A Black Feminist Toolkit: Mobilization and Cohesion in Emergent Race-based Social Movements


February 25, 2022 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Online Event

Social movements scholars have considered the role of individual and collective emotions in mobilization and cohesion but have not engaged with racialized emotions in this literature. In this presentation, Prisca Gayles examines Black women’s increased participation in Argentina’s black and feminist social movements, as evidenced by their visibility at recent major protest events. Gayles investigates why Black women’s membership is growing faster than in previous years, and how movement participants utilize transnational black feminisms to empower new members. Drawing on twenty-two months of ethnographic fieldwork, Gayles examines how negative and positive emotional bonds function as tools of mobilization in race-based social movements. Gayles argues that Black women activists equip their constituency with a “black feminist toolkit,” giving them skills to process and confront the otherwise crippling forms of quotidian and institutional racism they suffer through. Their findings show why and how affective processes of mobilization are critical to Black women’s activism in Argentina.

Prisca Gayles is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Gender, Race, and Identity Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. She investigates how emotions matter in understanding transnational black social movements.

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