Other Conferences

39th Meeting of the Portuguese Association for Anglo-American Studies (APEAA)

CFP for the panel: "From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter", org. Isabel Caldeira and Maria José Canelo (FLUC/CES).

CFP (by February 15, 2018), April 26-28​, 2018​, University of Évora, Portugal




"From the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter", orgs. Isabel Caldeira and Maria José Canelo (FLUC/CES)

On the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, we can recall its legacy, commemorate its achievements, or feel outraged before all the shortcomings and backlashes. But we will certainly feel that the revolution was never completed.

Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, was killed in February 2012, on his way back from a 7/11 convenience store in Florida, where he had just bought himself an iced tea and a bag of Skittles. He was unarmed. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot him dead was found not guilty of second degree murder and acquitted of manslaughter.

"We were carrying this burden around with us every day: of racism and white supremacy. It was a verdict that said: black people are not safe in America.” That was how an African-American woman expressed the collective feeling that gained momentum after the verdict was known, a year later. Her name is Alicia Garza, and each time she posted and reposted on Facebook, she used as hashtag: #blacklivesmatter. It worked as a call to action. The BLACK LIVES MATTER movement (BLM) had come into being.

Other shootings, mostly of unarmed black men, other acquittals, protests and “freedom rides,” and the so called 21st-century civil rights movement was in full speed, fueling all the anger and impatience against prevailing social injustice, racism in its many forms, police harassment, and brutality.

Opal Tometi, co-founder of BLM, said the movement is about much more than civil rights. He advocates that it is, in fact, a human rights movement: "we recognize the current struggle is not merely for reforms of policing, anymore than the Montgomery Bus Boycott was simply about a seat on the bus. It is about the full recognition of our rights as citizens; and it is a battle for full civil, social, political, legal, economic and cultural rights as enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We accept proposals that address the history, the social and cultural impact, national and international of these civil/human rights movements, as well as corresponding literary/artistic representations. The papers may include discussions of the legacies, differences, ideologies, methods, and means/media for the spreading of ideas, and of new forms of activism in the age of globalization, high technology, post-democracy and post-humanism.