“In other words, the notion that there is no black social life is part of a set of variations on a theme that include assertions of the irreducible pathology of black social life and the implications that (non-pathological) social life is what emerges by way of the exclusion of the black or, more precisely, of blackness. But what are we to make of the pathological here? What are the implications of a social life that, on the one hand, *is not what it is* and, on the other hand, is irreducible to what it is is used for? This discordant echo of one of Theodor W. Adorno’s most infamous assertions about jazz implies that black social life reconstitutes the music that is its phonographic. That music, which Miles Davis calls ‘social music,’ to which Adorno and Fanon gave only severe and partial hearing, is of interdicted black social life operating on frequencies that are disavowed—though they are amplified—in the interplay of sociopathological and phenomenological description. How can we fathom a social life that tends toward death, that enacts a kind of being-toward-death, and which, because of such tendency and enactment, maintains a terribly beautiful vitality? Deeper still, what are we to make of the fact of a sociality that emerges when lived experience is distinguished from fact, in the fact of life that is implied in the very phenomenological gesture/analysis within which Fanon asserts black social life as, in all but the most minor ways, impossible? How is it that the off harmony of life, sociality, and blackness is the condition of possibility of the claim that there is no black social life? Does black life, in its irreducible and impossible sociality and precisely in what might be understood as its refusal of the status of social life that is refused it, constitute a fundamental danger—an excluded but immanent disruption—to social life? What will it have meant to embrace this matrix of im/possibility, to have spoken of and out of this suspension? What would it mean to dwell on or in minor social life? This set of questions is imposed upon us by Fanon. At the same time, and in a way that is articulated most clearly and famously by W. E. B. Du Bois, this set of questions is the position, which is also to say the problem, of blackness.”
— The great poet-thinker Fred Moten, throwing down the gauntlet in “The Case of Blackness” (Criticism 50:2 2008) and the starting point for one of my semester research/writing/curating projects.
3:15 pm • 14 September 2014 • 5 notes
“To dismiss the movie [Django Unchained] because of a presumption of Tarantino’s racism or to ignore it because it is an “insult” to our ancestors is to miss the point. The real insult to our ancestors is slavery itself and the capitalist social system that slavery birthed. Our opposition must be directed at the system, and, in opposing the system, we reject the liberal solution presented by Tarantino, which obscures the real contradiction and functions to cover for and protect capitalist white power while offering up offensive white individuals for sacrifice. We reject Django because it minimizes the role of the organized masses in making and changing history, reducing us to political fodder for white liberals and their special, “one in ten thousand” negros, or, “Talented Tenth.””
— by Omali Yeshitela - Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party. Article titled: Django Unchained, or, “Killing whitey while protecting white power”: A critical analysis (Jan 20, 2013)
(Source: luvlaila, via soundlogic888)
4:24 pm • 21 August 2014 • 8 notes
“We can’t have an honest conversation about gun violence with the American public while the police become increasingly militarized and our military polices the entire globe using drones to kill brown-skinned innocents with impunity. We have to connect these dots between militarism, wholesale economic disinvestment and its resulting intractable poverty, and empire-building if we are to have any chance to effectively address interpersonal violence at the community-level.”
10:49 pm • 12 August 2014 • 4 notes
"Political Ambitionz az a Rioter" by Robert Stephens
In the past, I’ve argued that riots, or insurrections, are rational responses to systemic subjugation. In 2012 Anaheim and 2011 London, we saw media outlets consistently try to paint these uprisings as irrational and criminal outbursts with no meaningful connection to politics. The scholarship is clear, riots/spontaneous insurrections are rational expressions of group solidarity. However, the political nature of the riots has always been a little more elusive. Fortunately, with the insurrection in Ferguson, MO following the murder of Michael Brown, we have clear proof of the sophisticated political agitation that often precipitates spontaneous uprisings by marginalized groups.
1:36 pm • 12 August 2014 • 26 notes
Working on the fringes of the law, rebel architects are trying to improve people’s lives in tough areas. From floating homes to disaster-proof houses and bamboo domes, meet the men and women building for their communities.
The structure above is being built in the waterside slum of Makoko, Nigeria. It’s floating school, designed by Kunlé Adeyemi to address the difficulty of building on unstable marshland.
• Rebel architects: building a better world - read more
2:19 pm • 11 August 2014 • 339 notes
“But it remains to us to consider the implications of Nelson’s claim that imputed incivility and uncollegiality are genuine grounds for the dismissal of a scholar. His shameful defense of Salaita’s firing reveals itself as an opportunistic and interested repudiation of everything that academic freedom actually stands for: the right of the scholar to speak truth to power, the recognition of the urgency of speaking against the grain of domination that is a fundamental condition of free inquiry, the acknowledgement that there can be no genuine pursuit of knowledge without passion and no authentic debate without causing discomfort to ourselves and to others. A conception of academic freedom that falls short of those fundamentals, one which is hedged around with the conformism and temporizing that masquerade as civility, is not worth defending.”
— David Lloyd, concluding his excellent critique of Cary Nelson re Steven Salaita, and the larger import of the former’s campaign. http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/18866/cary-nelson_the-lackey-of-power
2:15 pm • 11 August 2014
“Prof. Nelson was quoted directly as follows in the Electronic Intifada piece about his ‘monitoring’ of Prof. Salaita: ‘There are scores of tweets. I have screen captures. The total effect seems to me to cross a line.’ If that’s not ‘monitoring,’ then apparently its definition has changed—but given that Prof. Nelson doesn’t believe that Gaza is under Israeli occupation, as he also stated in the Intifada piece—in contradiction of all accounts except for Israel’s mystifying ‘facts on the ground,’ of which Prof. Nelson is a chief promulgator—he’s not necessarily referring to material reality when he discusses Palestine, Palestinians, and their advocates such as Prof. Salaita.”
— My response to Cary Nelson when he took his campaign against Steven Salaita to a contingent-academics listserv of which I’m a member.
6:01 pm • 10 August 2014 • 1 note