In a letter to Black America, American poet laureate Tracy K. Smith states that blackness comes in many shades and shapes. She writes: “We are many things, aren’t we? We are hair. God yes, we are hair. And song. And memory. We are a language so deep it has no need for words … I’ve always felt great freedom in the countless territories making up the realm of Blackness. So many routes to wholeness. So many versions of joy.”

Whereas Black people in Africa and the diaspora have experienced oppression, they refused to be defined by oppression, terror and pathology. Today we celebrate the beauty, diversity, and riches of blackness across the globe. Blackness is aliveness; it is joyfulness, diversity, and above all, beingness. This conference engages with the many ways of being black across the globe today.

The Africana Studies Program and the Division of Equity, Inclusion, & Community are proud to announce Carleton’s first undergraduate conference on “Global Blackness in the 21st Century.” Undergraduate students from across the country are invited from September 27-28 to present scholarship and listen to a keynote address given by Shatema Threadcraft, professor at Vanderbilt University.

Proposals are due on June 14, 2024. To submit a proposal, complete the webform below.

Suggested Topics for Papers

We invite proposals for papers on the many aspects of being Black in the world today. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Black women’s reproductive rights around the world
  • Ways of expressing Black Joy
  • Manifestations of Black Self-expression
  • Black Feminism/Womanism
  • Black Music as an expression of being
  • Art and Self Expression
  • Black Empowerment
  • Diasporic, Global, and Transnational Blackness
  • Black Social Movements and Contentious Politics
  • Intraracial Inequality
  • Migration and Citizenship 
  • Representations of Blackness Globally and Locally
  • African Immigration to the Global North and Global South
  • Transnational ties in Black families, associational life, and businesses
  • Parenting-While-Black
  • African American and African Immigrant Relations


This is an undergraduate conference, which is open to all undergraduates across the country. 

Global Blackness in the 21st Century Conference Proposal Fall 2024

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