Welcome to Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration!

We are very excited to host a dynamic, community-engaged conference about Black communities. Just eight months away, the event will take place on April 23-25 in Durham, North Carolina, a few blocks from the city’s historic Black Wall Street district and Hayti community. A century ago, the famed educators, W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington, pinned up Durham as the site of remarkable happenings among Black Americans. Fittingly, our conference will examine what is happening and what can happen with Black communities today.

Why Black communities? At this moment in our history, Black communities (which we define as spaces made up primarily of people of African descent) lead some of the most important social and political struggles of our time. And also, Black communities are cultural powerhouses that continue to influence peoples and nations in all corners of the world. At the same time, Black communities are facing critical questions about their legacies, health, and even existence. For historic Black towns like Boley, Oklahoma, Princeville, North Carolina, and Africville, Nova Scotia, to the urban Black communities formed through the great migrations of the 20th Century in places like Chicago’s South Side, Oakland, and Harlem, to movements and collectives like Black Lives Matters and the Proceso de Comunidades Negras, we believe that now is the right time to convene and engage critical discussion about these important spaces of Black activity and life.

Why community-engaged? We want to link community members’ expertise in knowing the realities of their towns, neighborhoods and groups with scholars’ expertise in the humanities, social and health sciences, and arts. We want to facilitate a global network of individuals who come from diverse experiences and locales and who possess multiple forms of knowledge about and experience with Black communities. Through this network, we envision the emergence of future collaborations that leverage a range of skills and insights, all channeled with and for Black communities. Conference participants will be able to meet and explore research partnerships with community leaders, historians, artists, public health experts, and more. They will enjoy a highly-interactive and innovative conference with unique workshops, community tours, panel discussions, and exciting keynote speakers. We guarantee a rich, participatory experience!

Consider this blog a virtual conversation leading up to the conference as we will have weekly posts on a range of Black communities and other relevant information. Please feel free to add your comments to the posts and consider submitting an original blog post too! Keep coming back to the website for updates on conference registration, keynote speakers, call for panel or paper proposals, and other conference-related information. In short, let your conference experience begin right here. We will look forward to your online participation and seeing you in person in April.

Karla Slocum & Mark Little
Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration

Tweet @BlackCom2018

The conference is organized by the Institute for African American Research, NCGrowth, Center for the Study of the American South, Southern Historical Collection, and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, all being part of the University of North Carolina.








Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration is Hosted By