Plenary: Black (State) Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora

Includes a Live Event on 11/05/2021 at 10:15 AM (EDT)

In the wake of decades of colonial rule and destabilization, the nations of Africa aim to build and rebuild their democracies. Often viewed by westerners as “lawless” and lacking clear authority, this discussion will examine past and present politics and how this impacts the Diaspora.

Abosede George

Associate Professor of History

Barnard College and Columbia University

Abosede George is Associate Professor of History at Barnard College and Columbia University in New York. Her book, Making Modern Girls: A History of Girlhood, Labor, and Social Development was published by Ohio University Press and received the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize in 2015 from the Women's Caucus of the African Studies Association, as well as Honorable Mention from the New York African Studies Association. Her publications have appeared in the American Historical Review, the Journal of Social History, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Meridians, Women’s Studies Quarterly, the Journal of West African History, and the Washington Post among other outlets.

Sabatho Nyamsenda

University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)

Sabatho Nyamsenda is a Pan–Africanist and socialist activist based in Tanzania. He is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and a research associate at the Society, Work and Politics Institute (SWOP), Wits University (South Africa). He is also a member of the Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (HakiArdhi) and the Tanzania Socialist Forum. Sabatho writes for and appears regularly in local and international media. Between 2017 and 2019, he coordinated a newspaper column called “Sauti ya Mshikamano” (Voice of Solidarity) which published articles written or dictated by working class activists. He later compiled and the articles into a book he edited, entitled Wavujajasho dhidi ya Soko Huria (The Working People Against the Free Market – 2019).

Edilza Sotero


Federal University of Bahia

Edilza Sotero is a Professor in the Department of Education at the Federal University of Bahia. She also holds a position as researcher at the A Cor da Bahia - Research and Training Program on Race Relations, Culture and Black Identity in Bahia. She worked as a visiting scholar at the Africana Studies Department at Brown University (2015-2016) and at Princeton University (2014). Her research and teaching interests include African diaspora, Black feminism, racial identities and political organization. She is the author of scholarly articles and essays on themes such as activism of black women in Brazil, black political representation and issues on black students in higher education, among other subjects.

Michael Gomez

Silver Professor

New York University

Michael A. Gomez is currently Silver Professor of History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University, and the director of NYU’s newly-established Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora (CSAAD), having served as the founding director of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) from its inception in 2000 to 2007. He is also series editor of the Cambridge Studies on the African Diaspora, Cambridge University Press. He has chaired of the History departments at both NYU and Spelman College, and also served as President of UNESCO's International Scientific Committee for the Slave Route Project from 2009 to 2011. His first book, Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu (Cambridge University Press, 1992), examines a Muslim polity in what is now eastern Senegal. The next publication, Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South (University of North Carolina Press, 1998), is concerned with questions of culture and race. The edited volume, Diasporic Africa: A Reader (New York University Press, 2006), is more fully involved with the idea of an African diaspora, as is Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora (Cambridge University Press, 2005; second edition late 2019). The monograph Black Crescent: African Muslims in the Americas (Cambridge University Press, 2005) examines how African Muslims negotiated their bondage and freedom throughout the Americas, integrating Islamic Africa into the analysis. Gomez’s most recent book, African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa (Princeton University Press, 2018), is a comprehensive study of polity and religion during the region’s iconic moment, and was awarded the 2019 African Studies Association’s Book Prize (formerly the Herskovits Book Award), and the 2019 American Historical Association’s Martin A. Klein Prize in African History. Gomez supports the struggles of African people worldwide.

Ben Talton (Moderator)


Temple University

Benjamin Talton is Professor of History at Temple University where teaches courses on the history of modern Africa and the African diaspora. He previously taught at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana and Hofstra University. Professor Talton is the author of three books, Politics of Social Change in Ghana: The Konkomba Struggle for Political Equality (Palgrave 2010), Black Subjects in Africa and Its Diasporas: Race and Gender in Research and Writing (Palgrave 2011) with Quincy Mills, and most recently In This Land of Plenty: Mickey Leland and Africa in American Politics (Penn Press 2019), for which he is the recipient of the Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History awarded jointly by ASALH and the AHA. Professor Talton is an editor of the African Studies Review and is in his sixth and final year on ASWAD’s executive board. Professor Talton earned his BA from Howard University in 1996 and PhD from the University of Chicago in 2003.


Live Plenary
Live event: 11/05/2021 at 10:15 AM (EDT) You must register to access.