graphic reads, "February 2021 Black History Month University of Utah."

Reframing the Conversation: ‘Black is Not a Monolith’

Black is not a monolith. To consider those words is to consider the full breadth of the human experience. Black people don’t move as one, but rather move in all directions, toward and away from each other. Black Americans represent 13.4% of the population, and with more than 40 million people who identify as Black, this community represents a diverse array of backgrounds, expectations, political views, music, culinary taste and perspectives.

Despite the vast array of cultural/ethnic backgrounds and lived experiences in the African diaspora, each Black person is united by how their brown skin is interpreted in America. And while they are often crammed into a box constructed by society, Black people are not a monolith, nor is the way they navigate or deal with whiteness.

Panelists of “Reframing the Conversation: Black is Not a Monolith” shared how they celebrate and define their Blackness, urged attendees to keep educating themselves on the diversity of Black culture and experience and reiterated the need for dismantling racial biases that surround them.

Watch the full conversation below and find a transcript along with related campus and community resources here.

Reframing the Conversation brings together experts from across campus and the community to spark important conversations around racism, othering and safety. With these conversations, we are striving to counteract the growing culture of othering with a culture of belonging. Learn more here.

Join us for daily events throughout the final week of Black History Month. See the full schedule here.