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Dr. Robin J. Hayes hails from a blended Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, and African American family in Brooklyn (before it was artisanal). With the assistance of academic scholarships, she attended St. George's, an elite New England boarding school, and studied at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts-where she came out as Queer and explored the ballroom scene. After graduating, she collaborated with veterans, clergy, and soccer moms to lead dozens of humanitarian aid missions to Latin America.
Later, she studied at the Sorbonne and Yale University-where; she earned a Ph.D. in political science and African American studies. As a professor at Williams, Northwestern, and other prestigious colleges and universities, Robin wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning documentary "Black and Cuba," which streams on Amazon Prime. She's published essays in "The Atlantic," produced the prize-winning play "9 GRAMS" (directed by Obie-winner S. Epatha Merkerson), and received funding for work from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation. Her narrative history book "Love for Liberation: African Independence, Black Power, and a Diaspora Underground" was published to critical acclaim.
Recently, Robin shifted her full-time focus away from academia to Hollywood. She participated in The Black List/Women in Film Episodic Lab. In addition, she's a writer on the forthcoming television series "Sandokan" from the producers of "Transformers," "Queen of the South," and "Devils." A surfing and contemporary art enthusiast, Robin is based in Los Angeles.
About the book:
During the height of the Cold War, passionate idealists across the US and Africa came together to fight for Black self-determination and the antiracist remaking of society. Beginning with the 1957 Ghanaian independence celebration, the optimism and challenges of African independence leaders were publicized to African Americans through community-based newspapers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Inspired by African independence—and frustrated with the slow pace of civil rights reforms in the US—a new generation of Black Power activists embarked on nonviolent direct action campaigns and built alternative institutions designed as spaces of freedom from racial subjugation.
Featuring interviews with activists, extensive archival research, and media analysis, Robin Hayes reveals how Black Power and African independence activists created a diaspora underground characterized by collaboration and reciprocal empowerment. Together, they redefined racial discrimination as an international human rights issue requiring education, sustained collective action, and global solidarity—laying the groundwork for future transnational racial justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter.