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Black Uprisings: The Transnational Struggle for Citizenship


Event Summary

Protesters at an endSARS protest in Lagos, Nigeria, October 2020

Protesters at an endSARS protest in Lagos, Nigeria, October 2020. Photo by Salako Ayoola via Wikimedia Commons.

As countries locked down in response to the global pandemic, Black youth hit the streets for mass demonstrations to demand justice, accountability, and transformation. Black Colombians mobilized in large numbers during the months-long national strike in 2021, and were among those most subjected to police repression. Black Lives Matter protests in the US following the murder of George Floyd in 2020 were the largest protest movement in U.S. history. Nigeria’s unprecedented #EndSARS protests brought tens of thousands of young people to the streets to protest a corrupt police unit. Although these mobilizations were ostensibly a response to police violence and impunity, the protests represented a broader transnational movement rebelling against centuries-long legacies of exclusion and denouncing ongoing injustices. This event featured a discussion between Black youth leaders from the U.S., Colombia, and Nigeria about how social movements are constructing transformative visions and reinventing possibilities for Black citizenship.


Heny Cuesta


Heny Cuesta is an Afro-Colombian film and television director and producer, activist, and cultural creator. She is the founder of the production company Cimarrón Producciones.

Diekara Oloruntoba-Oju


Diekara Oloruntoba-Oju is a doctoral student in the African and African American Studies and Anthropology departments at Harvard University.

Trina Reynolds-Tyler


Trina Reynolds-Tyler is a data analyst at the Invisible Institute and co-founder of the Chicago Chapter of Data 4 Black Lives.

Yanilda María González


Yanilda María González (moderator) is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.