Exploring Black Politics

Friday, Jul 12, 2019

In this Graduate Series Interview, Jordie Davies (moderator) sits down with Keahnan Washington to discuss the influence of Black Politics, Activist Movements; like Black Lives Matter, and the importance of voting in today's political climate.

Jordie Davies (Moderator) is a doctoral candidate studying American Politics. Her research interests include Black politics, social movements, political participation, and political communication. Her research focuses on the influence of social movements and new media on political attitudes and participation.

Keahnan Washington is pursuing a joint Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University. Keahnan is a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Orleans’ Midlo Center for the Study of New Orleans, and is currently conducting fieldwork in New Orleans for his dissertation project using ethnographic methods and archival research to understand how New Orleanians, impacted contemporarily by the carceral state and historically through legacies of carceralization and enslavement in the Deep South, envision and enact concepts of freedom, resistance, and citizenship in their political struggles.

 


Interview Transcript

 

JordieDavies: (0:00) So my name is Jordie Davies. I am a fourth year PhD student in the Political Science Department at the University of Chicago. I study Biopolitics Social Movements. And here at the 'I am My Ancestors' Wildest Dream Conference', I presented a poster on some Preliminary Dissertation Research about um, public support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. So, I've been working with Public Opinion Data from the GenForward Survey, polling uh, 18- to 35-year-olds, about their attitudes about Black Lives Matter. Whether they strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, some strongly oppose the Black Lives Matter Movement and just kind of looking at the indicators for public support for Black Lives Matter. And so, thinking about protests, thinking about black politics, and what its influence has been on young people today.

Keenan Washington: Uh, my name is Keenan Washington. I'm a sixth year uh, PhD candidate in uh, the Departments of Anthropology and African American Studies at Yale University. Um-- so, I presented a paper on um, 'Love Politics, Speculative Democracy Affect[?' um, uh, related to my work in uh, New Orleans. So, I'm an Ethnographer and I did field work in New Orleans, uh, with a group of formerly incarcerated organizers. We are working on issues of uh, voting enfranchisement and Status Space Discrimination.

Davies: You gave a really excellent presentation today, Keenan.

Washington:  [Laughing Oh. Thank you, thank you.

Davies: It was really excellent. So, if you if you could, could you say a bit more about kind of-- I think one thing that kind of ties our work together is Political Participation. So I'm very interested in alternative modes of political participation, protest, what protest means for an individual's political profile, how they see themselves. Um, but I'd love to hear a bit more about how voting um, is kind of central to your work, and what you think that does for um, formerly incarcerated folks. Um, especially in its kind of a landscape of disenfranchisement in and outside of prison.

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm. Well, yes,(2:00) so, 'Vote-- 'Voice of the Experienced', is the organization I'm working for. Um, and one of their main goals is to get people participating in Electoral Politics. Uh, and mostly, they focus on friends and family of incarcerated. Especially people with uh, felonies. Because if-- in Louisiana, if you've got a felony, um, you can't vote. Um, and um, they're concerned with just getting people out. You know, getting people out um, involved, engaged with both electoral politics. But I think, the end goal is to create um, a community of uh, formerly incarcerated people who can um, uh, work on the issues that they face.

Davies: That's fantastic. Are there modes of organizing um, outside of the vote? Um, with the vote organization?

Washington:  Yes, yes. So, they do policy intervention. Um, they are part of um-- For example, one of the organizers works in the um, HANO, which is the Housing Authority of New Orleans. And she's on the committee for um-- When formerly incarcerated people apply for public housing, uh, there's a committee that has to review. And so, they know how to position themselves in institutions of power, that's one of their goals. But on the ground, it's mostly about engaging with people one on one. It's about just, you know, hearing about their issues. Um, talking about these issues and trying to come up with like a political like, you know, you're not this atomized individual. What you're going through, five other people on your block are going through.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Like it's not just you. And then, what are we going to do about uh, this now?

Davies: That's really fantastic. And you opened your presentation with the story about a woman that you were canvasing. Could you say a little bit more about that?

Washington:  Yeah, yeah. So, I was working as a canvasser(4:00) with VOTE, um, as part of their um, efforts to get out information about local candidates and different measures that were on the ballots. And I encountered a woman who was just fed up.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Um, we were in a public housing project. Um, I was with-- I had a partner with me, an older woman and we we ran into this woman who just-- she just flat out told us, she was like, "Don't give me any of your papers, don't give me like any of your spiel about like voting and what it is, because I'm not for it." But I view that as um, a form of participation.

Davies: Mm-hmm.

