Blair Imani

Blair Imani

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Blair Imani

Blair Imani

Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 7:30pm
  • Pittsburgh Humanities Festival and Cohen & Grigsby TRUST PRESENTS Series
  • Greer Cabaret Theater

Prior to Blair Imani's talk, enjoy a free show by Pittsburgh's own Brittney Chantele

Over the course of six decades, an unprecedented wave of Black Americans left the South and spread across the nation in search of a better life--a migration that sparked stunning demographic and cultural changes in twentieth-century America. Through gripping and accessible historical narrative paired with illustrations, author and activist Blair Imani examines the largely overlooked impact of The Great Migration and how it affected--and continues to affect--Black identity and America as a whole.

In her talk Making Our Way Home Blair explores issues like voting rights, domestic terrorism, discrimination, and segregation alongside the flourishing of arts and culture, activism, and civil rights. Imani shows how these influences shaped America's workforce and wealth distribution by featuring the stories of notable people and events, relevant data, and family histories. The experiences of prominent figures such as James Baldwin, Fannie Lou Hamer, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), Ella Baker, and others are woven into the larger historical and cultural narratives of the Great Migration to create a truly singular record of this powerful journey.

Blair Imani is a critically-acclaimed historian, outspoken advocate and activist, and dynamic public speaker. The author of two historical books: Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream (2020), she centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ communities.

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Blair Imani attended Louisiana State University where, in 2014, she founded Equality for HER, a non-profit organization that provided resources and a forum for women and nonbinary people to feel empowered. Her leadership took her to the front lines of anti-police brutality protests and, following her arrest at the protests of Alton Sterling’s murder in Baton Rouge, Blair began building a platform and social media presence to organize and create awareness about injustices in Black, Queer, and Muslim communities.

A highly sought-after public speaker and brand ambassador, Blair Imani has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC, presented at colleges and universities, spoken at progressive conferences around the world, and delivered powerful talks and speeches for organizations that include GLAAD and LoveLoud. Her viral TEDxBoulder talk, “Queer & Muslim: Nothing to Reconcile”, has sparked important discourse about the intersection of the two identities. And in 2019, she was proudly featured in New York City Pride’s campaign honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

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Run Time: 60 minutes, no intermission
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