The National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPS) is hosting this podcast series called “The Freedom Plow” in recognition of its 50-year anniversary . The poet Langston Hughes said that when times get hard and it seems like dreams have been deferred, we must keep our hands on the Freedom Plow and Hold On! Hold On!
Black Women and the Reproductive Justice Movement
This episode of the Freedom Plow podcast looks at Black Women and the Reproductive Justice (RJ) movement. Our two guests are academicians and scholar activists with decades-long experiences in the reproductive justice movement. Dr. Tonya M. Williams is the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Cosumnes River College in California and previously worked at Johnson C. Smith University. She spent years in the reproductive justice movement working in California and the Deep South, including as a Program Director at SPARK, a Black-led Reproductive Justice organization in Atlanta. She has also produced groundbreaking research on reproductive justice activism at both the grassroots and elite levels. Dr. Kimala Price is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University. She has been co-director of the Bread and Roses Center for Feminist Research and Activism at her university. She has also been an active member of SisterSong, a prominent reproductive organization in the South. Her research focuses on reproductive health policy and politics.
Arm in Arm, Stronger Together: Labor Organizing on College Campuses
This episode of the Freedom Plow podcast looks at labor organizing on college campuses such as unionization and collective bargaining; struggles for better wages and social benefits; and campaigns against privatization. These battles have been propelled by campus workers (faculty, staff, graduate students) affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, Communication Workers of America, United Autoworkers, Service Employees International Union, Unite HERE, and other unions. Our guests are Dr. Nikol Alexander-Floyd and Patrick Scott. Dr. Alexander-Floyd is an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and an Associate Member of the Political Science Graduate Faculty at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. A lawyer and political scientist, she is the co-founder of the Association for the Study of Black Women in Politics and author of Gender, Race, and Nationalism in Contemporary Black Politics. She has served on the Executive Council of the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT) at Rutgers University. Mr. Scott is the Deputy Director of the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute and previously coordinated the Southern Regional Office of the AFL-CIO. He worked closely with the AFL-CIO’s Union Summer Program that was established in the mid-1990s, and has offered basic organizing skills and immersion training in union-based organizing campaigns to hundreds of young activists. He has also worked on labor education, "train up" organizing sessions, and the ATL Solidarity Committee that organized employees at Delta Air Lines.
Black Politics, Neoliberalism, and Class Consciousness
In this episode of the Freedom Plow, we talk to Dr. Cedric Johnson about a wide range of topics including neoliberalism, reparations, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at the University of Chicago at Illinois. He was the editor of The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism and the Remaking of New Orleans (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and co-editor (with Robert C. Smith and Robert G. Newby) of What Has This Got to Do with the Liberation of Black People? The Impact of Ronald W. Walters on African American Thought and Leadership (SUNY Press, 2014). He also authored Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics (University of Minnesota Press, 2007).
Blacks, Public Opinion, and the 2018 and 2020 Elections
This episode of the Freedom Plow looks at black public opinion and the 2018 and 2020 elections. Dr. Ray Block is Associate Professor at Penn State University and the co-author (with Sekou Franklin) of Losing Power: African Americans and Racial Polarization in Tennessee Politics. He is a research analyst for the African American Research Collaborative and Latino Decisions, and one of the lead investigators of a 9,400-person poll during the 2018 mid-term election. Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera is the Political Research director and Managing Partner at Socioanalitica Research and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Humanist Studies. He was one of the lead investigators of the Black Census Project, a survey of 30,000 Black Americans sponsored by the Black Futures Lab in 2018 and 2019.
Dr. Kathie Stromile Golden and the Value of International Education and Study Abroad Programs
In this episode of the Freedom Plow, Dr. Kathie Stromile Golden talks about the value of international education and study abroad programs as well as her unlikely path from small-town Louisiana to world-wide traveler. Dr. Golden is the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU). She has spent three decades creating and administering international education and study abroad programs, having traveled to 70 countries on all seven continents. Prior to her appointment as Provost, she was the Director of International Programs and Special Assistant to the President at MVSU. She previously served as Project Director of the Mississippi Consortium for International Development’s Higher Education and Development Project for Iraq. In 2005, she was also a Fulbright Lecturer working for the President of the Azerbaijan Republic. From 1998-2001, she worked on international programs for the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation.
From the Bayou to the Bay: Robert C. Smith and the Evolution of Black Politics
Dr. Robert C. Smith, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at San Francisco State University, is one of the country’s best minds on black politics. Dr. Smith has authored and co-authored a dozen books. His final book, which will be published next year is called, From the Bayou to the Bay. The book documents his life journey from rural Louisiana to the San Francisco Bay Area and acts as a guidebook for understanding the struggle over black studies on college campuses on the West Coast and the evolution of black politics from the 1970s to the 21st century.