In Solidarity: Statement on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Southern Africa, Africa Specialty Group of the AAG

In our support of the Africa Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, we share their statement on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth that have devastated Southern Africa in recent months. Please consider their call to action in support of the people and the lands of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.

In solidarity,
The Black Geographies Specialty Group

Statement on Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Southern Africa

We, the Africa Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, are full of sorrow over the catastrophic events in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe.  In the past weeks, over 750 people across southern Africa have been reported dead, over 500,000 people have been displaced, and cholera has spread due to flooding conditions.  Mozambique’s fourth-largest city, Beira, has been decimated, and over 700,000 hectares of food crops in Mozambique have been destroyed.  In addition, an even stronger Cyclone Kenneth has followed Cyclone Idai in Northern Mozambique.

Local and international groups have organized relief efforts, but tremendous challenges remain ahead.  The ASG wishes to encourage members of the ASG and wider AAG community to lend support by continuing to spread the word regarding these catastrophic events. Members may wish to consult this list of aid organizations that are working in the region:

Individual members of the Africa Specialty Group have also recommended support for the following organizations.

Doctors Without Borders

Mozambican forum Alternactiva with the National Peasant Union and Women’s Forum (This will specifically support farmers and women of Sofala Province)

Health Alliance International

Zimbabwe Musicians Union (ZIMU)

At times like this, a little good deed gets that much greater than the greatest good intention not acted upon. Please do the little that you can to help. We welcome any other ideas for a greater collective effort.

Joseph Zume, ASG President

(anti)Blackness in American Metropolis (Audio)

(anti)Blackness in the American Metropolis was hosted in Baltimore, Maryland November 2-03, 2018 by Drs. Willie J. Wright, Adam Bledsoe, Yousuf Al-Bulushi. The gathering was meant to address the expression of (anti)Blackness in American cities and to bring together conversations in Black Studies and urban geography. Thanks to the generosity of Brian Williams and Akira Drake Rodriquez of AntiPod, the podcast for Antipode, some sessions were recorded and have been made available for a wider audience. Conversations are also available via twitter by searching #BlackMetropolis.

Please direct questions regarding these sessions and the symposium to:


(Dis)placement and (Dis)possession

Dominic Moulden (ONE-DC)
“Radical Cartographers and Radical Organizing: Mapping Black Resistance to Displacement, Disposability, and Dispossession”

Akira Rodriguez (Univ of Pennsylvania – School of Design)
“The Limits of Black Feminist Representation in the Neoliberal Politics of Public Housing”

Brandi Summers (Virginia Commonwealth Univ – African American Studies) “The Corner: Spatial Aesthetics and Black Bodies in Place”

Municipal Movements and Public Policy

Akil Bukari (MXGM-Jackson)

Noel Didla (City of Jackson)

Arekia Bennett (Executive Director, Mississippi Votes)

Laboring and Surviving in the City

Kafui Attoh (CUNY – Urban Studies) “Uber’s Racial Strategy and Our Own”

Katie Wells (Georgetown Univ – Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor) “From Entrepreneurialism to Uberization: Urban Governance in the Age of Apps”


11/14/2018: Tennessee State University and Morgan State University – Collaborative GIS Day Forum

Tennessee State University and Morgan State University – Collaborative GIS Day Forum

Wednesday, November 14

“The Maps of Black Folk: Geospatial Technologies in Professional Practice and Student Career Mapping”  

Time/Activity (Eastern Time)

12:10PM–1:35PM  – Student GIS Project Presentations
World Regional Geography II Students — “Mapping Southwest Asia and South Asia Climate Data using the ESRI Story Maps Platform” (live stream –

Aaliyah Shannon and Joey Batts, TSU US Department of Energy Environmental Justice Fellows – “Geographic Information Systems Scoping Methods for Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) for Four Gulf Coast Environmental Justice Communities” (live stream – ZOOM  Meeting ID – 362-548-2653

1:45PM – 3:05 PM – Student GIS Project Presentations
(live stream –
World Regional Geography I Students – “Mapping Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Atmosphere Protocol Data using ArcGIS Online” – Live, interactive learning activity with students at Stratford STEM Magnet High School.

