Policing Black Lives 5 Years Later: On the limitations of reform, and the expansive terrain of liberation.
In this talk, Maynard discusses new currents in the political and cultural terrain since publishing Policing Black Lives in 2017. Taking stock of the realities facing Black communities in Canada and globally in the wake of a global pandemic and the historic uprisings in defence of Black lives, she examines the contemporary conjuncture to ask: what next?
Maynard highlights some of the carceral continuities and ongoing forms of racial violence facing Black people in North America and worldwide under the policies of Trump, Biden, and Trudeau. She suggests that both liberal and conservative political programmes are fundamentally unable to achieve meaningful transformations toward Black people’s liberation. In their stead, she turns toward alternative models of governance offered from past and present traditions of Black struggle.
Forwarding lessons from global Black anti-colonial struggle, transnational Black feminisms, and abolitionist movements, Maynard considers the multiplicity of roadmaps toward re-ordering society and creating more liberatory futures for all.
About Robyn Maynard
Robyn Maynard is the author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present (Fernwood 2017). The book is a national bestseller, designated as one of the “best 100 books of 2017” by the Hill Times, listed in The Walrus’s “best books of 2018”, shortlisted for an Atlantic Book Award, the Concordia University First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction, and the winner of the 2017 Annual Errol Morris Book Prize. In fall 2018, the book was published in French with Mémoire d’encrier, titled NoirEs sous surveillance. Esclavage, répression et violence d’État au Canada. Translated by Catherine Ego, it recently won the 2019 Prix des Libraires in the category of “essais.”
Her current project is an epistolary book co-written with Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, titled Rehearsals for Living, under contract with Knopf Canada and Haymarket’s “Abolitionist Papers” series, edited by Lynn Henry and Naomi Murakawa, forthcoming in June of 2022. The book will also be translated and published in French at the same time by Mémoire d’encrier.
Maynard won the “2018 author of the year” award by Montreal’s Black History Month and was nominated for Writer’s Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. She has published writing in the Washington Post, World Policy Journal, the Toronto Star, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, Canadian Woman Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, Scholar & Feminist Online, as well as an essay for Maisonneuve Magazine, which was the “most-read essay of 2017”. Her writing on borders, policing, abolition and Black feminism are taught widely in universities across Canada and the United States, including her most recent peer-reviewed publication, “Police Abolition/Black Revolt,” published in TOPIA. Her expertise is regularly sought in local, national and international media outlets, and she has spoken before Parliamentary subcommittees, the Human Rights Committee of the Senate, and the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
Robyn Maynard is a PhD candidate, Vanier scholar and SSHRC Talent Award winner at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute.
Read more about The University of Alberta Visiting Lectureship in Human Rights here.