Washington:  So that even non participation is participation politically. Um, it's not participation in Electoral Politics. Um, but as Norris Anderson says, the Executive Director, "It's just come as you are."

Davies: Mm-hmm

Washington:  "And do what you can do at that moment." And so, maybe one day, you know, she might be like, "Okay, maybe I'll vote because I like this candidate." Or maybe she'll go off and do other things that will benefit her community, her family, you know, things like that.

Davies: That's really excellent. There's an activist um, I believe, she's done a lot of work in Chicago. I think she lives in New York now. Her name is Miriam Cava. And one thing that she says, and I follow her on Twitter, and the reason, so that's how I know this, but what she says is, "Voting is harm reduction."

 Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Davies: And so, I think that that's a really kind of important way that voting can be um, kind of on a slate of political activities--

Washington:  Yeah.

Davies: --that a person can do without kind of valorizing it as the only example. Um, like we were talking about earlier, there's so much kind of anxiety around voting um, especially post 2016. And now, the midterms are coming up. But I think um, one thing that kind of links our work together is seeing the possibility in um, political activities outside of the vote.

Washington:  Yes, yes, yes. And especially, with the growth of um, I guess, social media.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Black Lives Matter--

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  --which is your um,(6:00) focus. People are waking up to different forms of um, engaging. Not only with structures that are, you know, these, you know, abstract structures we think of above us, but with each other. It's really about conversation. It's really about um, getting to know each other on a human level--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  And then moving from there.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  Like, you know, sharing experiences, sharing um, how we are in the world. Um, and I think that's very, like, I- that was beautiful-- but excellently put about voting as a harm reduction.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Because even with the people I work with, voting is part of their mission statement. It's, there are about 501(c)(3) now.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  But they do a lot.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  They do, like on the ground, like grassroots organizing, they provide services to people, they can be close when they need it. So it's just about letting people know that there are other people like them and- -

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Who want to make the world better.

Davies: Absolutely. And I wonder, you know, as we kind of approach like election season, um, if there's a way to kind of um, you know, kind of let people voice their frustrations um, with the system. I think that um, social movement politics is a really good way to do that, kind of outside of traditional channels. Um, so I think the social movements encompass kind of a political program, you know, what I mean? And it's more than kind of one moment.

Washington:  Right.

Davies: Which elections can often be about, you know. One moment, although, you know, they have lasting effects, right? 

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: We definitely know that now. Um, but I think that you know, letting people participate in um, protests and alternative types of politics is a way that people kind of demonstrate things that are important to them outside of the vote. Um, because you know, kind of back to that thing, like voting is harm reduction, can suggest that the harm still can exist--

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: --you know, even amidst the vote.

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: You know, even amidst the possibility of voting. And I wonder kind of how,(8:00) you know, folks who are committed to, you know, um, you know, black politics and liberation can kind of stand in the gap, in a sense.

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: I guess, for people who may not want to vote, who may not have access um, you know, your work talks a little bit about how the course will stay, bleeds out into everyday life.

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: Um, and you know, I don't know, I just, one thing I'm kind of grappling with myself is the desire to make sure that we don't judge people for not voting--

Washington:  Yes, yes, yes.

Davies: --and not wanting to vote. And not blame them for the problems--

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: --that come as uh, you know, as a result of their choice. All right, you know, I don't think it's actually result of their choice. I think it's you know, reminding people I think, that this is a part of a larger system, I think, is our role especially as academics. But I'm just wondering, kind of, what are the things that we can do to kind of stand in the gap, I guess, for people? Um.

Washington:  Mm-hmm. I mean, I think part of it is um, engaging people--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --um, at their place at that moment.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  So, like when I was canvassing, what I noticed, and we can talk about, this leads into your work. I noticed that the older voters, (and this was during the presidential election). The older black women voters uh, were all in. They were, "You gotta vote for Hillary, we got to get this done."

Davies: Oh, yes.

Washington:  But the younger ones, the younger black women were mostly like, the epithet, like Bernie Bro's.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  So they were like, all for Bernie.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  And once Bernie, they were just like, "No, I--"

Davies: That's really interesting.

Washington:  Yeah, they were just like, "No, I'm not gonna vote. It's a--." They viewed it as a false choice between two candidates. They didn't find that appealing.

Davies: And they're not wrong. Right?

Washington:  Right, exactly, exactly. Um, but I think, part of it is just meeting them where they are.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  And letting them-- like the people that vote are very(10:00) good about eliciting, uh, eliciting uh, calls for help from people or like you know, like they're like um, "You've got to reach your hand out to get a hand out." That's--

Davies: Yeah.

