June 20, 2023

Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies

“White supremacists are attempting to control our people's future by erasing our past. But we won't let them.” —Colin Kaepernick, founder of Kaepernick Publishing and coeditor of Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies.

The national youth-led movement fighting back against the assault on Black Studies, libraries, and the freedom to learn is gaining momentum. In an effort to support the movement, Marguerite Casey Foundation is thrilled to help get Our History Has Always Been Contraband into as many hands as possible so it can serve as a resource to all working to ensure the accurate teaching of Black history in the United States. 

On Tuesday, June 20, join Dr. Carmen Rojas, president and CEO of the foundation, for an illuminating conversation live and in person with Colin Kaepernick and Freedom Scholars Robin D. G. Kelley, PhD, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, PhD, the three co-editors of Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies. The conversation will cover not only how we got here but also the history those in power don’t want you to know, and how we can fight back to win a freer, more just society.

Each attendee will receive a free paperback copy of the book, which is a joint publication of Kaepernick Publishing and Haymarket Books. 

Get your Free Ebook Here - http://CaseyGrants.org/FreeBook

Featured Presenters

Colin Kaepernick

Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick, holder of the all-time NFL record for most rushing yards in a game by a QB, took a knee during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 to bring attention to systemic oppressions—specifically police terrorism—against Black and Brown people. For his stance, he has been denied employment by the league to this day.

Since 2016, he has founded and helped to fund three organizations—Know Your Rights Camp, Kaepernick Media, and Kaepernick Publishing—that together advance the liberation of Black and Brown people through storytelling, systems change, and political education.

In 2022, he became a New York Times bestselling author for his acclaimed children’s picture book, I Color Myself Different, which explores transracial adoption through the lens of family and identity. 

Robin D. G. Kelley

Robin D. G. Kelley is Distinguished Professor and the Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a widely published scholar, teacher, and Guggenheim Fellow whose work explores the history of social movements in the U.S., the African diaspora, and Africa—extending into research on Black intellectuals, music and visual culture, and surrealism and Marxism. 

Kelley’s most recent books include Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. He is also coeditor of numerous books, including The Russian Revolution: A View from the Third World and The Other Special Relationship: Race, Rights, and Riots in Britain and the United States. He is currently completing three book projects.

Keeanga-Yamhatta Taylor 

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is the Leon Forrest Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is a scholar of racism and inequality in U.S. housing policies. Taylor critiques public-private partnerships in public policymaking and the influence of market-based solutions in resolving trenchant social inequities. Taylor also studies radical politics and Black social movements in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is the author of three books, including the award-winning From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation and Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. Race for Profit was a semifinalist for the National Book Award and a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History. She is a contributing writer for the New Yorker.

About the Moderator

Carmen Rojas 

Dr. Carmen Rojas is the president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation. Under her leadership, the foundation launched the prestigious Freedom Scholar award, committed to ensuring that a majority of MCF’s endowment is overseen by diverse managers, and since starting in 2020 granted more than $130M in funding to dozens of organizations doing the hard work of shifting power to those people who have long been excluded from having it. Prior to MCF, Dr. Rojas was the co-founder and CEO of The Workers Lab, an innovation lab that partners with workers to develop new ideas that help them succeed and flourish. For more than 20 years, she has worked with foundations, financial institutions, and nonprofits to improve the lives of working people across the country. 

Dr. Rojas sits on the boards of Nonprofit Quarterly, Blue Ridge Labs, and Children’s Defense Fund, as well as the San Francisco Federal Reserve's Community Advisory Council and Confluence's Racial Equity Initiative Advisory Committee

She holds a PhD in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in 2007.

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