Hari Ziyad is an artist, the author of Black Boy Out of Time: A Never Coming of Age Story (Little A, 2019) and the Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitR. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated in Film and Television and Psychology, and their work is informed by their passion for storytelling and wrestling with identity as a Black, non-binary child of Muslim and Hindu parents while growing up in Cleveland. They are also a script consultant on the drama series David Makes Man (OWN, 2019), the Managing Editor for Black Youth Project and an Assistant Editor for Vinyl Poetry & Prose.
The Limitations of Representation
Can visibility, based as it is in a notion of shared humanity, work for Black people if we aren’t seen as fully human? What if the many campaigns rooted in drawing power from, or even weaponizing visibility, such as the campaign for marriage equality, benefit those most closely associated with humanity under white society (white, male, cisgender and affluent)? What if they do little for Black queer communities still ravaged by more pressing concerns like HIV and homelessness epidemics, while also actually reinforcing the violence facing us? What if Black queer folks making ourselves “seen” to a hostile state provides yet another opportunity for our bodies to be further criminalized?
What Are You Abolishing?: Prison/Police Abolition in Action
Why is prison and police abolition necessary? How do we enact abolition on a practical, everyday level? What are alternatives for safety? In a world rifled with anti-Blackness, white-supremacy, and queer antagonism, the question "What are you abolishing?" is as much a call to arms as it is an inquiry.
Beyond Ally Politics
This workshop discusses the pitfalls of non-marginalized identities allying with marginalized groups and offers tools and techniques for avoiding them. Why do allies seem to always co-opt causes and take up space, and adopt the role to ignore that they are part of the problem? How do we move beyond allyship?
The Role of Pessimism in Black Liberation
Through Afro-pessimism and the theories guiding the framework, this discussion analyzes how Black pessimistic/nihilistic politics have been dismissed as impractical for refusing to compromise and rejecting piecewise reform, as too theoretical because they propose a future that is unimaginable under the imperial project of whiteness, and as too demanding in that they call for a complete refusal of that project. By analyzing events such as the Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charleston, I dispel myths and misunderstandings around what it means to "think negatively" and the hope required of knowing this world will never be enough so we must create new ones.
"Word to Everything..."
A workshop for Black CNF writers in the digital world. An opportunity for Black writers to hone their skills in the genre of creative nonfiction, while also preparing them for the predominantly white publishing world. The series will touch on topics such as the Fundamentals of Pitching, Essay Writing in Digital Spaces 101, Managing Black Radical Politics in the Anti-Black Publishing World, How to Maintain the Integrity of your Experience While Never Neglecting your Creativity, and more. It’s an opportunity for both emerging and seasoned Black writers to further develop their storytelling abilities through group discussion, writing exercises, and individual assignments.
Other topics may also be available on request!
Past Talks and Workshops
- Showing Up for Black Lives: None of Us Are Free Unless Black Trans Women are Free panel
Occidental College (2018)
- A Stoop Conversation: Writing Black Queer Life Stories
Lit Crawl Brooklyn (2018)
- "Word to Everything..." a workshop series for Black non-fiction writers hosted by RaceBaitR
New York Writers Coalition (2018)
- Book Talk: “No Ashes in the Fire” with Darnell Moore
Brooklyn Historical Society (2018)
- Panel on Queer and Trans folx and representation / visibility in the Black Lives Matter movement
The Lark Theater (2018)
- Black Futures Series: Hari Ziyad on Black Pessimism
Cal State LA (2018)
- Past Present Future: The Ongoing Aids Epidemic in Four Documents
Union Docs (2018)
- Discussion on practicing prison and police abolition
Columbia University (2017)
- Black Studies and Black Radical Tradition reading group presentation
Princeton University (2017)
- Black radicalism in journalism discussion
Columbia University (2017)
- Discussion on Black queer identity
MOBItalks Bronx (2017)
- Courageous Conversations, talk on queer representation with Councilman Ritchie Torres
BAAD Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (2017)
- A Blackstravaganza for Mental Health Awareness, reading
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (2017)
- CLAGS After Marriage Conference on queer liberation movements, panelist
John Jay College (2016)
- Ally Politics Workshop
IHP Human Rights (2016)
- Discussion on post-racial identity, Black Educational Imaginations course
UC Berkeley (2016)