Thank you all for enthusiastically supporting the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). The blog has been doing tremendously well, with an average of 150,000 visitors per month. Last month was one of our most successful months on the blog, with more than 300,000 viewers! Our subscriber list is rapidly growing and we have a strong presence on social media. I am excited about these developments. However, I also desire to see us expand our readership—and our reach—even further.
Over the next few weeks, we will be making some significant changes on the blog, which I firmly believe will help us advance these goals. As we expand our reach and impact, please know that I remain fully committed to ensuring that we maintain the high level of quality for which we are known.
First, we are launching a new website in January 2017. This new site will make it significantly easier for readers to access more of the superb content on our blog, including author interviews, book features, and syllabi. To make this transition a smooth one, we’re taking a break from December 24 to January 1. During this period, we will not publish any new pieces and the site will be down for maintenance. Be sure to download your favorite pieces before December 24 (and don’t worry—older content will be available on the new site). The blog will resume regular activities on January 2, 2017. During this down time, our editing team will be taking a much needed break, but we’re looking forward to jumping back into the swing of things in the new year.
Second, we are introducing a new name for our blog. The organization will remain the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). However, our blog will now be called Black Perspectives. You’ll see this new name reflected on our new website and on social media accounts. This move will help to broaden our readership even more—and save many of you from struggling to remember the tongue-twister “AAIHS.” More importantly, the new name reflects the core of our organizational mission—to foster dialogue about researching, writing, and teaching black thought and culture.
We’re also adding some new and dynamic bloggers, including J.T. Roane, a brilliant young scholar from Tappahannock, Virginia. Roane is the 2016-2017 McPherson/Eveillard Postdoctoral Fellow at Smith College. He will contribute pieces on black queer politics, the intersections between the history of science, medicine, public health, and the broader social history of the late 20th-century United States. Roane is currently at work on a manuscript titled “Sovereignty in the City: Black Infrastructures and the Politics of Place in 20-Century Philadelphia.” He received his doctorate in history in 2016 from Columbia University.
In 2017, we’re continuing to expand the boundaries of black intellectual history (the theme of our upcoming conference). To that end, we will be featuring a diverse group of black intellectuals on the blog who are leaders and trailblazers in their respective fields. In January, we’re featuring a two-part interview with Speech from the two-time Grammy award winning Hip Hop group Arrested Development. In this two-part interview with blogger Guy Emerson Mount, Speech shares his views on a range of topics including music, black internationalism, politics, and religion.
Many of you have asked for more forums and roundtables—we’re planning to offer more in 2017. The first roundtable, scheduled for January 22–27, will be on Heather Ann Thompson’s highly acclaimed new book, Blood in the Water. For the first time ever (and hopefully not the last), we’re teaming up with the Journal of Civil and Human Rights. Abridged versions of the responses will appear on our blog and the longer versions will be published in the journal several months later.
In recognition of the anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination, we’re featuring a forum on the blog in February 2017 that will bring together a diverse group of scholars to reflect on Malcolm’s life and legacy. During this week-long forum, each scholar will offer insights on the lasting influence and significance of Malcolm’s ideas for current political movements in the United States and abroad. Moderated by blogger Garrett Felber, this forum will feature posts by Zaheer Ali; Laura Warren Hill; Alaina Morgan; Ibram X. Kendi; Maytha Alhassen; Amy Ongiri; and Russell Rickford. Other exciting forums and roundtables are in the works, including one on Sowande’ Mustakeem‘s new book Slavery at Sea. We will provide more updates in the coming weeks.
The success of the AAIHS blog is a testament to your unwavering support. On behalf of the editing team, thank you. We look forward to bringing more exciting content to you in 2017. As always, we welcome constructive feedback and suggestions–feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Keisha N. Blain, Senior Blog Editorpermission.