Members of the NCCU community attend the annual Dan T. Blue Symposium in the School of Law. Photo by Nala McDougald.

Panels examine Black lives in Latin America during symposium

April 1, 2024

A variety of challenging issues facing Blacks in South America were explored in the March 26 Dan T. Blue Symposium at the Great Hall in the School of Law.

The symposium, “Black Lives Matter in Latin America,” was organized by Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, N.C. Central University’s Dan T. Blue Endowed Chair of Political Science.

Panel discussions at the symposium explored a variety of issues facing Blacks in Latin America, including Black rights in Brazil, activism and resistance, Black women’s issues, Black citizenship, and advocating for policy change in Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

Presentations included topics such as Walthour’s “Black Brazilian Youtubers’ Fight for Social Justice During the Far-Right Era,” K.C. Morrison’s “The Race and Democracy Project and Black Lives Matter,” Cloves Pereira Oliveira’s “”The Challenges of Black Women Candidates in Electoral Politics.”  Violence against Black women was explored in Marcelle Decothe’s presentation where she noted that 98 percent of Brazil Black women experience one form or another of political violence.

In his opening remarks Emmanuel Oritsejafor, chair of the Department of Political Science, described the symposium as “a celebration of interdisciplinary scholarship.”

The annual symposium honors Daniel T. Blue, an NCCU alumnus who studied law at Duke University. Blue would become the first African American speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives. Blue served in that position from 1991-1995. He would go on to become a key player in North Carolina’s Democratic Party.

The Dan Blue Foundation was created in 2001 with a donation from C.D. and Meredith Spangler.

Gladys Mitchell-Walthour, Endowed Chair of the Dan Blue Foundation, organized the symposium. Mitchell-Walthour is herself an expert in the racial politics of Brazil. In 2017 she authored “The Politics of Blackness: Racial Identity and Political Behavior in Contemporary Brazil,” and last year she published “The Politics of Survival: The Political Opinions of Social Welfare Beneficiaries in Brazil and the USA.”

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Members of the NCCU community attend the annual Dan T. Blue Symposium in the School of Law. Photo by Nala McDougald.
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Members of the NCCU community attend the annual Dan T. Blue Symposium in the School of Law. Photo by Nala McDougald.
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