50 Years Black & Queer: Erotic Islands and the Cartography Lineage
An emergent horizon in transdisciplinary and transnational inquiry, black queer diaspora studies marks its political, cultural and intellectual genealogy through generations of black (lesbian) feminist artist activist intellectuals. Many of these queer foremothers planted the seeds of anti-hegemonic resistance in collective imaginations across the Caribbean cultural archipelago hoping for a future harvest of decolonized minds, bodies and desires. Grenadian-Barbadian lesbian feminist poet theorist Audre Lorde is a haunting presence in this queer Caribbean feminist memory archive. This roundtable critically engages the newest intervention in black queer diaspora theorizing to place Lorde at its conceptual center.

Contestations in the Classroom: Global Student Activism and the Transformation of Black Studies
Historians are now appreciating the richness of student activism and how contestations over curricula and classroom space helped formulate Black Studies. This panel will address the interrelationship between history, curriculum development, black power, and Black Studies through an exploration of student activism and the black independent school movement.

Rebel Women*: From the 1960s to the Present 
This intergenerational panel will be a dialogue from the perspective of rebel women who have been active in movements from the 1960s through to the present. They will discuss their own individual trajectories, historical movements that continue to shape our struggles today, and comment on the current moment. Panelists will also consider how Black and Latinx feminist concerns have shaped broad-based movements for social justice, the possibilities and challenges of coalitional politics, the role of students and the university in movement-building, and the meaning of liberation in this time.

*The title hails from Iris Morales’ book Through the Eyes of Rebel Women.

Black Mobilities: Performance, and WorldWide Webs of 21st Century Black Identity
This panel takes off from Gilroy and George-Graves to critically examines ongoing issues related to performance, black identity, and the contours of the emerging formations in the experiences of mobile Africans as they navigate new territories in the 21st century.

Diversifying the Academy
The panel features three scholars— Shanna Greene Benjamin (English, Grinnell College) ; Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence (Anthropology & Sociology, Spelman College), and Dr. Carol Anderson (African American Studies, Emory University). Each has contributed in notable ways to the Black Studies canon and project, through research, civic engagement, and commitment to the growth of the intellectual community. As stewards of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship programs at their respective institutions, the panelists will discuss the role of mentorship in the progression of the field of Black Studies.

Confronting Racial Bias in Policing: Breaion King’s Fight for Social Justice
This panel session by the Institute of Urban Policy Research & Analysis (IUPRA) will examine the relationship between the Black community and Austin law enforcement, with a special focus on police brutality. The Oscar nominated documentary “Traffic Stop” featuring local educator and performer Breaion King will be shown with a panel discussion following the film.

Afro-entrepreneurship: alternatives and challenges for economic development
The economic challenges for the African American population largely encompass the alternatives found within the communities themselves and in particular in afro-entrepreneurship. In recent years, several reports showed that black entrepreneurs are creating businesses at a higher rate than their white counterparts. However, in many cases, African American owner face bigger problems to consolidate long-term established businesses. Some of these problems are less access to financial resources or racially hostile environments less favorable to promoting black business survival. Difficulties in management skills, network building or problems related to self-esteem and lack of family tradition also affect the entrepreneurial capacity of the African American population. This panel will cover these topics by looking at strategic initiatives to consolidate entrepreneurship within Austin’s black community.

Reclaiming My Space: Emergent Black Studies Research at UT Austin
This panel will showcase the graduate and doctoral students’ research taking place at Black Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. As the only Ph.D. granting Black Studies program in the U.S. southwest, Black Studies attracts top future scholars and researchers who are exploring critical race theory, history, politics, art and art history, and education, at the intersection of race and identity.

Black Studies @ 50: Community Leaders
We are excited to hear from two community advocates during the closing reception for Black Studies @ 50. The research, policy work, scholarship, and cultural production happening at Black Studies is magnified when it can lift up – and be lifted up by – citizens who are on the front lines, making life better for underrepresented populations across the city.