https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhAhCK_rTx8 In this talk Professor Ferguson engages the history of black queer diasporic formations in the 1970s as part of radical attempts to reimagine and eroticize socialist imaginations. The talk situates these formations within a social and political context in which various modes of difference were being mobilized to illustrate and expand the symbolic flexibility and the “writerly” potentials of socialism – particularly by the politically imaginative work of the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, the 1978 Socialist-Feminist Conference, the radical queer activist group Gay Liberation Front, and others. The talk uses these formations as the context for arguing that this decade of socialist experimentation was one in which black queer activists and artists were central. More directly, those activists and artists were part of various projects to revise socialism in accordance with an interest in politicizing homoerotic desires and eroticizing anti-racist and socialist…
By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, & Sustainability
This past November 2nd was the 35th anniversary of a day celebrated by many as Assata Shakur Liberation Day. It is the day former Black Panther Assata Shakur was liberated from a maximum-security prison, a day many acknowledge as a celebration of freedom fighters, political prisoners and exiles.
Although Shakur is widely lauded as an activist, freedom fighter, artist, and important public intellectual, the U.S. government persistently characterizes her as an enemy of the state, a terrorist. In May 2013, the FBI placed Shakur on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list and doubled the bounty for her capture to an outrageous $2 million, even though she has been granted political asylum in Cuba. But, as Mos Def eloquently declares with the title of his essay about Shakur: “The Government’s Terrorist is Our Community’s Heroine.”
“Viewed through the lens of U.S. law enforcement, Shakur is an escaped cop-killer,” Mos Def explains. “Viewed through the lens of many Black people, including me, she is a wrongly convicted woman and a hero of epic proportions.”