Black Studies Open University

February 1–April 19, 2023

The Black Studies Collaboratory is a collaborative initiative to address racial inequality through bold and unique humanities-based research projects, housed in the Department of African American Studies and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project asks, What is the role of Black studies in building more just futures? What lessons from Black feminist, Black radical, and Black intellectual traditions can we apply to this moment in history? And how do we solidify our commitment to Black studies as a public good?

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Past Events

  • Wednesday, April 19, 12:30 PM

    Sacred Larder: Uplifting the Histories and Memories of Traditional Food Preservation Techniques in the Black Community

    Drawing on the history of Black food preservation techniques and memories of his maternal grandmother’s pantry in her Memphis home, chef and artist Bryant Terry presents his sculptural work Sacred Larder followed by a live performance with his mother, Beatrice Terry (as she embodies her mother cooking and singing), and artist Joshua Gabriel. 

  • Wednesday, April 12, 12:30 PM

    Black Deaf in Arts

    This panel is a rare opportunity to peek into Deaf culture and to hear from Black Deaf individuals in the arts world. Michelle Banks, Fred Beam, Harold Foxx, and Ashlea Hayes, with Antoine Hunter, discuss how to work with Deaf directors, artists, performers, and dancers; debunk the myths and realities of Deaf dancers; and speak to how people of color face at least a “triple whammy” because they are already Deaf and experience specific discrimination in this intersection.

  • Wednesday, April 5, 12:30 PM

    In White Supremacy, Black Trauma and Healing Justice as a Liberatory Practice

    Join Cat Brooks and Alecia Harger for conversation and an artistic journey exploring the role trauma plays in the lives of Black people in America.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 12:30 PM

    Educate to Liberate: A Black Panther Photographic Time Capsule Unveiled

    Join us for a look at some of the 4,000 recently discovered, never-before-seen images documenting the later years of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and focusing on the party’s community programs in Oakland.

  • Wednesday, March 8, 12:30 PM

    Ferguson Rises: Black Grief, Insurgent Memory, and the Politics of Transformation

    BSC Fellow Rashad Arman Timmons engages Michael Brown Sr. and Cal Brown in conversation about their continued fight to keep the memory and legacy of Michael Brown Jr. alive. The discussion considers the enduring significance of Ferguson in the nation’s racial landscape and ponders Black grief as a resource for social transformation. This event offers the opportunity to dialogue with the Brown family and think collaboratively about how to build a world free of racial violence.

  • Wednesday, March 1, 12:30 PM

    “On Erotic Mastery”: Pornography, Hip-Hop Feminisms, and Transness

    Academics, activists, and creatives Peace and Love El Henson, Aria S. Halliday, Kitt (aka Father Venus), and Mireille Miller-Young come together for a lively performance and conversation on Black feminisms, hip-hop, queerness, transness, the erotic, pornography, pleasure, and policing. Join us for an afternoon of creativity, criticality, and celebration.

  • Wednesday, February 22, 12:30 PM

    Hit2Hit: Battle of Celebrated Rwandan Music Producers Trackslayer and Dr. Nganji, a Documentary Screening and Discussion

    Join Abolition Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Victoria Grubbs for a documentary screening of Hit2Hit: Battle of Celebrated Rwandan Music Producers Trackslayer and Dr. Nganji and a conversation with The Trackslayer and Dr. Nganji, two of Rwanda’s top music producers. The discussion aims to spark a broader dialogue about the function of popular music in a post-genocide context

  • Wednesday, February 8, 12:30 PM

    Caught Caring: (Un)freedom and the Costs of Service Labor in the University

    Black people’s care for one another in universities can be life-giving, yet the conditions in which Black people perform this labor can be coercive and detrimental to those who care. Caleb Dawson, Adia Harvey Wingfield, and Bianca C. Williams interrogate the costs that Black people face for caring in the university and imagine freedom from these conditions.

  • Wednesday, February 1, 12:30 PM

    Ebony Visions and Cowrie Shell Dreams: Black Storytelling and Children’s Literature across the Generations

    Join BSC Elder in Residence Daphne Muse, panelists Cheryl and Wade Hudson, Krystaelynne Sanders Diggs, Dr. Ajuan Mance, and moderators Professor Leigh Raiford and Abigail Simmons for a conversation on the legacy of Black children’s literature and the writers who continue telling stories that tap into the imagination and pay homage to Black futures.