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“Views of Race, Reparations, and U.S. Settler Colonialism from the Place of Blackness in the Pacific Northwest”

A Lecture by Dr. R. Xach Williams
Thu Oct 07, 2021
11:10 am - 12:25 pm

This lecture will engage with contemporary national calls for reparations for chattel slavery in the US through a regionally specific framing of histories of blackness in the Pacific Northwest.  In the wake of the state-perpetrated murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the subsequent protests against police brutality across the nation, the US has experienced renewed conversations around the meanings of race, violence, and inequality in US society. However, what is often lost in national discussions of race and violence are the ways in which race functions in differentiated ways across space.  By approaching a national conversation on reparations through a regionally specific lens, this paper intends to demonstrate the potential of a multiscalar approach to account for nuanced and regionally differentiated meanings of blackness, white supremacy, and power, and to highlight the importance of theoretical approaches that identify connections between structures of chattel slavery and settler colonialism in the US.

R. Xach Williams is the UCSD Black Studies Project 2020 - 2021 Post-Doctoral Fellow.  Originally from Seattle, Dr. Williams received his PhD in Ethnic Studies from UCSD in 2019 and before that completed a BA in Comparative Ethnic Studies at Washington State University in 2011.  Dr. Williams’s dissertation titled Didn’t It Rain?: Religiosity, Swingin’ Jazz, and Black Community Formations in the Pacific Northwest explores the ways that material conditions of anti-black racism, segregation, and exclusion affect the development of the Pacific Northwest from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries.

In addition to academic writing, Dr. Williams is also an emcee and hip-hop lyrical composer under the name Xyz(X), using music as a medium to explore the meanings and experiences of being black in the PNW.

Register for this Zoom lecture online

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Malathi Iyengar
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