Ruha Benjamin | Imagination: A Manifesto

Recorded Feb 7, 2024
Direct Download: 20240207-ruhaben.mp3

In conversation with Shantrelle Lewis

Ruha Benjamin is the author of Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, a “galvanizing” and “inventive and wide-ranging” (The Nation) look at how new technologies reinforce social inequities; and Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want, a pragmatic yet poetic vision of the ways in which our minor everyday choices can add up to larger societal growth. Also the author of many scholarly publications, she is a professor of African American studies at Princeton University, where she is the founding director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab. Benjamin’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, The Root, and Vox, among numerous other media outlets. A revelatory call to action, Imagination calls for readers to consider the arena of the mind as a very real space for struggle, interconnectedness, and societal change.

Shantrelle P. Lewis is a multi-hyphen creative and scholar who accesses multiple disciplines to help elucidate African Diasporic history, aesthetics, culture and spirituality. After premiering at BlackStar Film Festival, her critically acclaimed directorial debut, In Our Mothers' Gardens, was released on Netflix via Ava Duvernay's Array. Her book, Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style, was published by Aperture in 2017. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, NPR, BBC, Washington Post, Slate, The New Yorker and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She co-founded Shoppe Black with her husband and fellow Howard alum, Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson. As an initiated Lukumi Sango Priest, hoodooist and New Orleans native, Shantrelle can be found waxing poetic about all things African spirituality online and in person at the Beaucoup Hoodoo Shop, the annual Beaucoup Hoodoo Fest this October and within her community, ATRS Book Club.

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The views expressed by the authors and moderators are strictly their own and do not represent the opinions of the Free Library of Philadelphia or its employees.

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