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Book Talk – Struggle on Their Minds: The Political Thought of African American Resistance


November 15, 2017

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Room 208, Second Floor, Student Union, McNichols Campus

Join Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the African American Studies Program Alex Zamalin to discuss the book: Struggle on Their Minds: The Political Thought of African American Resistance.

American political thought has been shaped by those who fought back against social inequality, economic exclusion, the denial of political representation, and slavery, the country's original sin. Yet too often the voices of African American resistance have been neglected, silenced, or forgotten.

In this book, Zamalin considers key moments of resistance to demonstrate its current and future necessity, focusing on five activists across two centuries who fought to foreground slavery and racial injustice in American political discourse.

He looks at the language and concepts put forward by the abolitionists David Walker and Frederick Douglass, the antilynching activist Ida B. Wells, the Black Panther Party organizer Huey Newton, and the prison abolitionist Angela Davis. Each helped revise and transform ideas about power, justice, community, action, and the role of emotion in political action. Their thought encouraged abolitionists to call for the eradication of slavery, black journalists to chastise American institutions for their indifference to lynching, and black radicals to police the police and to condemn racial injustice in the American prison system. Taken together, these movements pushed political theory forward, offering new language and concepts to sustain democracy in tense times.

RSVP: Unnecessary

Contact: Alex Zamalin, assistant professor, Political Science
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