Maboula Soumahoro and Kaiama L. Glover in Conversation
Entre Nous

  • Fri, February 4, 2022 | 7:30 p.m.
  • Zoom event
  • Watch the event below

Join professors Maboula Soumahoro and Kaiama L. Glover, both specialists of Africana and Diaspora Studies, for a discussion of Soumahoro’s recent book, Black is the Journey, Africana the Name (Polity Books, 2021, trans. Kaiama L. Glover).

In this highly original book, Maboula Soumahoro explores the cultural and political vastness of the Black Atlantic, where Africa, Europe, and the Americas were tied together by the brutal realities of the slave trade and colonialism. Each of these spaces has its own way of reading the Black body and the Black experience, and its own modes of visibility, invisibility, silence, and amplification of Black life. By weaving together her personal history with that of France and its abiding myth of color-blindness, Maboula Soumahoro highlights the banality and persistence of structural racism in France today, and shows that freedom will be found in the journey and movement between the sites of the Atlantic triangle. Africana is the name of that freedom.

About the Speakers:

Maboula Soumahoro is an associate professor at the University of Tours and president of the Black History Month Association, dedicated to celebrating Black history and cultures. A specialist in the field of Africana Studies, she has conducted research and taught in several universities and prisons in the United States and France and was most recently a Villa Albertine Resident in Atlanta. She is the author of Le Triangle et l’Hexagone, réflexions sur une identité noire (La Découverte, 2021), translated in English by Dr. Kaiama L. Glover as Black Is the Journey, Africana the Name (Polity, 2021). This book received the FetKann! Maryse Condé literary prize in 2020.

Kaiama L. Glover is Ann Whitney Olin Professor of French and Africana Studies and Faculty Director of the Digital Humanities Center at Barnard College, Columbia University. She has written extensively about Caribbean literature in such works as A Regarded Self: Caribbean Womanhood and the Ethics of Disorderly Being (2021) and Haiti Unbound: A Spiralist Challenge to the Postcolonial Canon (2010), and she is the prize-winning translator of several works of prose fiction and non-fiction. Her current project, an intellectual biography titled “For the Love of Revolution: René Depestre and the Poetics of a Radical Life," has been supported by fellowships at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris and the New York Public Library Cullman Center. She has also been awarded grants from the PEN/Heim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review and is the co-host of WRITING HOME | American Voices from the Caribbean.

Co-organized by:



This conversation is part of the Entre Nous series organized in partnership with the The American Library in Paris and Columbia Global Centers | Paris.