ISR Public Event: 19th January 2021

‘An End and a Beginning?’
Race Relations in the United States:
The Trump Legacy and the Biden Presidency

Photo by Adam Schultz

Watch the webinar here: Youtube ISR Playlist

The inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States on 20 January marks the end of a long and bitterly contested election campaign. An inauguration also reflects the hopes and aspirations of an incoming President. It provides an opportunity for them to present their vision of a better future in the years to come, not just for their fellow Americans but for peoples around the world.

In 2009 the inauguration of Barack Obama was met with optimism, both at home and abroad, as he pledged to ‘begin again the work of remaking America’. His taking office as the nation’s first African American President encouraged the hope of a post-racial America. Eight years later, in his farewell address, the outgoing President acknowledged that ‘such a vision, however well intended, was never realistic’ and that race remained a ‘potent and often divisive force’ in American society.

In January 2017 President Trump’s ‘American Carnage’ inaugural address offered pessimistic, dystopian, images of U.S. society that reminded Kim Darroch, the watching British ambassador to the United States, of ‘zombie movies reincarnated’. Racial conflicts and inequalities became one of the hallmarks of his presidency, as reflected in the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of white supremacist organizations. At times tensions were fuelled by the President’s controversial remarks on immigration and his reluctance to condemn race hate groups, such as at Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.

This online discussion forum, with three leading authorities from the United States, will examine the legacy of the Trump administration on race. It will assess the extent to which the Biden Presidency provides opportunities for change, and the lessons that might be learnt from the United States for race relations in Britain and Europe.

Organised by Institute for Social Responsibility and the International Centre for Racism at Edge Hill University, this event takes place online (a secure link will be distributed following registration).

Date: Tuesday 19th January 2021

5.00pm Event start
6.00pm Event close

Venue: Online (a secure link will be distributed following registration).

Registration: This event is FREE but please click here to register your place.


Whitney Battle-Baptiste is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology in the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a historical archaeologist who focuses primarily on the historical intersection of race, class, and gender in the shaping of cultural landscapes across the African diaspora. Her theoretical interests include Black feminist theory, African American material and expressive culture, and critical heritage studies. Her work spans a variety of historic sites in the Northern and Southern United States, including the home of Andrew Jackson in Nashville, Tennessee; Rich Neck Plantation in Williamsburg, Virginia; the Abiel Smith School in Boston, Massachusetts; and the W. E. B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Her latest research is a community-based archaeology project at the Millars Plantation site on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas.

Jean Beaman is Associate Professor of Sociology, with affiliations with Political Science, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, and the Center for Black Studies Research, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Previously, she was faculty at Purdue University and held visiting fellowships at Duke University and the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). Her research is ethnographic in nature and focuses on race/ethnicity, racism, international migration, and state-sponsored violence in both France and the United States. She is author of Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France (University of California Press, 2017), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Her current book project is on suspect citizenship and belonging, anti-racist mobilization, and activism against police violence in France. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. She is also an Editor of H-Net Black Europe, an Associate Editor of the journal, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and Corresponding Editor for the journal Metropolitics/Metropolitiques.

Heidi Beirich is a co-founder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) which has a mission to strengthen and educate a diverse global community committed to exposing and countering racism, bigotry and prejudice; and to promote the human rights values that support flourishing, inclusive societies and democracies.

Dr Beirich is an international expert on American and European extremist movements, including the white supremacist, anti-immigrant, antisemitic and anti-government movements, and is the author of numerous academic publications on hate and extremism movements. Prior to founding GPAHE she led the Southern Law Poverty Center’s Intelligence Project, the foremost organization tracking hate and extremism movements in the United States.


International Centre for Racism at Edge Hill University.
The ICR delivers advanced research on global questions concerning racism, with a commitment to engaging in the study of all racisms, including antisemitism.
Visit the ICR website to learn more.

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