 Washington:  like their thing. So, if they don't know that you're going through something,--

Davies: Right.

Washington:  --then you've got to speak up.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  You gotta say something about whatever it is that's bothering you.

Davies: That's bothering you. Absolutely.

Washington:  And they don't promise to fix it. But they're like, "Well, we've got people with us." And I think, another important thing is working in coalition.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Like New Orleans is like um, hopping with like political groups, and there are people that are really committed to--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --um, being political.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  Like it's, it's amazing. Um, but they work in coalition. And so they spread around, it's not just you know, vote is not the only one doing XYZ. They make sure they're working with other groups. Um, we had a--

Davies: That's so important.

Washington:  Yeah, we had a um, warrant and that released type court thing.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Um, and so they uh, 'Stand With Dignity', which is a group that works on like, anti-violence.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  And VOTE got together. And they basically just uh, sent flyers at the neighborhoods and they're like, "Okay, we, we got a judge"-

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --um, "on our premises. Uh, if you come with your, like, a list of your debts,"-

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  "Then she might forgive it."

Davies: Wow.

Washington:  And so we had, they had people like out the line, I mean, out the door. Um, and I think part of it, so just kind of like-- First of all, it's not even trying to figure out what people need.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  It's not about like saying, "Oh, you need to do this, you need to do this." It's about, you know, engaging with them--

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  --until they're comfortable enough to be like, "Well, you know, you know, I want this for my life."

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Or, "I need this." And then seeing how you can like mutually, like, solve it.

Davies: Absolutely. I mean, I think, politics has to emanate from the people.

Washington:  Yes, yes, yes.

Davies: It really has to. I mean, you know, I think us academics, often we are engaged with theory,(12:00) right? That, you know, maybe outlines like a particular political program, but I think, you know, obviously, what people know what they need. Right?

 Washington:  Right, right. Right. Right. And I wholeheartedly feel that the people or organizers on the ground are doing their own like forms of theorizing.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  Like they're very um-- These are very, like incisive, astute like-

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  You know, if they weren't um, if they didn't have that um, status of formerly incarcerated.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Or if they had never encountered the Prison System, like these could have been, like, the judges and the lawyers,--

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  --you know, and it's, yeah.

Davies: I think that's really astute. Because I think that uh, protests and organizing um, help the public learn--

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: --about politics, you know, what I mean?

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Davies: And so, and my um, work on--one kind of my-- Kind of one of my key questions is how uh, you know, protest politics filter out into the public, and how the public kind of adds that back to their political values. And so, I think you know, people know now saying, "Black Lives Matter."

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: "Yes, I agree Black Lives Matter." And not countering it with, you know, "Oh, I think All Lives Matter.", you know. I think that people know that they're agreeing with a particular type of political program. They're asserting types of political beliefs that they have, when they align themselves with, with this social movement. And I think that's really important especially um, as people are attempting to influence you know, political outcomes, right?

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Davies: And understand, you know, what are the protests? You know, I mean, what are the politics of this particular time period? What are the politics of this generation?

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: And so kind of thinking about the ways that activist help the public learn, right?

Washington:  Yeah, yeah. And I think, like the success of Black Lives Matter, and to some-- Well maybe not, Occupy maybe wasn't as successful,--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --but it's all about um-- And they got critiques about like the leaderless--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --organizations like, "Oh, you don't have the leader,(14:00) you don't have like, a five-point plan of what you're going to do." And it's really is about like, just that grassroots. They do have a five-point plan, but you just don't know about it, because they're talking with their neighbors about it. You know?

Davies: Absolutely. And I think too-- I don't think it's even fair to say that like, Occupy didn't work, right?

Washington:  Yeah.

Davies: Because I mean, especially in this point about um, political learning,

Washington:  Mm-hmm.

Davies: Thinking about that kind of 99% rhetoric.

Washington:  Yeah, that's--

Davies: It's, it's filtered up into our presidential elections. That was like Bernie Sanders, like kind of rallying cry, right?

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: For campaigns. And so I think that it's important to kind of acknowledge um, the political, like learning work and the knowledge work that activists and organizers are doing. Um, and I think that uh, the organization VOTE, like I'm certain they're kind of re-framing what you know, voting and participation.

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: I mean, it sounds like they're re-framing what voting participation is for a group of people that are often left behind.

Washington:  Yeah, and these are people who, in general are ignored.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  Norris calls it 'The Sleeping Giant'.

Davies: Mm-hmm.

