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Updated by Assata's Daughters on Jan 25, 2017
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Anti-Blackness is...

What is anti-blackness? How has it evolved? And how is it different from other forms of racial oppression?

Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route

The slave, Hartman observes, is a stranger―torn from family, home, and country. To lose your mother is to be severed from your kin, to forget your past, and to inhabit the world as an outsider.

Riding with Death: Defining Anti-Blackness

Black people only have one recognized right in this world -- the right to death. This right is not the right to choose when or how we will die, it is not a coveted right. This right is also not the same guarantee of death that all living beings share. That everyone will eventually die…

Malcolm X: You Got What's Known As White's Disease!

Malcolm X speaks to the residents of Harlem

"BALDWIN'S NIGGER" (James Baldwin and Dick Gregory)

A 1969 conversation with writer James Baldwin and Dick Gregory in London about the black experience in America and how it relates to the Caribbean and Great Britain.

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America

The idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime. Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, this fascinating book reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies.

Ferguson must force us to face anti-blackness

Black lives matter” has replaced “Hands up, don’t shoot!” as the mantra of those protesting for justice in Ferguson and throughout the country. The simplicity of the phrase is a national shame. Among protesters’ implicit demands are freedom, respect, and dignity for black Americans, but those ideas seem light years away in a country where black people are killed and those responsible give interviews on national television with “a clear conscience.” Institutionalized racism and white supremacy are toxic for all people of color. But the “black” in “black lives matter” calls our attention to a related, but distinct, force that produces more deaths like Trayvon Martin’s and Michael Brown’s: Anti-blackness.

The Constituent Elements of Slavery

Chapter excerpt from "Slavery and Social Death."
Beyond the reconceptualization of the basic master–slave relationship and the redefinition of slavery as an institution with universal attributes, Patterson rejects the legalistic Roman concept that places the “slave as property” at the core of the system. Rather, he emphasizes the centrality of sociological, symbolic, and ideological factors interwoven within the slavery system. Along the whole continuum of slavery, the cultural milieu is stressed, as well as political and psychological elements. Materialistic and racial factors are deemphasized. The author is thus able, for example, to deal with “elite” slaves, or even eunuchs, in the same framework of understanding as fieldhands; to uncover previously hidden principles of inheritance of slave and free status; and to show the tight relationship between slavery and freedom.

Interdisciplinary in its methods, this study employs qualitative and quantitative techniques from all the social sciences to demonstrate the universality of structures and processes in slave systems and to reveal cross-cultural variations in the slave trade and in slavery, in rates of manumission, and in the status of freedmen. Slavery and Social Death lays out a vast new corpus of research that underpins an original and provocative thesis.

Red, White & Black: Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms Paperback – March 19, 2010

Wilderson contends that for Blacks, slavery is ontological, an inseparable element of their being. From the beginning of the European slave trade until now, Blacks have had symbolic value as fungible flesh, as the non-human (or anti-human) against which Whites have defined themselves as human. Just as slavery is the existential basis of the Black subject position, genocide is essential to the ontology of the Indian. Both positions are foundational to the existence of (White) humanity.

Itemizing Atrocity

For blacks, the “war on terror” hasn’t come home. It’s always been here. How then might we consider the emphasis on the militarization of policing as the problem as another example of “the precariousness of empathy”?

The problem with casting militarization as the problem is that the formulation suggests it is the excess against which we must rally. We must accept that the ordinary is fair, for an extreme to be the problem. The policing of black people — carried out through a variety of mechanisms and processes — is purportedly warranted, as long as it doesn’t get too militarized and excessive.

Attention is drawn to the “spectacular event” rather than to the point of origin or the mundane. Circulated are the spectacles — dead black bodies lying in the streets or a black teenager ambushed by several police officers in military gear, automatic weapons drawn.