Theme Panel: Black Politics across Borders

Black Politics across Borders


(Chair) Danielle P. Clealand, University of Texas at Austin; (Presenter) Debra Thompson, McGill University; (Presenter) Marcus Johnson, UMD College Park; (Presenter) Niambi M. Carter, Howard University; (Presenter) Yanilda Maria Gonzalez, Harvard University; (Presenter) Tari Ajadi, Queen’s University

Session Description:
The Black Lives Matter protests for Black humanity against police brutality were part of a global movement in 2020. South of the United States, for example, Black people also asserted, Las Vidas Negras Importan. Protests throughout the world were not solely in solidarity with the movement in the United States but were primarily reactions to Black lives lost in each country at the hands of police. Much like protests in the United States, these protests may have been inspired by one or more specific tragedies but were rooted in generational anger and grief from a history of violence against Black communities. In response to similar histories, protests occurred in Indonesia, Canada, France, South Africa, England, and beyond to support racially marginalized populations who are targeted by the police at comparatively higher rates than dominant racial groups. Moreover, Black activists are engaged in protesting encroaching fascism, democratic deficits, rising racial inequality and the role of capitalism in exacerbating those inequalities. Examining Black politics through a global lens reveals the similarities in experience and racial positioning that come with the entrenched racial hierarchies that exist throughout the African Diaspora, disadvantaging Black folks. Globally, Black activists communicated about and protested systemic racism long before Black Lives Matter became a movement. Scholarship on racial identification, racial inequality, voting behavior, racial ideology, and racial representation in the region responds to these realities and allows us to compare Black politics hemispherically in critical and meaningful ways. This roundtable will gather political scientists engaged in racial politics globally who call for 1) a prioritization of this scholarship in comparative politics and 2) increased collaboration across political science fields to study racism from a global perspective.