Washington:  Because this is uh, a vast group of people who, if they could participate, would probably do it.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Because their conditions aren't the greatest and it's usually a legal discrimination. It's not just stigma. It's not just um, uh, you know, they're not, they're not just pariahs, because of like people around them. It's the-- It's built into the legal system.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  No public housing, no-- You know.

Davies: It's part of the landscape.

Washington:  Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Davies: I want to ask you about your methods. Um, so a lot of my work, I do largely kind of Quantitative Public Opinion work at this point. I'm hoping to kind of get into more Mixed Methods.

Washington:  Mm-hmm.

Davies: I'm working on interviewing folks. But I wanted to talk to you about kind of what was your um, kind of goal and your kind of methodology, especially like, when you are talking to individuals and how maybe you structured um, your interviews.

Washington:  Sure,(16:00) sure. So, um, in Anthropology, the main um, I guess, type of uh, the founding uh, method--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --of Anthropology is Ethnography.

 

Davies: Mhm

Washington:  And so, Ethnography is both the method and the end product; the monograph that we produce usually. 

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Um, and so in Ethnography, we do this thing called Participant Observation.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  And so part of-- What I find beautiful about this method is that it's just about being there.

Davies: Mm-hmm.

Washington:  And it's about like you're engaging with people like in their "natural lives".

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  Like you're following them. You-- You're prompting them when you can.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Um, and it is about being um--

Davies: About being there.

Washington:  Yeah, it's about being there. And it's about like really um, getting into like their daily lives.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  Um, and so the interviews for me um, some people will structure um, I have like semi structured--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --interviews where they sit people down, they'll do focus groups. I decided it would be more um, beneficial for my project to do more of a naturalistic conversational uh, mode of interviewing. And so, it was more like um-- so I was a super member at VOTE. And I think, I still am counted as a super member.

Davies: Super member. Yeah.

Washington:  So, I would show up to all their events.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  I would help, you know, anything I could do to help out.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Because I think they needed um--Sometimes, they just need bodies.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  They don't need the academic to come in--

Davies: I think that's-- Yeah.

Washington:  --and intellectualize.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  Yeah, so it was just, I was a body on the ground.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Um, but while there,  I would-- that someone would say something, I would be like, "Well, what do you mean by that?"

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  You know, "What is-- What does that mean?" Like, "How does that relate to what you said last week?"

Davies: Wow.

Washington:  Or you know-- And they'll really like, get into, "Okay, well, this is what I meant. And this is why this is important to me, or this is my--"

Davies: You have the query.

Washington:  Yeah, yeah. And it's great to just kind of um,(18:00) sit back as to kind of step back.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  You know, let people take up that space.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  And Aimee Meredith Cox, who is an Anthropologist at Yale, just uh, I think the last week of September released a mini article on I think, it's Cultural Anthropology website.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  And she talks about how like um, as anthropologists, what we should be doing is not learning about people."

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Like learning about people isn't enough, especially given these times we are in.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  It's about engaging with people. It's about learning from people.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Because they might have something to teach us. You know?

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  Um, yeah

Davies: That's really incredible. I think, I mean, part of the work I do is about um, aggregation. You know, what I mean? Thinking about um, larger trends in politics, and you know, trends over time, trends over like, very large groups of people. And I think, there is something so important, and this conference has really been reinforcing this for me about the particular, you know, what I'm saying?

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Davies: Something I hope to do in my work is interview activists and understand kind of their own political development. And I don't think that, that's something that you can necessarily-- I mean, although you know.

[Laughter]

Davies: I don't want to, you know, talk about methods. My method badly, though, I mean, I think, you know, understanding political trends and understanding how a large groups of people are responding politics is really important. But I think, I really love the idea of like an Ethnography and like, just kind of letting the subject matter arise--

Washington:  Uh-hmm. 

Davies: --from individuals themselves. Um, and I think that this is something um, that's really important in um, black studies as well.

Washington:  Yes, yes, yes.

Davies: Um, kind of taking note of the particular um, and understanding how that can create its own landscape, can create larger landscapes um, and kind of change the course of how we're thinking about broader things.

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Yeah, and under like an ethos of just um- -(20:00) An ethos of black feminism.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  It's all about like, using experiential knowledge to formulate ideas.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  It's about narrativising your own, these own experiences you have.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Um and not to say that that's all of black studies, or that that should be all of black studies.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  Because I think, the quantitative components are very important. Because they do get those-- You usually do get those big picture like, "Okay, like, what's going on?"

Davies: This is a snapshot in time. Right?

