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AfroPessimism

Teaching Politically and the Problem of Afropessimism

In education, as in so many other disciplines, one of the increasingly dominant phrases is “anti-Blackness” and the theory of Afropessimism. The two foundational theorists here are Frank Wilderson and Jared Sexton. For Wilderson, Afro-pessimism contends that “Blackness cannot be separated from slavery,” and that “the Slave’s relationship to violence is open-ended, gratuitous, without reason or constraint,” whereas “the human’s relationship to violence is always contingent.”

Afro-Pessimism And The (Un)Logic Of Anti-Blackness

In the late afternoon of 10 February 2015, local police in Chapel Hill responded to a report of fired shots. They entered a Finley Forest condominium to find the lifeless bodies of three young Arabs. The first, Deah Barakat, lay dead in the front doorway. The others, his wife Yusor and her sister Razan Abu-Salha, had been slain in the kitchen. All three had been killed with gunshots to the head in an execution-style murder. Over the coming hours and days, as details emerged on social media, it became clear that these young Muslims had been murdered in a hate crime. Seeing this in the context of state-sponsored islamophobia, which had fueled a growing climate of harassment and hate-crimes against Muslims in the US, as well as the mass slaughter of civilians in drone attacks across the Middle East, activists online started using #MuslimLivesMatter, which was tweeted over one hundred-thousand times, to challenge the lack of coverage.
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