Blackness in a society built largely on anti-Black sentiments simultaneously renders Black bodies both a heightened sense of visibility and invisibility in society. In this talk, Combs shares insights from her new book, Bodies out of Place: Theorizing Anti-Blackness in US Society, which examines practices of racial entrenchment as they have manifested in post-Obama expressions of anti-Blackness in discursive, legal, interactional, and extralegal contexts. Combs examines recent incidents of everyday racism against Black persons (the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the Central Park birding incident, various cases on college campuses, among others) to arrive at a theorization of what expectations about bodies, space, and belonging tell us about the way racism is perpetuated in US society.
Barbara Harris Combs is professor of sociology and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Kennesaw State University. Combs is also the author of From Selma to Montgomery: The Long March to Freedom. Her forthcoming book, Black Places and Spaces of Political Empowerment, with coauthors Todd C. Shaw and Kirk Foster, is under contract with Oxford University Press.