Category: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

MacArthur Foundation fellowship recipients include two Black women who say Chicago shaped their work

By Jason Beeferman

Read the full article from Chicago Sun Times, here.

Historian and author Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Jacqueline Stewart, who studies the history of cinema, both focus their work on the Black experience and uplifting Black voices. They are among 25 recipients of the no-strings-attached $625,000 fellowships, unofficially dubbed the “genius grants,” announced Tuesday.

Taylor has lived in Chicago for more than a decade. Stewart was born and raised in Hyde Park. Both said their experiences with Chicago’s Black neighborhoods played a pivotal role in their intellectual development.

The Unknown History of Black Uprisings

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Read the full article from The New Yorker, here.

This perception of riots as the decline of the nonviolent movement has marginalized the study of them within the field of history. As a result, our conventional wisdom about “the riots” of the sixties vastly underestimates the scale of Black insurgency and its political meaning. In her new book, “America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s,” the Yale historian Elizabeth Hinton recovers a much longer and more intense period of Black rebellion, which continued into the nineteen-seventies. In doing so, she challenges the dismissal of what she describes as the “violent turn” in Black protest, forging new ground in our understanding of the tactics employed by African-Americans in response to the extralegal violence of white police and residents and the unresolved issues of racial and economic inequality.

The Emerging Movement for Police and Prison Abolition

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Read the full article from The New Yorker here.

“Our current criminal-justice system is rooted in the assumption that millions of people require policing, surveillance, containment, prison. It is a dark view of humanity. By contrast, Kaba and others in this emergent movement fervently believe in the capacity of people to change in changed conditions. That is the optimism at the heart of the abolitionist project.”

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After Protests over Unauthorized Use of MOVE Child’s Bones, U. of Pennsylvania & Princeton Apologize

Watch the full story from Democracy Now! here.

“This week, 70 Princeton professors, including Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Imani Perry and Eddie Glaude, signed on to a letter published in the campus newspaper calling on the university to act. The group writes, quote, ‘The University should move beyond denial to pursue restitution and repair. … The victims of the MOVE bombing, their families, and those of us at Princeton invested in Black history and communities deserve more,’ they said.”

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Collaborative Justice-Centered Think Tank Launches at UIC: The Social Justice Portal Project

By University of Illinois at Chicago

Read the full article from Newswise here.

“John D. MacArthur Professor Barbara Ransby, director of the University of Illinois Chicago’s Social Justice Initiative, has convened a formidable roster of social justice scholars and writers as the inaugural cohort of Marielle Franco fellows, named after the assassinated Brazilian human rights leader. They are: Angela Y. Davis, Robin D. G. Kelley, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Naomi Klein. The four Franco fellows will participate in curated discussions and public events over the next two years with some of the most influential organizers in the country and scholars whose research wrestles with social and racial justice themes.”

The Meaning of the Democrats’ Spending Spree

By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Read the full article from The New Yorker here.

“If anything, the A.R.P. is defensive legislation, reacting to the crisis but lacking an offensive strategy to reverse the worsening inequality in the U.S. The federal government will help people pay for health care if they lose their jobs, but the system of for-profit health care is left untouched. Billions will be made available for rental assistance, but the unaffordability of housing remains the same. Millions of Americans will continue to struggle with debilitating debt, and to live on the federal minimum wage, which is still absurdly less than eight dollars an hour. This new spending is necessary but not nearly enough to dig ordinary Americans out of the hole created by decades of political neglect.”

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