Making Black Lives Matter: Tracing the Role of Women in the Black Radical Tradition

When: Tuesday, May 16, 5:00pm – 6:30pm
Price: Free with RSVP
Kathleen Cleaver by LMNOPI
LMNOPI, Kathleen Cleaver - Black Panther, 2015. Courtesy of the artist - used with permission. Blog:

Women have always been essential to black activism and black political thought, and activist practices and principles in use today can be directly traced to the leadership of women such as Ella Baker, Assata Shakur, and Audre Lorde. But the importance of women’s contributions often gets relegated to a historical footnote, in marked contrast to the treatment of the leadership of black men.

Drawing on archival research, oral history, and his work as an organizer in the Movement for Black Lives, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow Christopher Paul Harris will examine the black radical tradition by centering the ideas of the women who played a critical role in shaping it. Attendees will come away with a richer understanding of the history of black politics and activism, the fundamental role of women within it, and the way the combination helps explain ideas coming out of the Movement for Black Lives.

This discussion is part of the series Activism Under the Lens: Educator Evenings at the Museum of the City of New York. The events are geared towards educators but open to all with interest in the topics.

Educators will learn about sources in the exhibitions Activist New York and New York at Its Core available to support their students’ learning in the Museum and online. Participants will leave with resources for the classroom and a letter of attendance for 1.5 hours of professional development.

Light refreshments will be served. Image above courtesy of LMNOPI.


Programs offered in conjunction with Activist New York are made possible by The Puffin Foundation. 

Activist New York is the inaugural exhibition in The Puffin Foundation Gallery, which is dedicated to the ways in which ordinary New Yorkers have exercised their power to shape the city's and the nation's future.

The Museum is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which supports a Predoctoral Fellowship Program in History Education.

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