6:05PM – 6:15PM – Welcome & Purpose of GIS Day (live stream – ZOOM )
Linda Loubert, PhD Chairperson & Associate Professor Economics Department Morgan State University

6:15PM – 6:30PM – (live stream – ZOOM )
“The Maps of Black Folk: Red, Green and other Symbologies of Racial and Class (Dis)Empowerment,” Mark Barnes, PhD Associate Professor/Coordinator History, Geography, and Museum Studies Department Environmental Studies Program Morgan State University

6:30PM – 6:45PM – (live stream – ZOOM )
“Geospatial Technologies in Professional Practice,” Brian Ivey, MS, Senior GIS Project Manager Office of Innovation and Technology, The City of Philadelphia and Danielle Chanté Burke, MS GIS Technician PECO Energy

6:45PM – 7:15PM -(live stream – ZOOM )
“Student Career Mapping in Geospatial Technologies,” David Padgett, PhD Associate Professor & Director Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory Tennessee State University

7:15PM – 7:30PM – (live stream – ZOOM )
Q & A, Reginald Archer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Science,
Tennessee State University

8:00PM – GLOBE Mission Earth Webinar #2 – Using GLOBE Urban Heat Islands -Surface Temperature Field Campaign Data to develop a Research Question, Dr. David A. Padgett, Associate Professor of Geography, Tennessee State University

Description − Did you know that NASA uses your GLOBE data? Dr. David Padgett from Tennessee State University showcases the NASA satellites which collect surface temperature data and explains how that data is collected. In the teacher feature, Jeff Bouwman from Shumate Middle School, Gibraltar, MI will focus on how to get students to develop research questions. Dates & locations of GLOBE Research Symposia will be announced.

Register for the GLOBE Webinar here –

Urban Geography Symposium – November 2-3, 2018

November 2-3, 2018, Drs. Willie Wright, Yousuf Al-Bulushi, and Adam Bledsoe will host an urban geography seminar in Baltimore, Maryland. The workshop, “(anti)Blackness in the American Metropolis,” is designed to address issues related to the condition of Blackness, Black people and communities in American cities, particularly majority Black cities. Our purpose for this gathering is to intervene in an interdisciplinary area of study (Black urbanism or the Black urban experience) that aside from key works by elder geographers (Bunge, Rose, Wilson) and more recent scholars (Derickson, Gilmore, McKittrick, Shabazz, Woods), is lacking in a sustained interest and analysis from the field of geography. Thus, we ask, what does it mean to propose, and how we one grapple with the idea, that “the neoliberal city” is an anti-Black city, or rather, is sustained by an anti-Black animus? And how are Black communities forging other modes of urban social life in these same spaces?

We welcome attendees to this free, two-day seminar. Sessions will include presentations from scholars and organizers from a variety of disciplines and locales. We will culminate the gathering with a keynote address by Ananya Roy at Red Emma’s Bookstore. The Black Geographies Specialty Group has generously offered to provide a travel award in the amount of $160 for a graduate student, adjunct faculty, or organizer/public intellectual attending the gathering.

We hope you accept our invitation and register here:
Attached, you will find a flyer for the event and directions for how to apply for the travel award.
Willie J. Wright
Yousuf Al-Bulushi
Adam Bledsoe
Urban Geography Journal
Human Geography Journal
Black Geographies Specialty Group
Department of Geography, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Institute for Urban Research, Morgan State University

#MariellePresente: A Joint Statement of Solidarity

Como coletivo comprometido com focalizar a negritude e como um povo com consciência global, convidamos a prestar solidariedade ao Movimento Negro e ao povo brasileiro após os assassinatos da vereadora do Rio de Janeiro Marielle Franco e seu motorista, Anderson Pedro Gomes, na noite do dia 14 de março deste ano. A vereadora Marielle Franco estava saindo de um evento de empoderamento das mulheres negras quando um carro se aproximou e um atirador disparou treze tiros, assassinando ela e seu motorista. As mídias locais mostram que as munições usadas para matar Marielle e Anderson foram compradas em 2006 pela Polícia Federal.

