The Black Arts Movement in the United States and Algeria

Call for Papers
November 18, 2019 to November 19, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Black History / Studies, African History / Studies, African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

International Conference on:

“The Black Arts Movement in the United States and Algeria”

18-19 November, 2019


In the 1960s, one attended the emergence in the United States a movement that came to be known as the Black Arts Movement. According to its founders, the assimilation of the African-American would unquestionably go through loss of identity hence a quest for sovereignty. In the course of time, however, it appeared that in the absence of an international footprint, the BAM would be short-lived and sovereignty sheer utopia. At this juncture myriad African-American singers, musicians, writers, poets, playwrights, and political activists like the Black Panthers, seized the opportunity to attend the First Pan-African Festival, organized and hosted in Algiers by the OAU chairperson, Houari Boumediene. Influenced by Algeria’s War of Independence; the meeting of Algeria’s Premier Ben Bella with Dr Martin Luther King in New York and W. E. Dubois in Accra, and by one of Algeria’s adoptive sons, Franz Fanon, they undertook, once in Algiers, to report on their quest and to highlight their respective contributions with the view to win social and historical international recognition.


Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

I. Segregation and Colonialism

I.1. James Baldwin on Justice/Injustice in the Algerian Context

I.2. Dr. Martin Luther King and Ahmed Ben Bella: “Linking Two Injustices”

I.3. Ben Bella, W. E. Dubois and Pan-Africanism

II. The Emergence of the Black Arts Movement

II.1. Negroes with Pens: Male/Female Novelists/ Musicians/ Playwrights etc

II.2. “Negroes with Guns”: The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

III. The Black Arts Movement in Algeria

III.1. Connecting Roots: Algeria and the First Pan-African Festival

III.2. Algeria’s Franz Fanon and the Coining of Black Power

III.3.The Revolutionaries: The Black Panther Party in Algeria

III.4.The Cultural Nationalists: Emory Douglas/ Archie Shepp/ Nina Simone etc.

IV. Assessing the Role of Algeria and the Future of the Black Arts Movement

IV.1. The Afropolitan Experience

IV.2. Afro-Centrism

IV.3. Afro-Futurism/ Black Panther Film/Afro-defeatism

V. Assessing the 1960s and 1970s

V.1. Have the Sixties and Seventies had an impact on today’s world?

V.2. Is travelling back to the 1960s and 1970s but a matter of sheer nostalgia?

V.3. Can we consider the 1960s as a short-lived turmoil or a starting point for reforms in the short and long range?

V.4. Are the visions/expectations of the 1960s and 1970s being countered?


Contact Info: 

Abdeldjalil Larbi Youcef, Conference Presenter. University Abd el Hamid Ibn Badis