We were proud to provide film production for the 2018 Annual Conference of the British Sociological Association (BSA), hosted by Northumbria University. The theme of this year’s conference was “Identity, Community and Social Solidarity,” and keynote speakers Kimberlé Crenshaw, Omar Khan and Gregor McLennan brought their expertise to explore these topics.

 

We interviewed Kimberlé Crenshaw in the aftermath of the conference to discuss her speech. Crenshaw has extensively written in and lectured on the areas of civil rights and race matters, including for the United Nations World Conference on Racism. Her work on race and gender was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution, and she is co-founder of the African American Policy Forum.

 

Crenshaw is also known for her development of intersectional theory. She explains the significance of the role intersectionality plays in society:

 

“We do have to double-down and fight to elevate the values of justice and equality that many of us hold dear, but to do that we have to self-interrogate the way we have thought about racial justice, gender justice and class justice as separate campaigns – separate interests – and in that separation, we have actually, in some ways, lost the momentum. To get it back, we have to adopt a more intersectional framework.”

 

In this video, you can see Crenshaw discuss the topic of her keynote speech. This revolves around how racist ideologies have manifested in Trump’s America and the reasoning behind the rise of the alt-right movement, exploring the rhetoric founding the pro-Trump electorate and the way in which this is built on notions of what Crenshaw terms “diminished over-representation”.

 

Crenshaw discusses what compels her to continue her work, the week after the 50th anniversary of the first speech that she ever made; as a student, the day after the assassination of Martin Luther King. Crenshaw says of this first speech, “The silence in the face of this world-changing tragedy was more than I could bear. The point of the assassination was to silence a call for justice – for that to be effective would mean that we were also silent. I saw speaking as my own way of resisting; of not allowing the repression to do the work that the repressive people want it to do.”

 

You can watch Crenshaw’s thought-provoking interview in full below.