Introduction: Post-Modern Blackness in Theory and Practice.
The song running over the credits of 1999′s sci-fi epic The Matrix from Rage Against the Machine, “Wake Up.”
I love the Matrix for giving us Black people being brilliant & in leadership positions. The Oracle, Morpheus…
— Touré (@Toure) May 17, 2011
In Afrolantica Legacies Derrick Bell utilized many occult themes — from racializing the legend of Atlantis, to extraterrestrial encounters with the sexy alien goddess Chiara, to a continued reliance on conspiracy theories, the man who blurbed books by both Louis Farrakhan and Barack Obama knew his esoterica.
And in Bell’s follow-up we understand why. After a small radical publisher released Afrolantica Legacies in 1998 a more mainstream, respectable house — Bloomsbury — blessed the world with his next book in 2002, Ethical Ambition: Living a Life of Meaning and Worth. The chapter on spirituality includes the passage in the above illustration.
Bell rejected the principles of ethical monotheism that make up the foundation of the Judeo-Christian tradition and its political expression in classical liberalism. Instead of understanding human nature as flawed and man as separated from God he embraced the Gnostic conception: “To know self at the deepest level, they believed, is to know God.”
The practical result of this is self-worship, a form of idolatry and the practice the second of the 10 Commandments confronted.