Video: On race and power

Posted on April 18, 2016

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Omar Ali

“‘Race’ is a function of power. Power is created through performances. Every moment is a choice. We can choose to act deliberately, intentionally, or not.

“So I ask you. What is your performance? What is our performance? How can we become more powerful?”

Ranging from Afrocentrism to linguistics and play, Dr. Omar Ali explores the idea that “we can perform our own development.”

Omar H. Ali is a historian of the African Diaspora who is of East Indian and Peruvian descent. The 2016 Carnegie Foundation North Carolina Professor of the Year serves as Interim Dean of Lloyd International Honors College at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A graduate of the London School of Economics, he received his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.

His latest book, Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery across the Indian Ocean explores race as a function of power. Read more about it at and visit Dr. Ali’s website at  


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