The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC Events

4/29-4/30 – Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back Conference

We encourage you to breathe, dream, remember, dig, stretch, move, spin, and create with us  on April 29-30, 2022 for the first annual Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back virtual conference in partnership with the CUNY Graduate Center English Student Association.

Registration is now open

Each day features curated panels, breakout sessions for presentations and papers, keynote conversations and performances, followed by a virtual party with DJs like Natasha Diggs (Soul In The Horn) and Junior RecordBreakin’ (Eavesdrop Radio/Dust N Dignity).

Keynote conversations “Jackin’ Bodies and Beats: The Party as Story, Healing and Community,”  “Pushin BLACK: New Directions Forward and Beyond” and “Creative Genius and Institutions” include actor and musician Phonte Coleman (Foreign Exchange/Little Brother/Questlove Supreme Podcast) and Dr. Tressie McMillam Cottom (UNC-CH), Dr. Todd Craig (GC/Medgar Evers), Dr. Adam Banks (Stanford U.), DJ scholar Lynnée Denise, Dr. Marisa Parham (UMD), composer and filmmaker Steve Wallace (King Hal), multidisciplinary artist and scholar Brian “B” Polite (Ase Dance & Afromosaic Soul), and producer Derick “D” Prosper (Soul In The Horn).

All sessions will be open to the public including offerings from DJs, dancers, lyricists, scholars, students and visual artists. 

For more information about the conference, registration processes, a tentative schedule of roundtables, panels, and paper presentations, and other essentials, please visit the BBRB website at


Breakin’ BLACK Reachin’ Back intends to create space to elevate and uplift the ongoing and often overlooked connections between the block, the basement, the booth, the beat and the breath. An opportunity to celebrate the invaluable, influential contributions of musicians, scholars, critics, political activists, party throwers and partygoers, everyday people who not only make this world go round, but who inspire and embody the lyrics, theories, and sonics of life throughout historical shifts. This virtual mini-conference will center dialogue and multimodal conversations, including musical performances, digital humanities and virtual parties with plenty of opportunities for audience engagement through Q&A, surveys and various digital implements.

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