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As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation

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Both theoretical and pragmatic, this refreshingly savvy book charts a course for the Black Lives Matter generation.

In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay “The Anarchism of Blackness,” Samudzi and Anderson show the centrality of anti-Blackness to the foundational violence of the United States and to the racial structures upon which it is based as a nation. Racism is not, they say, simply a product of capitalism. Rather, we must understand how anti-Blackness shaped the contours and logics of European colonialism and its many legacies, to the extent that “Blackness” and “citizenship” are exclusive categories.

As Black As Resistance makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation.

As Black as Resistance is an urgently needed book . . . a call to action through an embrace of the anarchy of blackness as a recognition and a refusal of the deathly logics of liberalism and consumption. In the face of the ever expanding carceral state, levels of inequality, environmental degradation, and resurgent fascism, this book offers a map to imagining the liberated futures that we can and must and do make.” —Christina Sharpe, author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being

ISBN-13: 9781849353168

Media Type: Paperback(New Edition)

Publisher: AK Press

Publication Date: 06-05-2018

Pages: 180

Product Dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Age Range: 12 Years

Zoé Samudzi Zoé Samudzi is a writer and doctoral student in Medical Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on the scientific logics that produce race and gender, particularly focusing on transgender health and the ways Blackness is constructed.William C. Anderson is a freelance writer. His work has been published by the Guardian, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others. You can read many of his writings at Truthout or at the Praxis Center for Kalamazoo College, where he’s a contributing editor covering race, class, and immigration.Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator and the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration. William C. Anderson is a freelance writer. His work has been published by the Guardian, MTV and Pitchfork, among others. You can read many of his writings at Truthout or at the Praxis Center for Kalamazoo College, where he's a contributing editor covering race, class and immigration. Mariame Kaba is an organizer, educator and curator whose work focuses on racial justice, gender justice, transformative/restorative justice, ending violence, dismantling the prison industrial complex, and supporting youth leadership development. She is the founder and director of Project NIA, a grassroots organization with a vision to end youth incarceration.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction




Often we forsake the past, but the past has yet to release its grip on us. In the exhausting quest to overcome, many have sought to view our respective struggles as beautiful merely because we're doing the work for change. A wound is still a wound no matter the quality of the cloth you use to dress it.





The seemingly endless oppressiveness of the world around us has created conditions that regularly make us miserable. These unresolved problems make overcoming appear almost impossible to the point that just surviving is both a day-to-day goal and an accomplishment for many. Let us make this much clear. Survival should not be our goal: thriving should be. And with that being said, in order for things to change, our approach to transformation must change first.





Many would agree that things have been feeling worse despite the symbolic victories that have been secured by many well-meaning people over the past several decades. The neoliberal structures around us have worked hard to replace words like "revolution" and "resistance" with the word "reform." This hasn't been a coincidence: these reform movements have duped much of the public into believing that what we're facing are negotiable evils instead of non-negotiable wrongs that threaten our very existence. However, what we're facing does not need reforming, it needs uprooting.





It is our intention, in writing this text, to make clear what we have come to understand as truth regarding these matters based on what we've learned about the world around us. Both of us Black, in a variety of different ways, came together with the desire to create words to make the unbearable no more and the best, a reality. After two-years of regular conversation through the ups and downs of the world we want versus the world we live in, our ideas began to take their necessary shape.





So, were working here. Not because the work is something that’s essentially beautiful, but because we have to for the sake of what we want. Our words here may be ugly, scary, or even hurtful but we have surely written them out of a desire for the true freedom of oppressed people worldwide. We do not operate under the mythology of absolute truths, but instead we write according to the lessons of every yesterday before today. In this determination, we believe we can find our freedom, which is hard to define because Black America like many other peoples around the world have never truly experienced it. Therefore, based on what we know freedom certainly is not, we can begin to understand what we indeed believe that it is.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

As Black as Resistance is an urgently needed book . . . a call to action through an embrace of the anarchy of blackness as a recognition and a refusal of the deathly logics of liberalism and consumption. In the face of the ever expanding carceral state, levels of inequality, environmental degradation, and resurgent fascism, this book offers a map to imagining the liberated futures that we can and must and do make.” —Christina Sharpe, author of In the Wake: On Blackness and Being

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Mariame Kaba



Introduction



The Anarchism Of Blackness



Self-Defense



Land (& Food Sovereignty)



Where Do We Go From Here?



Notes



Index