Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America is a manifesto for anyone committed to social justice. Authored by Carr Center Fellow Keisha N. Blain, the book challenges us to listen to a working-poor, Black woman activist with a disability who was an intellectual of the civil rights movement as we grapple with contemporary concerns around race, inequality, and social justice. Dr. Blain will be joined in discussion by Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, to demonstrate how Fannie Lou Hamer's ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and around the world. (Registration Link to Follow)
- Dr. Keisha N. Blain | Associate Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh; President, African American Intellectual History Society; Fellow, Carr Center
- Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Moderator) | Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School
Dr. Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian of the 20th century United States with broad interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh and the president of the African American Intellectual History Society. She is currently a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University. She is also a columnist for MSNBC, covering race, gender, and politics in historical and contemporary perspectives. Dr. Blain has published extensively on race, gender, and politics in both national and global perspectives. She is the author of the multi-prize-winning book Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (2018) and co-editor of three books: To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016). Her latest books are Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi (Penguin Random House/One World, February 2, 2021); and Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America (Beacon Press, October 5, 2021)
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad is the Ford Foundation Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. He directs the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project and is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history. Before leading the Schomburg Center, Dr. Muhammad was an associate professor at Indiana University. Dr. Muhammad's scholarship examines the broad intersections of racism, economic inequality, criminal justice and democracy in U.S. History. He is co-editor of “Constructing the Carceral State,” a special issue of the Journal of American History, and contributor to a National Research Council study, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014), as well as the award-winning author of The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. He is currently co-directing a National Academy of Sciences study on reducing racial inequalities in the criminal justice system. His writing and scholarship have been featured in national print and broadcast media outlets, such as the New Yorker, Washington Post, The Nation, National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Moyers and Company, MSNBC, and the New York Times, which includes his sugar essay for The 1619 Project. He has appeared in a number of feature-length documentaries, including the recently-released Amend: The Fight for America (2021), the Oscar-nominated 13th (2016) and Slavery by Another Name (2012).