Black Consciousness: beyond violence and MLK’s Mountaintop

Fragments from a 2017/18 Notebook:

Our Lives are not just the antithesis of humanity. Humanity should refer to all peoples on the face of the earth, but experience has taught us to be wary of definitions which practically alienate others. for too long the Black has been treated like an other. We have come a long way from vulgar public lynchings and open enslavement. The system has become more sophisticated and the lynchings now take on various other forms, from mass incarceration, media biases to work-space inequity. Although there are many reasons to believe the old myths regarding Biblical curses and Islamic interpretations of who are servants, followers or leaders, prophets and pacemakers, We as the people known as Black, are on a journey of Self Discovery. Our journey leads through a Death Valley strewn with so many Bones. These Bones Must Rise Again ….Their destination is beyond Martin Luther Kings’ Mountain Top …

What compelled the West to violence against Black Bodies? Thinking  of Abram Ramothibi Onkgopotse Tiro, Malik El Haji Shabbaz aka Brother Malcolm X, Bantubonke Steve Biko, Mangiliso Robert Sobukwe, Isidore Thomas Sankara, the many unsung and vaguely remembered Sister and Brothers that have become martyred although their aim was not martyrdom but Freedom.

Black Consciousness puts into crisis the universal application of Marxism …

BC is not a rejection but an expansion and elucidation of the idea that Black lives do matter. Even though they do not matter to the System that perpetuates their/our negation and actively promotes our death, Our Lives do Matter, But to Whom?

The constituent elements of civil society are, antiblack.” – Before we can find out how Our Lives are valuable to Ourselves and to those with whom we share this finite world, we need to take a few steps back and look at ourselves and our experience with this world.

“Gramscian wisdom cannot imagine the emergence, elaboration and stunting of a subject by way, not of the contingency of violence resulting in a ‘crisis of authority’, but by way of direct relations of force.’ This is remarkable, and unfortunate, given the fact that the emergence of the slave, the subject effect of an ensemble of direct relations of force marks the emergence of capitalism itself.’

Let us put a finer point on it: violence towards the black body is the pre-condition for the existence of Gramsci’s single entity, “the modern bourgeois – state”, with its divided apparatus, political society and civil society.”

 

NB. I have forgotten whom I was quoting, I usually acknowledge my sources. But it is someone close, from the Black Radical Tradition. It is either Dr Frank Wilderson, Andile Mngxitama or Jackie Shandu.

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