Events downtown

Jul 31

Hajar Yazdiha: in person at Back Cove Books
Location: 651 Forest Ave, Unit 1, Portland, Maine 04101, US
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event website

The Struggle for the People’s King
Monday July 31st, 2023 @ 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Join us at Back Cove Books for an evening of conversation with Dr. Hajar Yazdiha, author of The Struggle for the People’s King, and Shay Stewart-Bouley of Black Girl in Maine Media. 

The Struggle for the People’s King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement, by Dr. Hajar Yazdiha, examines how a wide range of rivaling social movements across the political spectrum deploy competing interpretations of the Civil Rights Movement to make claims around national identity and inclusion. Comparing how rival movements constituted by minority and majority groups with a range of identities — racial, gender, sexuality, religious, moral, political — battle over collective memory, the book documents how the misuses of the racial past erode multicultural democracy.

Dr. Yazdiha’s research and voice, coupled with Shay Stewart-Bouley’s decades of experience working at the intersection of race relations and social justice, ensures an evening of powerful discussion of timely and relevant issues that directly shape the current American political and social landscape.

No RSVP required. Back Cove Books is located at 651 Forest Ave, Unit 1 Portland, ME

A portion of sales from the event will be donated to Community Change Inc. 

About Dr. Yazdiha
Hajar Yazdiha is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, faculty affiliate of the Equity Research Institute, and a 2023-2025 CIFAR Global Azrieli Scholar. Dr. Yazdiha received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is a former Ford Postdoctoral Fellow and Turpanjian Postdoctoral Fellow of the Chair in Civil Society and Social Change.

Dr. Yazdiha’s research provides new insights into the relationship between macro-level institutional structures, meso-level group processes of collective identity formation and collective behavior, and micro-level perceptions, emotions, and mental health. Through her research, Dr. Yazdiha works to understand how systems of inequality become entrenched and how groups develop strategies to resist, contest, and manifest alternative futures.

About Shay Stewart-Bouley:
In the early-2000s, Shay moved from her native Chicago to Maine and, as a Black woman living in one of the least diverse spaces in the United States, found herself writing regularly about race relations, social justice, and white supremacy in such publications at the Portland Phoenix (where she had a monthly column, “Diverse City” for more than a decade), the Portland Press Herald, the Journal Tribune, and DigPortland.

Shay is a prolific blogger at her award-winning website/blog Black Girl in Maine Media, where race is a major theme but also other social and political issues, as well as sometimes just commentary on daily life as a Black, middle-aged woman in a world where these traits frequently are not valued. Shay’s writing also has been featured in a variety of national publications as well as several anthologies. In November 2016, she gave a TEDx talk entitled “Inequity, Injustice… Infection.” In June 2021, she was elected to the Portland, Maine Charter Commission. Shay is the Executive Director of the oldest continuously operating anti-racism organization in the nation, Community Change Inc. (based in Boston), where she still works today.