Kellie Carter Jackson presents "We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance" in conversation w/Leah Wright Rigueur

Kellie Carter Jackson presents "We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance" in conversation w/Leah Wright Rigueur

Wednesday, June 19th 2024
7:00 pm
Red Emma's
A radical reframing of the past and present of Black resistance—both nonviolent and violent—to white supremacy.

Black resistance to white supremacy is often reduced to a simple binary, between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolence and Malcolm X’s “by any means necessary.” In We Refuse, historian Kellie Carter Jackson urges us to move past this false choice, offering an unflinching examination of the breadth of Black responses to white oppression, particularly those pioneered by Black women.

The dismissal of “Black violence” as an illegitimate form of resistance is itself a manifestation of white supremacy, a distraction from the insidious, unrelenting violence of structural racism. Force—from work stoppages and property destruction to armed revolt—has played a pivotal part in securing freedom and justice for Black people since the days of the American and Haitian Revolutions. But violence is only one tool among many. Carter Jackson examines other, no less vital tactics that have shaped the Black struggle, from the restorative power of finding joy in the face of suffering to the quiet strength of simply walking away.

Clear-eyed, impassioned, and ultimately hopeful, We Refuse offers a fundamental corrective to the historical record, a love letter to Black resilience, and a path toward liberation.

“Kellie Carter Jackson is fearless. She is not afraid to tell you want she thinks, share what she knows, or challenge prevailing wisdom. We Refuse is proof. She taps the wellsprings of memory, archives, oral histories, literature, imagination, and personal experience to tell a very Black story of armed resistance, strategic retreat, unbreakable resolve, and joyous rapture. Reading this book will cause discomfort in some folks, provoke cheers in others. But I doubt anyone will be able to put it down.” —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams

Kellie Carter Jackson is the Michael and Denise Kellen ’68 Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College. Her book Force and Freedom was a finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Museum of African American History Stone Book Award. She lives in Sherborn, Massachusetts.

Leah Wright Rigueur is the SNF Agora Institute Associate Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. Her scholarship and research expertise include 20th Century United States political and social history, Modern African American history, with an emphasis on race and political ideology, the American Presidency and presidential elections, policies and civil rights movements, and protest and unrest in the United States. Rigueur’s award-winning book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power, covers more than four decades of American political and social history, and examines the ideas and actions of black officials and politicians, from the era of the New Deal to Ronald Reagan’s presidential ascent in 1980. She is a regular political contributor to CNN and co-hosted, “You Get A Podcast! The Study of the Queen of talk with Kellie Carter Jackson.

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Baltimore, MD

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