the United States. The movement responds to the oppression, violence and exclusion that shapes black lives: in the US, 42% of black children are educated in high-poverty schools, black Americans are 37% of the country’s homeless population, constitute nearly half of the 2 million jail population, and are 26% of those killed by police (though are 13% of the population). In the UK, black children are more than twice as likely as white children to be living in poverty, black people are six times as likely as whites to be stopped and searched, are more likely to go to jail when convicted of similar crimes and will serve longer sentences, are twice as likely to be not in employment, education or training, and are more likely to be forcibly restrained when held under mental health legislation. “I Can’t Breathe” evokes the suffocating daily reality of all these statistics.

A series of panels featuring activists and researchers will explore the roots, dynamics and possible futures of #BlackLivesMatter. Is it a movement or a moment? A transatlantic or an American phenomenon? How does it operate on local, regional, national or international levels? How does it negotiate leadership? What characterises its rhetoric, visual culture and philosophies? Is it a new civil rights movement, a new Black Power movement or a new black feminism? Did Black Lives Matter bring down the Confederate flag? Push President Obama to speak with a new voice? What is its protest heritage – does it draw from the lessons, tactics and legacies of anti-slavery, anti-lynching, the Black Panthers, anti-racism, anti-apartheid, or Occupy? Is there a usable past for Black Lives Matter and what is that protest memory in the US and UK? What should #BlackLivesMatterUK be about? What is the history of Black Lives Matter since the UK Race Relations Act and the US Civil Rights Movement of 50 years ago, and where is Black Lives Matter going next?

Free, all welcome, complimentary lunch will be served

Please register for the day conference, or the evening event or both

Supported by the British Academy

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