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Revolutionary Love, Revolutionary Weddings: Marriage in the Black Panther Party

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Revolutionary love and marriages in the Black Panther Party were powerful aspects of Black Power politics. Speaker Traci Parker argues that Panthers viewed Black romantic love as an act and a tool of revolution. They believed that, if African Americans embraced love and marriage, defining it and its parameters in ways that best suited individuals and race, they could reclaim, reimagine, and build strong Black families and communities, destabilize white supremacy, and realize black liberation.

Traci Parker is an associate professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an External Faculty Fellow at Stanford University (2021-2022), and National Endowment for Humanities Fellow (2021-2022). She is the author of Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement: Workers, Consumers, and Civil Rights from the 1930s to the 1980s (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) and co-editor of the forthcoming The New Civil Rights Movement Reader: Resistance, Resilience, and Justice (University of Massachusetts, 2022) and the History of Shopping and Department Stores Digital Project (Adam Matthew Digital, TBA). She is currently writing Beyond Loving: Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Black Freedom Movement on romance and activism in the Civil Rights and Black Power MovementsShe has received grants and fellowships in support of her research from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.

This event is co-sponsored by African & African American Studies.