Global Black Geographies: Racial Capitalism and Black Urban Experiences

Drs Renato Emerson dos Santos, Priscilla Ferreira and Willie J Wright

Funding period: 1 March 2022 – 1 November 2022
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: Rutgers-New Brunswick (USA), Advanced Institute for Critical Caribbean Studies at Rutgers-New Brunswick (USA), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro-IPPUR (Brazil), Museum of Favela Maré (Brazil), Centro Cultural Pequena África (Brazil), Iniciativa Pelo Direito à Memória e Justiça Racial (Brazil), and Museu da História e Cultura Afro-Brasileira- Muhcab (Brazil)
Dates: March 2022 (Rio de Janeiro) and October 2022 (New Brunswick, Newark and New York City)
Lead organisers: Dr Renato Emerson Nascimento dos Santos (Regional and Urban Planning Research Institute of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro-IPPUR), Dr Priscilla Ferreira (Rutgers-New Brunswick) and Dr Willie J Wright (Rutgers-New Brunswick)
Team members: Gizele Oliveira Martins (Journalist with PUC-Rio, and organizer with Movimento de Favelas do Rio de Janeiro, Movimento Internacional Julho Negro, Movimento BDS-Brazil and El Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de los Pueblos), Fransergio Goulart (Executive director of the Initiative in defense of Memoryand racial justice, and historian and Favela organizer at Baixada), Dr Yousuf Al Bulushi (University of California, Irvine), and Dr Adam Bledsoe (University of Minnesota)
Contact: Priscilla Ferreira

Abstract: As the most recent spectacle of state violence surrounding the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has demonstrated, anti-Blackness remains deeply entrenched in the architecture of urban governance in the United States. More importantly, the ensuing national and global dissemination of protests against state violence—to distant places such as Dakar and Berlin—demonstrate that the dialectical relationship between anti-Blackness and the Black radical tradition remains globally resonant. Brazil and the United States prove to be apt case studies to examine the articulations of racial capitalism and global racial regimes, and how these regimes are spatialized in the concrete locals of urban environments. This is especially so given that both countries have long histories entwined with slavery and marronage, as well as their parallel contemporary forms of violent urban confinement and rapidly growing Black social movements.

This two-part seminar series brings Black Geographies into Urban Studies while simultaneously strengthening the global network of researchers and activists interested in Black geographies studies and activist interventions against the racialized power dynamics that perpetuates devaluation, expropriation, and marginalization of Black lives and majority-Black places. It highlights the need for urban theorists to foreground Black Studies epistemologies in their work, and in so doing, to also draw on the important contributions of social movement participants in our collective knowledge production.

The international seminars will take place in academic and grassroots spaces both in Brazil and the United States. It will make space for a multiplicity of modes of interaction and knowledge production including series conversation circles, round tables, film screenings, artistic presentations, and field visits to places of Black historical importance, such as Centro Cultural Pequena África and Museu da Maré, and some activities will be hosted in favelas in Rio de Janeiro that stand out for their histories and long traditions of urban struggles and community activism in different fields.