Washington:  Yeah. And Anthropologists, we use that for--So, a lot of like uh, Social Scientific Disciplines use like Deductive Reasoning.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  It's going from the particular to the general.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  And then um, anthropologists will do Inductive Reasoning.

Davies: Right.

Washington:  So we go from the general to the particular. And so, the quantitative numbers, people can look at it and be like, "Huh, I wonder what that means in this--."

Davies: In this context?

Washington:  Yeah.

Davies: In this setting.

Washington:  Yeah. Yeah. You can put them in conversation.

Davies: Absolutely. I mean, I think, hopefully, right? I mean, I think the best work does um, both ideally, right?

Washington:  Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Davies: You know, if only we could all do perfect--

Washington:  Right. [Laughter]

Davies: --Inductive and Deductive Reasoning. Well, I guess, the kind of last thing we could perhaps end on is our experience at this conference.

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: Um, for me, I think it's so lovely, on the one hand to kind of engage with um, you know, Interdisciplinary Scholars. Um, all kind of centered on blackness,--

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: -on black experience, on what we can draw um, from various contexts of blackness, um, and remembering kind of what it is to be in the African American studies, like discipline.

Washington:  Yeah. Yeah.

Davies: You know, and the connections we can make with each other as scholars, and what we can draw um, from our own work into AFAM, and from AFAM into our own work um, and in other disciplines, right? And so,(22:00) it's been such a kind of warm um, conference and such a, like, thought-provoking conference. Because I think, it draws from kind of what we know. You know, what we--you know, what--you know, African American like you know, really important African American, like study scholars have established over time from, you know, well, as to the voice, to spellers, all of these important kind of thinkers and how they kind of still resonate within you know, these completely different new context.

Washington:  Right. Right. And I think, part of it also like to add on, like the Interdisciplinarity is key.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Like. I feel like the-- there are ways in which the disciplinarity kind of helps broaden those lacuna--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --that Black Voices fall through.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  And so, it is important to be able to talk across disciplines, because there--there's something in common.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  There's a reason for this conference. Um, there's a reason that people felt the need to get together.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  Talk about these issues that they may not be able to talk about in their home departments,--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --or if they're artists out in the world.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Yeah, but I believe that um, it's very important to um, this was-- This was just a very important, very beautiful get together--

Davies: Right.

Washington:  --of minds.

Davies: What is-- Isn't like the Black Impossible, one of the themes here. So, what is the Black Impossible? Do we think?

Washington:  You know, I don't know.

Davies: You don't know?

Washington:  Because part of- part of me um, I really appreciated how people kind of took that apart--

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  --and kind of thought about what possibility is. Um, the contradictions of possibility within this like idea of impossible.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  Because I was worried that there is going to be um, too many like sad stories.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  You know, like it in there, it's(24:00) valid because that's people's lives.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  But I think that sometimes in the academic context, we do, like we theorize, we were up in the clouds.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  Sometimes it's depressing.

Davies: Yeah.

Washington:  That's like about, abstractly about these things.

Davies: Uh-hmm.

Washington:  So it's good to be-- This conference in particular was great, because it was uh, just black life. It was like uh,-- It was, you know, a focus on black life, the good, the bad.

Davies: Absolutely.

Washington:  And it was real, you know, it was a real, like, material like-

Davies: Yeah, I think, one kind of really wonderful, like common theme through that work is kind of looking at black folks in the past and in the present, and seeing the ways that they are recreating um, their context and re-imagining the future.

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Davies: So, you know, work on you know, black folks in Europe,--

Washington:  Yeah.

Davies: --like creating new monuments,

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: --you know, reclaiming space for black people, you know. Black entrepreneurs in Brazil, you know, creating space for themselves and their community, um, within a capitalistic structure.

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: Um, you know, your work with organizers, you know, determining to like reconstitute the citizenship of, you know, black folks who have been disenfranchised. I mean, I think--you know, part of Black Studies is re-imagining the future. Um and, you know, pushing against the bounds of what seems to be possible until like, what is, what may be impossible, you know. Um, there's really a type of, I think, futurism in Black Studies.

Washington:  Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Davies: Um, and I-- I'm quite inspired by that. Especially as you know, someone who studies protests,

Washington:  Uh-hmm. Uh-hmm.

Davies: --which is always kind of, you know, pushing out the bounds of what is, you know politically present, right?

Washington:  Uh-hmm.

Davies: So, it's been a really great conference, and I'm really glad to have met you.

Washington:  Yeah, you too. You too. It's great. Thank you. Thank you to the Department of African American Studies at Princeton for allowing us to do this podcast.

Davies: Yes. Cheers.

Washington:  [Laughing]

[END]

 


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