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Post-Modern Blackness in Theory and Practice

What does it mean to be black today? Touré has an answer.

by
Dave Swindle

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May 4, 2012 - 6:00 am
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My previous blogging series explored Critical Race Theory founder Derrick Bell’s Afrolantica Legacies and its connections to current events and the Obama administration’s public policies.

Bell was born in 1930, and his generation would go on to lead the ’60s campus revolts and the various components of the New Left. (See Ron Radosh’s memoir Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left and the Leftover Left for the stories of Bell’s radical peers.) By the early 1970s this Silent Generation cohort produced not only their pivotal works (Bell’s Race, Racism and American Law came in 1973) but also the children who would some day gain the name Generation X.

Touré was born in 1971, and now 40 years later you can read how his generation of writer-activists has updated Bell’s political theology.

My motives for reading Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness remain as selfish as for Afrolantica Legacies: I want to know “what it means to be black now.” Or rather: who counts as black today? Do those with one African-American and one Caucasian parent count as black? What about one grandparent?

What do those in multi-racial families need to know in order to raise the next generation of mixed race children? How do you explain “blackness” and “whiteness” to a child who falls into neither category?

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