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Department of Africana and American Studies: Prof. Biko Mandela Gray, “Four Black Lives: Philosophy of Religion and State-Sanctioned Antiblack Violence”

March 31, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Department of Africana and American Studies welcomes Professor Biko Mandela Gray.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones. Tamir Rice. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. These four black lives mattered. They matter. They matter for those of us who care and cared for them; they also matter to those who killed them and those who justify their deaths by appeals to police. In this talk, I will explore the ways that these lives—lives stolen from us, lives that appear to us in the moment they disappear—speak, and speak back, to us. If we sit with these lives, we will see how they criticize the history of philosophy, particularly the philosophy of religion. But these lives also show the possibilities of black life, of life lived in the ongoing reality of antiblack violence.

Biko Mandela Gray is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Syracuse University and the author of Black Life Matter: Blackness, Religion, and the Subject (Duke University Press 2022). He is also the co-author of Phenomenology of Black Spirit (Edinburgh University Press, 2023). Dr. Gray’s Black Life Matter has been lauded as “a challenge and a rejoinder to white western philosophy, a deep thinking from black and flesh”. Dr. Gray’s scholarship sits at the intersections of religious studies, philosophy, and Black Studies.


March 31, 2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Dept of Africana and American Studies
(716) 645-2082
View Organizer Website


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