A vereadora Marielle Franco era uma ativista política radical, negra e bissexual, voz do povo das favelas do Rio de Janeiro. Ela era mãe, membro do Partido de Socialismo e Liberdade (PSOL), defensora dos direitos da mulher, militante da igualdade LGBT, e bem conhecida por seu trabalho social nas favelas. Durante anos, ela denunciou abertamente a brutalidade policial recorrente contra as populações mais marginalizadas da cidade. Nascida e criada no complexo das favelas da Maré, as perspectivas progressistas da Marielle levaram-na a conquistar o cargo de vereadora em 2016. Ela era a única mulher negra em uma Câmara de 51 representantes.

Dias antes do seu assassinato, a vereadora Marielle Franco foi nomeada relatora da comissão responsável por acompanhar a intervenção federal na segurança pública do Rio de Janeiro recentemente decretada pelo presidente Michel Temer. A intervenção militar era uma tentativa para conter a onda de violência. Em vez disso, o resultado tem sido a aterrorização dos mais marginalizados da cidade através de táticas que incluem a invasão de casas nas favelas. Um dos últimos posts da vereadora Franco em mídia social denunciou a morte de um negro jovem, Matheus Melo, que foi baleado durante uma agressão policial nas favelas.

Nós entendemos estes assassinatos como parte de um fenômeno global de anti-negritude, que se manifesta através de violência cotidiana contra o povo Negro, a supressão de vozes políticas Negras, o deslocamento de terras Negras, a exploração do trabalho Negro, o apagamento de culturas e histórias Negras, e a violência sexual e de gênero contra as mulheres Negras, queers e pessoas trans. Tais atrocidades nunca nos calarão ou impedirão nossa luta pela libertação Negra.

Escrevemos em solidariedade com as dezenas de milhares de pessoas que foram às ruas em luto e luta em mais de 20 cidades no Brasil, e também com inúmeros indivíduos e organizações Negros, queer, e feministas que continuam se comprometendo com a vida e libertação Negra. Agora, mais que nunca, este coletivo se compromete a ser um veículo de estímulo à reflexão crítica sobre os assuntos, os processos, as qualidades intrínsecas, e as interconexões que moldam as vidas e geografias Negras em escalas locais, nacionais, continentais, e internacionais. Os legados do colonialismo e o imperialismo tem contribuído para a exploração de afrodescendentes e para as propriedades estruturais e sociais do racismo anti-Negro no Brasil. Devemos, portanto, nos dedicar a lutar contra e criar alternativas a essas heranças destrutivas.

Em solidariedade,

As Comissões Especiais de Geografias Negras, Perspectivas Geográficas sobre Mulheres (GPOW), América Latina, Geografias Latinx e Espaço e Sexualidade da Associação Americana de Geógrafos


As a collective committed to centering Blackness and as global people of conscience, we call for solidarity with the Black Movement and the people of Brazil following the assassinations of Rio de Janeiro City Councilwoman, Marielle Franco, and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, on the night of March 14, 2018. Councilwoman Franco was driving back from a Black women’s empowerment event when a car drove up alongside hers, and shot into her car thirteen times, killing her and her driver. Local reporting shows that the ammunition used to kill Councilwoman Franco and Mr. Gomes was linked to the Federal Police.

Councilwoman Franco was a radical Black lesbian activist-politician who was a voice of the poor of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. She was a mother, a member of the leftist Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL), a women’s rights activist, a LGBT equality campaigner, and was known for her social work in the favelas. For years, she openly denounced the police brutality that was all too common against the city’s most marginalized populations. A product of the favela complex of Maré, Councilwoman Franco’s progressive views won her the vote as a city councilwoman in 2016. She was the only Black female representative on a City Council of 51 members.

Several days before her assassination, Councilwoman Franco was appointed as the rapporteur of a commission responsible for inspecting the recent military intervention decreed by president Michel Temer. The federal military intervention was a measure meant to curb rising violence. Instead it has resulted in the terrorization of the city’s poor via tactics that include the invasion of homes in the favelas. One of Councilwoman Franco’s last posts on social media suggested that the death of a young Black man, Matheus Melo, was the result of overly aggressive policing in these favela raids.

