To Build a Black Future: Christopher Paul Harris and Barnor Hesse

Christopher Paul Harris will discuss To Build a Black Future: The Radical Politics of Joy, Pain, and Care. He will be joined in conversation by Barnor Hesse. A Q&A will follow the discussion. About the book: When #BlackLivesMatter emerged in 2013, it animated the most consequential Black-led mobilization since the civil rights and Black power era. Today, the hashtag turned rallying cry is but one expression of a radical reorientation toward Black politics, protest, and political thought. To Build a Black Future examines the spirit and significance of this insurgency, offering a revelatory account of a new political culture—responsive to pain, suffused with joy, and premised on care—emerging from the centuries-long arc of Black rebellion, a tradition that traces back to the Black slave. Drawing on his own experiences as an activist and organizer, Christopher Paul Harris takes readers inside the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) to chart the propulsive trajectory of Black politics and thought from the Middle Passage to the present historical moment. Carefully attending to the social forces that produce Black struggle and the contradictions that arise within it, Harris illustrates how M4BL gives voice to an abolitionist praxis that bridges the past, present, and future, outlining a political project at once directed inward to the Black community while issuing an outward challenge to the world. Essential reading for the age of #BlackLivesMatter, this visionary and provocative book reveals how the radical politics of joy, pain, and care, in sharp contrast to liberal political thought, can build a Black future that transcends ideology and pushes the boundaries of our political imagination. About the author: Christopher Paul Harris is an Assistant Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University's Department of African American Studies. About the interlocutor: Barnor Hesse is an Associate Professor of African American Studies, Political Studies, and Sociology at Northwestern University. According to his university profile, his research interests include, but are not limited to: black political thought, blackness and affect, and race and governmentality.