Tag: racism

Erasure of Black Thought: A Conversation about Critical Race Theory with Black Academics and Writers

“Erasure of Black Thought” will be a conversation among Black academics that unpacks the current challenges to freedom of expression in schools, colleges, and the public sphere in regards to racism, history, and diversity (i.e. critical race theory). The event will offer a clear-eyed view of the current slate of censorious threats, while also providing concrete action items to push back against them.



Dr. Blair LM Kelley headshotDr. Blair LM Kelley is assistant dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and associate professor of History at North Carolina State University. Kelley is currently at work on a new book, Black Folk: The Promise of the Black Working Class, for Liveright/W. W. Norton and Company, which was awarded a 2020 Creative Nonfiction Grant by the Whiting Foundation. Her first book, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship, won the Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize for best book from the Association of Black Women Historians. Active inside the academy and out, Kelley has produced and hosted her own podcast and has been a guest on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, MSNBC’s All In and Melissa Harris-Perry show, NPR’s Here & Now, and WUNC’s The State of Things. She has written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe RootTheGrioEbonySalon, and Jet magazine. Highlighted as one of the top-tweeting historians by History News Network, Kelley was among the first generation of historians active on Twitter. She has been tweeting as @profblmkelley for more than 12 years, and she has over 43,000 followers. Kelley received her BA from the University of Virginia in history and African and African American studies. She earned her MA and Ph.D. in history, and graduate certificates in African and African American studies and women’s studies at Duke University.

Jennifer Christine Nash headshotJennifer Christine Nash is the Jean Fox O’Barr Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. She earned her Ph.D. in African American studies at Harvard University and her J.D. at Harvard Law School. She is the author of three books: The Black Body in Ecstasy: Reading RaceReading Pornography (awarded the Alan Bray Memorial Book Award by the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association), Black Feminism Reimagined (awarded the Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize by the National Women’s Studies Association), and Birthing Black Mothers. She is also the editor of Gender: Love (Macmillan Reference USA, 2016). Her research has been supported by the ACLS/Burkhardt Residential Fellowships, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s Career Enhancement Fellowship Program.


Danielle Purifoy headshotDanielle Purifoy is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Purifoy completed a Ph.D. in environmental politics and African American studies at Duke University. Purifoy earned a BA in English and political science from Vassar College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Purifoy’s current research traces the roots of contemporary environmental conditions in the U.S. South, specifically in Black towns dating back to the postbellum era. Purifoy has also written about the legal dimensions of environmental justice and equity in food systems. Purifoy is the former Race & Place editor at Scalawag, a magazine devoted to Southern politics and culture, and the current board chair of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network.

History, Racism, and Education in Oklahoma (Virtual)

Youth advocate and Oklahoma Board of Education member Carlisha Williams Bradley and University of Oklahoma history professor Anne Hyde join PEN America for a discussion of currents threats to honest teaching of history and racism in Oklahoma schools and universities, in the context of social and political backlash against anti-racism education, and in the wake of the passage of HB 1775 in May. This event is a chance to support the writers, readers, scholars, and free expression supporters in Oklahoma and the rest of the country who are being targeted by wrongheaded legislation.


This event is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association and Magic City Books.


Carlisha Williams Bradley headshotCarlisha Williams Bradley is a passionate educator and youth advocate who serves as the executive director of ImpactTulsa. Most recently, Bradley served as the executive director of Tulsa Legacy Charter School (TLCS). Under her leadership, TLCS became the first charter school in the state of Oklahoma to join the prestigious portfolios of Charter School Growth Fund and NewSchools Venture Fund. Bradley was also a 2017 School Systems Leader Fellow who supported Tulsa Public Schools as a senior consultant to the superintendent’s cabinet for strategy and talent development. Prior to these roles, Bradley served on the National Leadership team of Lighthouse Academies, which served over 7,000 students and 825 teachers, principals, and staff members nationwide. In this role, she managed the highest performing school in the network and Oklahoma school expansion. Bradley was a former middle school teacher and administrator who worked abroad in nonprofit development before entering the classroom. Prior to teaching, Bradley founded Women Empowering Nations, an organization devoted to the self-esteem and leadership development of girls of color in Africa and the United States. Bradley holds an MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, a BBA in entrepreneurship and venture management, and a BA in African and African-American studies from The University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Anne Hyde headshot

Dr. Anne Hyde is professor of history at the University of Oklahoma (OU). An expert on the American West and Indigenous histories, she is editor-in-chief of The Western Historical Quarterly. She serves as the faculty coordinator for OU’s required U.S. history survey course, enrolling 3,600 students each year. She has also served as faculty director of the American Historical Association’s “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States” project. Her latest book is Born of Lakes and Plains: Mixed Descent Families and the Making of the American West (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022).


James Tager headshotJames Tager is the research director at PEN America. Tager previously worked with the Asia & the Pacific Programme at the International Commission of Jurists, first as a Satter Human Rights Fellow and subsequently as an international associate legal advisor. Before that, he was a 2013-2014 Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellow, researching civil society responses to the developing human rights framework within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He has lived and worked in Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia. Tager holds a BA from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.