In Search of Black Power

#HotMicSession: Drug Policy as Social Policy

We’re on a Summer Break! We’re bringing you our #HotMicSessions – talks recorded live and in the field. In this first session, our host, Lawrence Grandpre breaks down some history of the war on drugs and how we need more comprehensive solutions to address the issue of drug addiction.

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Recap & Summer Reading Special – Books Talks from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

We analyze 3 books all written by our collective – Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. We examine how the centrist politics of Democrats are a core impediment to Black progress with Dayvon Love, author of Worse Than Trump, the American Plantation. We then discuss Lady Brion’s poetry in With My Head Unbowed and conclude with a discussion with host Lawrence Grandpre on “The Black Book: Reflections from the Baltimore Grassroots.”

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Is Trump a Space Trader? – On Derrick Bell And The Permanence of Racism

Derrick Bell is often called “The Father of Critical Race Theory” and his sci-fi inspired story “The Space Traders” has been taught for decades as surreal thought exercise on question our underlying assumptions on race in America. In this episode we look back at Space Traders story and use Bell’s work to challenge the multicultural orthodoxy on racial progress, examining Bell’s theory of interest convergence and the role Cold War politics played in limitations of Brown v. Board. How can Bell’s theories be applied to the question of strategizing for radical change in the face of white racial backlash?

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Sankofa Cities – Visions of Black Cooperative Economics Pasts and Futures

What would a Black city based on radical cooperative economic visions really look like? In Search of Black Power Hosts Lady Brion and Lawrence Grandpre present two examples of these futures. The first, based upon real Black organizing in Baltimore, presents a vision of how culture becomes the seeds for grassroots community revitalization. The second, based upon a cooperative visioning process, dreams of the new institutions cooperative Black Power could create. Can these “Sankofa cities” pull from the best of our Black collective past to build a new future? We interview noted scholar Jessica Gordon Neimhardt to help us in our quest.

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Beyond Wakanda-Black Panther and Urban Planning Beyond “Woke” Gentrification

As Wakanda returned to the big screen in the New “Avengers” film, in Search of Black Power looks back at the original movie and how it represents a particular vision of a black techno-utopia which requires deeper examination. What is the link between the images of the black “futures” we’re sold in popular culture and the recent wave of new urban renewal policies promising to use arts and culture as a tool for Black community empowerment? Could these be the tools of a new form of “woke” gentrification?

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Hardcore Black History – Part 2 – Slouching Towards Baltimore: Dreams of a Ghetto Utopia and the History Behind the #BaltimoreUprising

In Part Two of In Search of Black Power’s Hardcore (Black) History of Baltimore, we tell the story of one of the grandfathers of the neoliberal city, Jim Rouse, depicting what happened when his vision of city planning as “civic engineering” came to West Baltimore. In trying to create a utopia in Upton, did liberal reformers and nonprofit developers sow the seeds for the 2015 Baltimore Uprising?

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Voices from the Real Baltimore – Challenging The Wire on Drugs and Violence

The HBO show The Wire is hailed as a “realistic” portrayal of the Baltimore’s street drug trade and violence that springs from it. But is this true? In the first episode of “In Search of Black Power” activists and residents from Baltimore challenge the show’s depictions, incorporating analysis from Baltimore history and of current movements to show the real Baltimore is more complicated, and beautiful, that the show could imagine.

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