This blog asks, How can the world be Otherwise if it does not privilege the material and psychic health of Black people who are of no value or consequence to the species of Man? Black persons are ineligible for human rights because theirs is concurrently a genre of sub- and supra-humanity in which they are vulnerable like chattel but dangerous like demons, and regardless (as evidenced by Darren Wilson’s description of Michael Brown), gratuitously open to receive violence. This blog considers the metaphysics and metapolitics of liberal humanism, which 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), to suggest that a feminist revolution must guarantee the life chances of the Blackest, most wretched and damned persons on earth, not because they qualify as human beings with inalienable rights, but in spite of the fact that (indeed, precisely because) they don’t.
The blog’s author, M. Shadee Malaklou, is Assistant Professor of Critical Identity Studies at Beloit College, 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 Visiting Faculty at Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics. Her interdisciplinary scholarship intervenes in critical humanism, race/ism, gender and sexuality studies, and social and political constructions of time. 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. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.