Department of African American Studies launches ‘Celebrate Us’ speaker series with talk by Kyle T. Mays

At the close of Black History Month, the UCLA Department of African American Studies launched its new “Celebrate Us” lecture series, which focuses on topics that explore and celebrate Black life. On February 28, 2022, inaugural speaker Kyle T. Mays joined a virtual audience to discuss “Afro-Indigenous Relations from Black and Red Power to Contemporary Popular Culture,” based on themes explored in his recent book:

Mays, a Black and Saginaw Anishinaabe scholar, teaches African American studies and American Indian studies at UCLA. His book, “An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States,” is a groundbreaking intersectional study of U.S. history, racism and Afro-Indigenous solidarity.

Darnell Hunt, dean of the UCLA Division of Social Sciences, introduced the series. “Our motto in the social sciences division is ‘Engaging L.A., Changing the World,’” Hunt said. “Lecture series like ‘Celebrate Us’ contribute to the dialogue and positive impact we hope to see in the world by helping us make sense of the dynamic changes affecting the Black community today.”

Department chair Cheryl L. Keyes, also a professor of African American studies, ethnomusicology and global jazz studies, led the event, which was co-sponsored by UCLA American Indian Studies.

Learn more at the UCLA Department of African American Studies website.