We understand these slayings to be a part of a global phenomenon of anti-Blackness, manifested through routine violence against Black peoples, suppression of Black political voices,  displacement from Black lands, exploitation of Black labor, erasure of Black cultures and histories, and gender and sexual violence against Black women, queer and transgender people. Such atrocities will never silence us or stop our fight for Black liberation. 

We write in solidarity with the tens of thousands who took to the streets in mourning and protest across more than 20 cities in Brazil, as well as the countless other Black, queer, and feminist individuals and organizations that continue to commit themselves to the cause of Black life and liberation. Now, more than ever, we commit this collective to be a vehicle for encouraging critical reflection on the issues, processes, intrinsic qualities, and interconnections that shape Black lives and geographies on local, national, continental, and international scales. The legacies of colonialism and imperialism have long contributed to exploitation of African descendants and the structural and social properties of anti-Black racism in Brazil. We must, therefore, devote ourselves to struggling against, and creating alternatives to, these destructive inheritances.

In solidarity,

The Black Geographies, Geographic Perspectives on Women, Latin America, Latinx Geographies, and Sexuality and Space Specialty Groups
American Association of Geographers


Como colectivo comprometido con centrar la negritud y como gente global de consciencia, convocamos a la solidaridad con el Movimiento Negro y el pueblo brasileño tras los asesinatos de la Representante del Consejo Municipal de Río de Janeiro, Marielle Franco, y su chofer, Anderson Pedro Gomes, la noche del 14 de marzo del presente año. La Representante Franco regresaba de un evento celebrando el empoderamiento de la mujer negra cuando un automóvil  se le acercó y personas desconocidas dispararon trece veces, matándola a ella y a su chofer. Noticieros locales reportaron que las municiones utilizadas en el asesinato de ambos fueron compradas en 2006 por la Policía Federal.

Marielle Franco era una activista-política radical, lesbiana y Negra, quien hablaba en representación de los pobres de las favelas de Río de Janeiro. Era una madre, miembro del Partido Socialismo y Libertad (PSOL), activista de los derechos de la mujer y LGBTQ y conocida por su trabajo social en las favelas. Desde hace años, denunciaba abiertamente la brutalidad policiaca que es demasiado común en contra de la población marginalizada de la ciudad. Nacida y crecida en el complejo de favelas de Maré, su visión progresista le ganó los votos para que fuera elegida como miembro del Consejo Municipal en 2016. Era la única mujer negra representante en un Consejo de 51 miembros.

Algunos días antes de su asesinato, Franco fue nombrada como relatora de una comisión responsable de investigar la intervención militar reciente decretada por el presidente Michel Temer. La intervención fue un intento de disminuir el aumento de la violencia. Sin embargo, esta sirve para aterrorizar a los residentes pobres, a través de tácticas como la invasión de casas en las favelas. Uno de los últimos comunicados de la representante en los medios sociales indicaba que la muerte de un joven negro, Matheus Melo, era el resultado de la agresión policiaca durante las redadas de las favelas.

Entendemos estos asesinatos como parte de un fenómeno global de anti-negritud, manifestado a través de la violencia cotidiana contra los pueblos negros, la represión de voces políticas negras, el desplazamiento de tierras negras, la explotación del trabajo negro, la ocultación de culturas y historias negras, la violencia de género y sexo contra mujeres, queers y personas trans. Queremos dejar claro que no hay ninguna atrocidad que pueda silenciarnos o parar nuestras luchas por la libertad negra.

Escribimos en solidaridad con las miles de personas quienes tomaron las calles en protesta en más de 20 ciudades en Brasil, tanto como innumerables organizaciones negras, queer, y feministas que continúan comprometiéndose con la causa de la vida y liberación negra. Ahora, más que nunca, nos comprometemos como colectivo como vehículo para facilitar la reflexión crítica sobre los asuntos, procesos, calidades y nexos que están creando vidas y geografías negras en escalas locales, nacionales, continentales y globales. El legado del colonialismo e imperialismo han contribuido a la explotación de descendientes de África y a un racismo anti-negro en Brasil. Tenemos que dedicarnos a luchar en contra de, y crear alternativas a, esta herencia destructiva.

En solidaridad,

The Black Geographies, Geographic Perspectives on Women, Latin America, Latinx Geographies, and Sexuality and Space Specialty Groups
American Association of Geographers