Abdul Alkalimat (Gerald A. McWorter) is a founder of the field of Black Studies and author of many books and papers about Black liberation. He wrote the first college textbook, Introduction to Afro-American Studies, which has seen seven editions, the last one free and online. A lifelong scholar-activist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, he has lectured, taught, and directed academic programs across the US, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and China. Two of his early contributions were serving as chair of the Chicago chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and co-founding the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) in 1967. He was an executive committee member of the African Liberation Support Committee, and a founder of the Black Radical Congress. He was the North American coordinator for the Seventh Pan-African Congress held in Uganda in 1994. Raised in Chicago's Cabrini Rowhouses, he is now professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Romi Crawford, PhD, is Associate Professor in the Visual and Critical Studies and Liberal Arts Departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research focuses on formations of racial and gendered identity and their relation to American visual arts, film, and popular culture. Recent curatorial projects include The Wall of Respect; Vestiges, Shards, and the Legacy of Black Power and Radical Relations! Memory, Objects and the Generation of the Political. She makes regular contributions to publications on contemporary art and American culture, including Theaster Gates, Black Archive (2017) and “Do For Self: The AACM and the Chicago Style” in Abigail Satinsky, ed., Support Networks (2014). She is coauthor (with Abdul Alkalimat and Rebecca Zorach) of The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (2017). In 2016 she founded the Museum of Vernacular Arts, a project-based platform for art forms that are part of everyday experience.
Marilyn Nance has produced exceptional photographs of the United States and the African Diaspora. A two-time finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography, her work can be found at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Library of Congress. Nance's photographs have been published in The World History of Photography, History of Women in Photography, and The Black Photographers Annual. Nance has been awarded the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Photography (1989 and 2000) and Nonfiction Literature (1993), and the New York State Council of the Arts Individual Artists Grant (1987). A graduate of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, Nance served as Curator of Photography for the first Digital Schomburg Web Project. Additionally, Nance holds a BFA in Communications Graphic Design from Pratt Institute and a MFA in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is the matriarch of the art collective, The Santana Project. As an alumna of NYU’s tech courses, Nance has created an extensive archive of upwards of 1,500 FESTAC ’77 images.
Haki R. Madhubuti is an award-winning poet, essayist, and educator; one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement; and founder and publisher of Third World Press and Third World Press Foundation, both founded in 1967. He is the author of over thirty books of poetry and nonfiction including YellowBlack: The First Twenty-One Years of a Poet’s Life; Liberation Narratives: New and Collected Poems 1967-2009; Honoring Genius, Gwendolyn Brooks: The Narrative of Craft, Art, Kindness and Justice; and the best-selling Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The Afrikan American Family in Transition. A longtime community activist and institution builder, Madhubuti is cofounder of the Institute of Positive Education as well as three schools in Chicago. He retired in 2011 after a distinguished teaching career that included Cornell University, Howard University, University of Iowa, and Chicago State University as well as DePaul University where he served as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor. Madhubuti’s most recent book is Taking Bullets: Terrorism and Black Life in Twenty-First Century America.
Dominique Malaquais is a Senior Researcher at CNRS (Institut des Mondes Africains, Paris, France) and codirector of the experimental curatorial platform SPARCK (Space for Pan-African Research, Creation and Knowledge). Her work addresses intersections between political contestation and the making of urban cultures in the late capitalist era. Ongoing and recent projects include PANAFEST Archive, which centers on the political and social (after)lives of Pan-African arts and culture festivals of the 1960s and 70s; Highway Africa, which focuses on key infrastructure and urbanism projects developed between the 1960s and the early 21st century; and Yif Menga, a two-year, multiscalar artist-scholar dialogue focusing on urban performance art as political project. Recent publications include two edited volumes: Afrique-Asie: arts, espaces, pratiques (2016), comprising reflections on Africa-Asia exchanges as effected through the visual arts, literature, urbanism, and spirituality, and Archive (re)mix (2015), a collection of essays on the production of art, visual and textual, as an exercise in exploring archival materials and techniques. Upcoming and recent exhibitions include Kinshasa: Urban Chronicles and Dakar 66: Chroniques d’un Festival Panafricain.
Naeem Mohaiemen combines films, installations, and essays to research failed Left Utopias, incomplete decolonizations, and tragic misrecognitions of allies, such research framed by the movements of Third World Internationalism and World Socialism. The work has shown at the Sharjah, Marrakech, and Venice Biennales, MUAC Mexico City, New Museum, Tate Britain, MoMA, Kiran Nadar, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, and Documenta 14 (Athens / Kassel). Essays include “Fear of a Muslim Planet: The Islamic Roots of Hip-Hop” (Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture, 2008), Traitors, a Mutable Lexicon (e-flux Supercommunity, August 8, 2015), “All That is Certain Vanishes into Air: Tracing the Anabasis of the Japanese Red Army” (e-flux Journal #63, March 2015), and “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Campaign” (Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production, 2017). He is a PhD candidate in Historical Anthropology at Columbia University, researching left histories outside of state patronage.
Françoise Vergès is a political theorist and the Chair of Global South(s) at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris as well as an independent curator and a longtime feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist activist. Growing up in Réunion Island in an anti-colonial and feminist family, she learned quite early about repression, censorship, and racism. Moving to France, she became a journalist for the journal Des Femmes en movement (1975-1983) and the editor of the collection “des femmes en lutte dans tous les pays” (women fighting in every country) for the publishing house Des femmes while being active in anti-racist and anti-imperialist movements. Vergès moved to the United States in 1983 where she worked before returning to school. She received her PhD at University of California at Berkeley (1995). After returning to Réunion Island for a project of a "museum without objects,” she served as president of the French National Committee of the Memories of Slavery. Vérges has published extensively on postcoloniality, creolization, living memories of slavery, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, race, and feminism. She has also directed two movies on the great Caribbean authors Aimé Césaire and Maryse Condé and organized guided visits at the Louvre on slavery.
Floyd Webb was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi and raised on Chicago’s South and West sides. As a child, his curiosity about Africa was all-consuming. This interest in the continent and Pan-Afrikanism led him to Africa in 1975, when he journeyed to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and the coast of East Africa. He has continued to visit and work in Africa—in Zanzibar, Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Mali and Burkina Faso. Webb’s background includes global work in cinema, photojournalism, publishing, and advertising. Webb’s film, digital, and creative works include: producer for Paris-based Effervescence Production’s Future Mag series for France Arté (2014); consultant for The March (2013), director John Akomfrah’s film, produced by Robert Redford, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington; producer of 3-D animation effects for Wesley Snipes’ Amen Ra Films; producer of a documentary featuring Egyptologist Josef Ben Jochanna; associate producer of the award-winning Julie Dash film Daughters of the Dust (1992); local producer of the American Masters film The World of Nat King Cole (2006); and producer and director of music videos, short documentaries, and 3-D animation projects.