Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2017 ShaKea K. Alston. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Peace & Conflict Studies Department

First Advisor

Sa'ed Atshan


This paper explores reciprocal solidarity between the Black Lives Matter and Free Palestine movements. I begin by providing an overview of the historical and contemporary systems of discrimination and oppression each group has experienced as marginalized populations in their respective contexts. I explain how the perpetuation of these systems relates Giorgio Agamben's theory of the "state of exception," describing how both the United States and Israel have been able to transcend traditional human rights doctrine. I outline critical differences in the experiences of Blacks in the United States and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, with an emphasis on race and the role of international law and organizations. I follow by examining theoretical notions of solidarity, placing the relationship between Blacks and Palestinians within these theories. I conclude by describing existing practices of reciprocal solidarity between these groups and exploring additional avenues for coalition.