This blog asks, How can the world be otherwise if it is not first otherwise for Black people who are of no value or consequence to the species of Man? Blacks are ineligible for human rights because theirs is concurrently a genre of sub- and supra-humanity in which blacks are vulnerable like chattel but dangerous like demons, and regardless, gratuitously open to receive violence. Antiblack humanism defines the scope and quality of human being—every instantiation or evocation (or rejection) of the human body, even ones seemingly unrelated to race, like sex and gender—with the proscription “above all, don’t be black” (Lewis Gordon 1997: 63). I thus want to suggest that a feminist revolution must guarantee the life chances of the Blackest, most wretched and damned bodies on earth, not because these bodies qualify as human, but in spite of the fact that they don’t.
The blog’s author, M. Shadee Malaklou, is Assistant Professor of Critical Identity Studies at Beloit College, a small liberal arts college in Southern Wisconsin, where she teaches an upper-division theory course on topics and themes pertinent to the Black Lives Matter movement. She is also a Mellon Faculty Fellow of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and an Affiliated International Faculty of Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics in Montreal, Canada. Her interdisciplinary scholarship intervenes in critical humanism, race/ism, gender, and sexuality studies. She received her PhD in Culture and Theory and graduate certificates in Feminist Studies and Critical Theory from the University of California, Irvine in June 2016. Her current book project uses Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks (1952) as a gender studies text to enumerate a contrapuntal and co-constitutive relationship between sexuality, antiblackness, and social and political constructions of time. In it, she intervenes in self-representations of gay and trans Iranian sexualities in popular visual media to chart one specific instance of this relationship—a counter-intuitive example that proves the general rule, she argues, about how time moves and for whom to catalog desire and identification as taxonomy and type. This research has induced a second project in which she supplements and challenges the Iranian example by developing Fanon’s sociogenic study of the psyche to qualify attraction and attachment as sites of racialization. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.