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Blackness, rememory, and the BlaQueer experience

September 10, 2018
By Whitney Helm

Ousley scholar to talk about Black Queerness at keynote 

This year's #GetWoke series kicks off with the 2018-19 Ousley Scholar-in-Residence Tabias Olajuawon Wilson's keynote on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in Moore Lounge. Tabias is an author, consultant, speaker, scholar-creator, and Ph.D. student, who was selected as one of BlogHERs 2017 Voices of The Year. Their work focuses on the intersections and compounded effects of race, law, sexuality, and gender in the United States.

"The talk will stand on the ground that Christina Sharpe blazed with "In The Wake: On Blackness & Being." I want to think alongside this work and center the importance and magic—the Black and BlaQueer Magic—of embodied knowledge in the moments, era and proclamation of Black Lives Matter. More specifically, I'm going to speak about the importance of what Toni Morrison has called "rememory" and how we can use this embodied knowledge to "think blackly" about violence, progress narratives and the other moments and frameworks that continue to frame and reframe blackness—and by extent, people of color/politics—in this world," says Tabias of their keynote lecture.

The Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusivity (OADI)'s #GetWoke series for this school year will focus on "Speaking Truth to Power in the age of 'Fake News'." The series strives to answer the following questions: What does "fake news" actually mean? And how can we understand what is "fake news" and what it is not? How do perceptions of this concept impact who we advocate for, what problems are prioritized, and what bodies are valued," according OADI materials.

"OADI selected Tabias because in the current political climate it is important for students to see individuals model how to effectively carry out social justice work both academically and legally. Tabias has successfully found a way to combine their artistic passions with their academic gaze. I am excited for the students to learn various ways to do this work while also prioritizing self-care,"  says Atiera Coleman, senior director of OADI.

The Ousley Residency was named for Grace Ousley, the first African-American woman to graduate from the college.

Additional #GetWoke events at 7 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium:

  • Friday, Nov 9, 2018 - #GetWoke: Restorative Justice
  • Friday, Feb 8, 2019 - #GetWoke: Colonized Bodies of the Caribbean
  • Friday, April 5, 2019 - #GetWoke: Social Justice as Art