UT to Host Black Matters Conference

Social justice activist Angela Davis will deliver closing keynote

The University of Texas at Austin has announced its first-ever international Black Studies conference, to be held Sept. 29-30. Black Matters: The Futures of Black Scholarship and Activism will focus on activism and critical thinking in the world of Black Studies, as well as culture, history, and policy related to the black community.

Angela Davis

Registration is already closed for the two-day event, but panels will be livestreamed. The conference will open this Thursday with a keynote address from Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, the young man killed by police in Ferguson, Miss., in 2014, sparking a national discussion on police brutality. Spoken word poet and actor Saul Williams (Slam) will deliver Thursday evening’s keynote address. Friday’s closing keynote will be given by civil rights icon and activist Angela Davis.

With the stated goal of highlighting the work of UT Black Studies department faculty and students, the conference will also include such panels as:

• The Role of Quantitative Research in Black Studies
• The Literary Is Political
• Black Women and the Carceral State from Slavery to Black Lives Matter
• Black Art Matters: The Role of Artist Activists in the New Millennium
• We Are the Future: A Black Queer Diaspora Roundtable

Conference participants are also invited to tour three cultural galleries around UT’s campus: The Warfield Center’s New Gallery, The Gordon-White Building, and LLILAS Benson’s Black Diaspora Archive. In total, 17 panels, keynotes, and events centered around black culture, politics, and activism are to happen during the course of Black Matters.

Find the full schedule and simulcast at the Black Matters conference site.

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Black Studies, Angela Davis, Lezley McSpadden, Michael Brown, Saul Williams, Black Matters: The Futures of Black Scholarship and Activism

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