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Andrew Ratto from Berkeley, California, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

CALL FOR PAPERS | Black Power and Black Self-Determination in a New Time and New Spaces

The Editorial Board is issuing a call for papers for a forthcoming special series in Metropolitics titled “Black Power and Black Self-Determination in a New Time and New Spaces.” We welcome submissions through May 1, 2023.

There is a long history of Black power organizing in cities in the United States and around the world. While the language of Black power is sometimes limited to a set of movements and organizations (such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Black Panthers) in a particular time (the mid-1960s to the early-1970s), efforts for Black self-determination and political economic power have a much longer history, both to earlier periods and to the present. This special series of the journal Metropolitics will focus on efforts for Black political and economic power in the contemporary period. While we are interested in pivotal cases from US urban settings, we specifically invite contributions from contexts beyond the United States, since actors in many other contexts have used the language of Blackness as an organizing frame for political and economic power. We also encourage submissions that look at efforts for Black power outside the city—across and within metropolitan areas, such as suburbs, counties, and townships.

While we do not have a narrow understanding of efforts for Black power, we do expect that all submissions to this special series will focus on cases where Blackness is central to the thinking and organizing of those involved. These can be about Black political (electoral or otherwise) organizing, creating forms of land- and housing-tenure reform, building new forms of Black-controlled finance, Black nationalist efforts, Black cooperative ownership of businesses, Black educational initiatives and schools, etc. We encourage critical examination and analysis of tensions within these movements that take an intersectional approach to understanding Blackness and the potential and limits of it as an organizing frame.

We encourage submissions from Black scholars and activists—including graduate students, contingent faculty, and unaffiliated individuals.

We will consider articles received by Monday, May 1, 2023, for inclusion in this special series.

Please email articles to James DeFilippis (jdefilip [at] rutgers [dot] edu), Akira Drake (akirad [at] upenn [dot] edu), and Maura McGee (mcgee [dot] maura [at] gmail [dot] com).

Metropolitics is an editorially peer-reviewed online journal that publishes concise academic essays and papers aimed at an international audience. The journal’s mission is public scholarship: short-form work about cities and urban politics, based on original research, on a quick time frame that allows researchers to contribute to public debate and make their scholarly work relevant to a broad readership.

What we publish:

  • Essays (1,500 words), which draw on empirical work to develop arguments relating to societal and political debates, and which provide a new perspective on key urban issues and challenges.
  • Debates (1,500 words), which address current social, professional or political developments on current issues, and concisely present the state of knowledge bearing on current public debate.
  • Reports from the Field (1,500 words), which draw on case studies, experiments or remarkable situations to shed new light on urban phenomena and developments.
  • Reviews (1,000 words), which offer authors’ perspectives on books, films, exhibitions and other events, evaluating their intellectual contributions for a wide audience.
  • Interviews with activists and policymakers, presented in audio, video or text form.

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To cite this article:

The Editorial Board, “CALL FOR PAPERS | Black Power and Black Self-Determination in a New Time and New Spaces”, Metropolitics, 1 March 2023. URL :

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