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Diversity in Legal Thought and Practice Speaker Series
October 16 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
T. Anansi Wilson, JD/ABD is an award-winning scholar of law, literary and cultural studies, a racial-justice strategist and an author of creative nonfiction. Their legal research is situated in legal philosophy, critical theory, political economy, Black studies and constitutional law. Their writing and scholarship primarily focuses on the history of Black thought, art, and imagination crafted in response to, and resistance against, the social, political and legal realities of domination in the West. They seek to understand the processes of retrenchment after moments of social progress, and how freedom dreams are nevertheless sustained. Wilson’s work analyzes the ever changing relationships between race, law, sexuality, power and citizenship; both in the construction of law and policy and the maintenance of the way we live our lives
“Furtive Blackness: On Blackness and Being” and “The Strict Scrutiny of Black and BlaQueer Life” take a fresh approach to both criminal law and constitutional law; particularly as they apply to African descended peoples in the United States. They examine the semiotic relationships between race, gender, sexuality and the law. While Furtive Blackness is primarily concerned with regimes of policing–both by badged officers and deputized citizens–Strict Scrutiny is examines how the reconstruction amendments have been deployed and redeployed to strictly scrutinize Black presence and appeals to justice and make them unintelligible, irrelevant claims without justiciable and therefore outside of law the concern of law. “Strict Scrutiny” is a riff on the phrase of judicial review that is primarily concerned with the Court’s inversion of the term to tightly regulate and foreclose Black access to legal redress; as well as the police practice of strictly scrutinizing Black presence and movement in public and private places. In essence, the ascription of furtivity makes way for strict scrutinization; while the Black interior strategy of furtivity and refusal creates a survival praxis that allows for a reprieve in the wake of these indignities.
These articles are an interpretation of the law as a tool of anti-blackness and an exposition of Black thought and deed in response to anti Blackness, both in black letter law and day to day life. Both articles are descriptive, interdisciplinary and rooted in traditional law and accented by Black queer and feminist theory, critical race studies, performance studies and literary analysis.
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