Kellie Carter Jackson presents "We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance"

Kellie Carter Jackson presents "We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance"

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.

RSVP on withfriendsSee all upcoming events

Location and hours

3128 Greenmount Avenue
Baltimore, MD

Tuesday-Saturday 9AM-9PM
Sunday 10AM-4PM

Get in touch


Phone: (410) 601-3072

If you'd like to propose an event, please fill out this form. If you have questions, email us at

Follow us






Get our newsletter