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The Institute for the Liberal Arts

Blacks in Boston: Black ... and Immigrant

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"Blacks in Boston: Black ... and Immigrant”

April 2, 2016
Gasson Hall 100
Boston College

Presented by the African & African Diaspora Studies Program at Boston College.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. 

Due to the popularity of this event, registration is now closed. Please email with questions.

Conference Schedule


8:30 a.m. Check-In
Gasson Hall Foyer

9:00 a.m.


Welcome & Keynote Address
Gasson Hall 100

D. Feraiya Williams, Trina Jackson, and Luz Zambrano, Network of Immigrant & African American Solidarity
“Network of Immigrant & African American Solidarity: It Takes Revolutionary Relationships to Build a Movement”

Moderator: Leigh Patel, Boston College


11:15 a.m.


Panel I: Leaving Home, (Re)making Home
Gasson Hall 100

Moderator: C. Shawn McGuffey, Boston College
  • Joseph A. Moniz, National Alliance of Cape Verdean Organizations
    Caboverdianos: Our Defiant Involuntary Emigration to the USA”
  • Abel Djassi Amado, Boston College
    The Rise of Black Consciousness among Cape-Verdean-Americans”
  • Tyesha Maddox, New York University
    "West Indian Social Organizations in Boston: Political Activism and the Construction of Caribbean American Identity"
  • Tatiana M. F. Cruz, University of Michigan
    “Mobilizing Around Blackness: Afro-Latino Identities and Grassroots Organizing in Boston, 1965-1985”

1:00 p.m.


Lunch & Keynote Address
Lyons Hall, Welch Dining Room

Violet M. Showers Johnson, Texas A&M University
"More Than Winthrop’s City on the Hill: Centering Black Migrations in Boston’s History"

Moderator: Marilyn Johnson, Boston College


2:45 p.m.


Panel II: What it Means to be Black … and Immigrant
Gasson Hall 100

Moderator: Rhonda Frederick, Boston College
  • Chrystal George Mwangi, UMass Amherst and Shelvia English, University of Maryland, College Park
    Being Black (and) Immigrant Students: When Race, Ethnicity, and Nativity Collide”
  • Mindelyn Buford II, Northeastern University
    Accident, Opportunity, or Intention?: Immigration and America’s New Black Middle Class”
  • João Resende-Santos, Bentley University
    Economic Transnationalism and the Cape Verdean Diaspora”
  • Elizabeth Nimmons and Saida Abdi, Boston Children’s Hospital
    Young, Black, and Muslim: Somali-Americans and Perception of Police Interaction”

4:15 p.m.


Panel III: Arts and the Making of Black … and Immigrant
Gasson Hall 100
Moderator: Robin Lydenberg, Boston College
  • Tariana V. Little, University of Massachusetts, Boston and Candida Rose Baptista, University of Massachusetts, Boston
    (Re)Positioning Borders & Belonging in the Afro-Descendant Digital Diaspora”
  • Ester Shapiro, University of Massachusetts, Boston and Yvette Modestin, Encuentro Diaspora Afro
    Encuentro Diaspora Afro: Exploring African Roots of the Boston Latino Experience”
5:45 p.m. Reception
Higgins Hall Atrium

About Blacks in Boston


Last held in 2000, the African & African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) revives its “Blacks in Boston” conference series. The theme for this one-day event is "Blacks in Boston: Black ... and Immigrant.” This theme is designed to engage current issues in the US immigration debate, and to explore what black immigrants and immigration bring to this conversation. This conference looks to explore the following topics:

  • Definitions of “black” in sending and receiving countries
  • Citizenship and belonging for black Americans
  • Making home – social and cultural contributions (Music, Visual Arts, Literature) to the receiving country
  • Immigration as a black civil rights issue
  • Waves of black immigration to Boston/Massachusetts/New England from the Caribbean, Africa, and Central and South America
  • Black, immigrant, and the nation
  • Why immigrate? Why New England? (1965 Immigration Act, 1990 Immigration Act [“Diversity Immigrants”], trade/family networks, guest worker programs)