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An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States

October 9 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT

The Baton Foundation, in partnership with the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, will host a lecture about the intersectional history of the Black and Native American struggle for freedom in our country that also reframes our understanding of who was Indigenous in early America. This program is free to the public, but registration is required.

About the Book

Beginning with pre-Revolutionary America and moving into the movement for Black lives and contemporary Indigenous activism, Afro-Indigenous historian Kyle T. Mays argues that the foundations of the U.S. are rooted in anti-blackness and settler colonialism, and that these parallel oppressions continue into the present. Professor Mays explores how Black and Indigenous peoples have always resisted and struggled for freedom, sometimes together, and sometimes apart. Whether to end African enslavement and Indigenous removal or to eradicate capitalism and colonialism, he shows how the fervor of Black and Indigenous peoples’ calls for justice have consistently sought to uproot white supremacy.

Dr. Mays uses a wide array of historical activists and pop culture icons, “sacred” texts, and foundational texts like the Declaration of Independence and Democracy in America. He covers the civil rights movement and freedom struggles of the 1960s and 1970s and explores current debates around the use of Native American imagery and the cultural appropriation of Black culture. Mays compels us to rethink both our history as well as contemporary debates and to imagine the powerful possibilities of Afro-Indigenous solidarity.

About the Author

Kyle T. Mays is an Afro-Indigenous (Saginaw Chippewa) writer and scholar of US history, urban studies, race relations, and contemporary popular culture. He is an assistant professor of African American Studies, American Indian Studies, and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America.

Register Here for Zoom Lecture


October 9
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm EDT
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