Online Roundtable: Garrett Felber’s ‘Those Who Know Don’t Say’

November 16-20, 2020

Black Perspectivesthe award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is collaborating with the Journal of Civil and Human Rights (JCHR)** to host a roundtable on Garrett Felber’s Those Who Know Don’t Say: The Nation of Islam, the Black Freedom Movement, and the Carceral State (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). The forum begins on Monday, November 16 and concludes on Friday, November 20. The online forum will feature pieces from Joshua Clark Davis (University of Baltimore), Brittany Friedman (Rutgers University, New Brunswick), Mohamad Jarada (University of California, Berkeley), and Alaina Morgan (University of Southern California). At the conclusion of the roundtable, the author Garrett Felber (University of Mississippi) will respond. A printed–and extended–version of the roundtable will be published in the JCHR in 2021.

During the week of the online roundtable, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 5:30AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHSon Twitter, like AAIHS on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.

Click here to view the essays in the roundtable.


About the Author

Garrett Felber is Assistant Professor in the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History at the University of Mississippi. Felber is the author of Those Who Know Don’t Say: The Nation of Islam, the Black Freedom Movement and the Carceral State (UNC Press, 2020) and co-author of The Portable Malcolm X Reader with the late Manning Marable (Penguin Classics, 2013). Those Who Know Don’t Say was recently shortlisted for the 2020 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award. Felber’s work has been published in the Journal of American History, Journal of African American HistoryJournal of Social History, and Souls. Felber was the lead organizer of the Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration conference and is the Project Director of the Parchman Oral History Project (POHP), a collaborative oral history, archival, and documentary storytelling project on incarceration in Mississippi. In 2016, Felber co-founded Liberation Literacy, an abolitionist collective inside and outside Oregon prisons. He spearheaded the Prison Abolition Syllabus, a reading list published by Black Perspectives which highlighted and contextualized the prison strikes of 2016 and 2018. Follow him on Twitter @garrett_felber.


About the Participants

Joshua Clark Davis is an assistant professor of United States history at the University of Baltimore focusing on social movements, policing, cities, capitalism, and African American history. His book, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs (Columbia University Press), explores how small businesses such as organic food stores, head shops, feminist businesses, and African American bookstores emerged from social movements and countercultures in the 1960s and ’70s. Josh is also a co-editor of the essay collection Baltimore Revisited: Stories of Inequality and Resistance in a U.S. City (Rutgers University Press). Josh has written for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Nation, and Jacobin, and his research has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Scholar Program, and the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. Follow him on Twitter @JoshClarkDavis


Brittany Friedman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University and researches race and prison order, penal policy, and the intersections between institutions and monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system. Her first book, tentatively titled, Born in Blood: Death Work, White Power, and the Rise of the Black Guerilla Family (under contract, The University of North Carolina Press), traces the institutionalization of control strategies designed to eradicate Black political protest and the resulting consequences for contemporary prison order. In addition to her book, Friedman is co-PI of a comparative study of pay-to-stay, which refers to the practice of charging incarcerated people fees for their confinement. She is also the PI of the Project on Covid-19 and New Jersey Prisons, a multi-method study evaluating the impact of policymaking on slowing the spread of Covid-19 within prisons and the resulting conditions of confinement. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, UCLA Criminal Justice Law Review, Sociological Perspectives, and Black Feminist Sociology: Perspectives and Praxis. She enjoys writing for academic and general audiences, with articles, chapters, essays, and interviews appearing in scholarly and public outlets. Follow her on Twitter @CurlyProfessor.


Mohamad Jarada is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Anthropology. His research interests concern emergent forms of political, social, and legal action forged within racialized communities in the United States. He is currently finishing his dissertation entitled “Who is the Subject of Civil Rights? Race, Islam, and Security in the American South.” It examines how Muslim American communities in the American South are renegotiating their relationship to civil rights law, law enforcement agencies, and surveillance programs; confronting their attendant logics of racialization and criminalization; and, as a result, reinterpreting their religious tradition and its practices. His broader research interests include American political and legal history, race and racialization, and theories of liberalism, rights, and politics. Follow him on Twitter @ohammadj.


Alaina Morgan is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Southern California (USC). Trained as a historian of the African Diaspora, Professor Morgan’s research focuses on the historic utility of religion, in particular Islam, in racial liberation and anti-colonial movements of the mid- to late-twentieth century Atlantic world.  As part of a body of work of intellectual, political, and religious history, Professor Morgan research teases out the connections between religious identity and racial formation, intellectual discourse and grassroots activism, and local and global politics.  Her first book, tentatively entitled Atlantic Crescent:  Dreaming of Black Muslim Liberation in the Contemporary Atlantic World, considers the ways that Islam and Blackness were used by Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Anglophone Caribbean to form the basis of transnational anti-colonial and anti-imperial political movements from the end of World War II to the end of the twentieth century.  This book investigates the varying ways that Muslims of African descent thought of colonialism and imperialism–focusing at various times on European colonization; American neo-imperialism in Latin America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean; and on the idea of the urban inner city as a colonized and occupied space.


**The Journal of Civil and Human Rights is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, academic journal dedicated to studying modern U.S.-based social justice movements and freedom struggles, including transnational ones, and their antecedents, influence, and legacies. The journal features an editor’s note, research-based articles, interviews, editorials, state-of-the-field pieces, and book forums.

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