Cultural Resistance: The Role of the Arts in Social Justice Movements

DESCRIPTION: The growing movement to stem the tide of mass criminalization and incarceration among Black and Latino communities in theUShas begun to integrate elements of a radical arts tradition that has been used in a variety of social movements. Using the contemporary anti-prison movement as the primary case study, this course will more generally explore the ways in which the radical arts traditions of music, poetry, film and theater have been influenced by and utilized in a variety of liberation struggles and social justice movements across the African diaspora. Alongside the anti-mass incarceration movement, the course will examine the role of the arts in several historical social justice movements, including, Marcus Garvey’s UNIA Movement, the Black and Latino Power Movements and the anti-Apartheid Movement. The course will consider the mutual impact that arts and social movements have on each other. The historical and theoretical materials will be contextualized by guest lectures, discussions, and performances involving visiting scholars, artists and activists.

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Center for Contemporary Black History | Columbia University