Apr 04

Black Women's Internationalism


Black women’s efforts to broaden the Black Freedom Movement beyond geographic borders are often overlooked. Women like Charlotta Bass, Amy Jacques Garvey, Amy Ashwood Garvey, and Queen Mother Moore assumed leadership roles in peace and anti-colonial movements worldwide. Join Ashley Farmer, Keisha Blain, and John Portlock as they discuss the impact of these women on the global movement for Black liberation.


  • Keisha N. Blain

    Brown University

    Keisha N. Blain, a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow and Class of 2022 Carnegie Fellow, is an award-winning historian of the 20th century United States with broad interests and specializations in African American History, the modern African Diaspora, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She completed a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 2014. Professor Blain is the author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). The book won the 2018 First Book Award from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and the 2019 Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians. Her second book, Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America (Beacon Press, 2021), was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a finalist for the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award.

    Professor Blain has also published four edited volumes. She is the co-editor of To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism (University of Illinois Press, 2019); New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition (Northwestern University Press, 2018); and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence (University of Georgia Press, 2016). Her latest volume is Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi (2021). Four Hundred Souls debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers' list and was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Professor Blain is now writing A Global Struggle: How Black Women Led the Fight for Human Rights (W.W. Norton). The book offers a sweeping history of human rights framed by the work and ideas of Black women in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present.

  • Ashley Farmer

    University of Texas at Austin

    Ashley Farmer is a historian of black women's history, intellectual history, and radical politics. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her book, Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era is the first comprehensive intellectual history of women in the black power movement. The book introduces new and overlooked women activists into the history of black power, examines the depth and breath of their political and intellectual engagement, and shows the relationship between women’s gendered theorizing and the trajectory of the black power movement. She is also the co-editor of New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, an anthology that examines four central themes within the black intellectual tradition: Black internationalism, religion and spirituality, racial politics and struggles for social justice, and black radicalism.

    She is also the author of several articles about African American women’s black power activism and intellectual production and her research interests include African American history, gender history, and intellectual history. She is a graduate of Spelman College and holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and an M.A. in History from Harvard University.

  • John Portlock

    University of Rochester

    John is a Ph.D. candidate in American history at the University of Rochester. His dissertation, "Before Riverside: Black Antiwar Activism, 1917-1967" focuses on the work of Hubert Harrison, A. Philip Randolph, Coretta Scott King, and Charlotta Bass. In it, he investigates the way in which the black American antiwar movement of the 20th century dovetailed, and in many ways shaped, the attendant civil rights movement. His chapter, "In the Fabled Land of Make-Believe: Charlotta Bass and Jim Crow Los Angeles" will be published in the edited collection, The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North: Segregation and Struggle Outside of the South in spring 2018.



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