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What Black America Means for Europe

For Europeans, the image of Black America has had many meanings, many textures. Join us for a discussion right around Martin Luther King Day on the significance of the struggle for racial justice on both sides of the Atlantic.

Date & Time

Jan. 19, 2021
9:00am – 10:00am ET
This event will be webcast live

What Black America Means for Europe

More than a half century ago, Martin Luther King Jr. visited the divided Cold War city of Berlin, passing through the barbed-wire walls that separated Germany, Europe and the world to speak about the need to overcome humanity’s divisions.

King’s visit was emblematic of a European tradition of political identification with black America, particularly during times of political crisis and social upheaval. That tradition came to life again last year, when crowds gathered across Europe to express their solidarity with Americans protesting the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

For Europeans, the image of Black America has had many meanings, many textures. Does it show the gulf between American aspirations and American achievements? Does it fuel and empower European traditions of solidarity and anti-racism, or is it a diversion from Europe’s own colonial past, its racist present, and its own history of exporting racism around the world? These questions are growing in importance as the number of Europeans of color rises, as do levels of incarceration, deprivation and poverty, and as struggles for racial justice intertwine on both sides of the Atlantic.

Join us for a discussion of What Black America Means for Europe with our distinguished scholars.

This event is co-sponsored by Black@Wilson.

Hosted By

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. It does this through scholars-in-residence, seminars, policy study groups, media commentary, international conferences and publications. Activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The program investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including globalization, digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance, and relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  Read more