The UC Consortium for Black Studies in California fosters and supports the innovative and collaborative study of Black arts, cultures, philosophies, histories, and social movements. We organize events and provide funding for scholars in the UCs working on interdisciplinary Black studies projects that, while taking into consideration racialized violence and anti-Blackness, emphasize the long histories of resilience, struggle, and creative and generative possibility produced in the face of such conditions.
While we support scholarship in Black studies about any geographical region, the Consortium takes inspiration from California to advance a particular vision of the field. Black studies in California is structured by its specific history of racial formation and racialization within the context of US westward expansion, which triangulated settler colonialism, slavery, and U.S. empire. Due to the diversity of the state’s populations and the various Black, Asian, Latina/o, and Indigenous histories, social movements, and artistic traditions that emerged here, Black studies scholarship in California has developed a comparative analysis. In addition, California’s location on the Pacific Ocean and the border of Mexico has ensured that it is deeply shaped by multiple histories of migration, and has thus inspired scholarship that focuses on the transnational, international, and diasporic histories of Blackness. The University of California system has also been the center of many important Black studies projects: the first Black Studies Department in the nation was founded at UCSB as a result of student struggle in 1968 and in the late 1960s, the L.A. Rebellion film network at UCLA inaugurated new forms and narratives in Black film.
Centering Blackness as a site of inquiry that challenges and connects national identities and histories (African, African American, and African diasporic), the UC Consortium for Black Studies in California fosters and supports innovative scholarship that produces theoretical and conceptual insights about Blackness alongside an attentiveness to the full range of Black people’s lived experiences.
The Consortium for Black Studies in California is funded by the UC Office of the President through the Multi-Campus Research Programs and Initiatives.