New York Times Best-Selling Author & Award-Winning Historian
Dr. Keisha N. Blain is one of the most innovative and influential young historians of her generation. Her research and writing examine the dynamics of race, gender and politics in both national and global perspectives. She completed a Ph.D. in History from Princeton University in 2014. She is a Professor of Africana Studies and History at Brown University, a columnist for MSNBC, and former president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). She is the 2022 recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Read More >
A New Take on 400 Years of Black History | Amanpour and Company
Race in America: History Matters | The Washington Post
Four Hundred Souls | CBS This Morning
Russia's Decades-Long Involvement in American Racism
Charlotta Bass: Remembering First Black Woman to Run for VP in 1952 | Democracy Now
Over the past few months, several state legislatures and governors have targeted “critical race theory”—a high-level legal and academic discipline. These attacks have provided justification for banning books by Black scholars and other writers of color. While the obsession over “critical race theory” is a new manifestation, it represents long-standing efforts to keep Black history—and the perspectives of Black writers—out of the classroom. The attack on “critical race theory” is often rooted in a desire to shield children from the uncomfortable aspects of history and evade “sensitive” topics, such as racism, white supremacy and inequality. In this talk, Dr. Blain argues for the importance of Black perspectives in the classroom and offers solutions for how parents, educators and concerned citizens can resist attempts to whitewash curricula in schools.
Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism in society. At a fundamental level, anti-racist work represents an ongoing commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and challenging structures, policies, practices and attitudes that perpetuate legacies of racism. In this talk, Dr. Blain discusses the importance of anti-racist principles to the larger goals of dismantling structures of inequality in the United States and redressing past harms and injustices. The talk draws upon lessons from history to highlight various strategies and solutions to current challenges in American society.
The struggle for Black political rights has reshaped the United States in fundamental ways. For centuries, Black people in America have resisted the social constraints and legal frameworks that have attempted to bar their political engagement. These activists, from diverse backgrounds and in various locales, have called upon everyone in the United States to play an active role in building an inclusive democracy—one that lives up to the ideals on which the nation was founded. In this talk, Dr. Blain provides a historical overview of some of the icons of the long struggle for Black political rights. The talk highlights the many strategies Black people employed to ensure that they would have full rights as citizens of the United States.
While mainstream historical narratives tend to focus on the political work of men such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis, Black women played instrumental roles in shaping the Civil Rights Movement. These women were community organizers and leaders, sustaining the movement as it grew from local communities into a national struggle. Black women, such as Ella Baker, Diana Nash, Jo Ann Robinson and Fannie Lou Hamer, were central to the movement’s success. In this talk, Dr. Blain highlights the significance of these women’s activism during the 1950s and 1960s and brings to light some of the resistance they encountered as women organizing in male-dominated spaces. The talk also emphasizes solutions for how we can confront some of the persistent challenges of sexism and misogyny today.
The history of human rights is often told through the ideas of White men. However, Black women throughout U.S. history have been at the forefront of challenging racism and white supremacy on the global stage. From Ida B. Wells to today’s Black Lives Matter leaders, Black women have effectively used the language of human rights to address racial injustice in the United States and abroad. Although Black women were largely shut out of the formal halls of power for much of United States history, they utilized a range of strategies and tactics to agitate for the rights of all people. In this talk, Dr. Blain offers a new history of human rights thinking and activism by recounting how Black women in the United States, in various locales and from diverse social backgrounds, fought for the rights and dignity of all.
“The discussion last night was nothing short of amazing. I cannot express enough, how moved I was by last night’s program. I was actually moved to tears about some of the things she said. I truly believe that Dr. Blain’s answers to our various questions has helped to create not only awareness in myself, but hopefully awareness and potential change in the 58 other people who attended the event. I have had many thought-provoking discussions with my colleagues today, and this is just a small showing of how much change we really can bring about.”
"Dr. Keisha N. Blain virtually delivered an MLK Day keynote address for our school community, followed by a Q & A session, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Students and adults alike have commented how they appreciated Dr. Blain's articulate and straight-to-the-point manner of answering the questions. As one colleague put it, 'She hit it right out of the park!'"
“We want to extend many thanks to Dr. Blain for her fireside conversation as it was powerful, insightful and moving. The feedback during and post-program from the executives, KT Moore, Cadence team and all the attendees is that it was an honor to hear Dr. Blain’s perspectives, optimism and historical context. A “phenomenal conversation” and “I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to hear from someone taking action to create systemic change from a historical lens.” Also, I want to extend my deepest appreciation and understanding to Dr. Blain for her flexibility in running over the allocated time; the conversation flowed so well, naturally and transparently; and next time we have the opportunity to work with you, we will arrange to have her speak longer as there is never enough time to cover everything.”
“Thank you so much for your presentation on Wednesday. It was absolutely everything I wanted and more. You were just simply outstanding. I've received so many positive comments about what you taught us in the way you did it. So, thank you so much. It was such a privilege to work with you.”
Email Your List
You’ve reached your maximum number of speakers for this list.
Email Your List