How can ‘solidarity’ be possible in and against the objective conditions that divide us? K. Aarons distinguishes the afropessimist position from the politics of symbolic valorisation or integration, and argues that it is not simply at odds with, but is in fact hostile to identity and privilege politics – whether Black or non-Black. It is the thought and practice of self-abolition that can hope to overcome the present anti-Black structure of humanity.
The heterogeneous elements of the Black Lives Matter movement are fighting white supremacy by confronting gendered domination, capitalism, and the repressive apparatuses of the state. Erin Gray traces the critical impulse of the current movement against anti-black violence to the legacy of Ida B. Wells’s radical anti-lynching campaigns, and suggests that the fiercest opposition to police terror in the US has always been against the law
The cop murder of Mike Brown and the subsequent eruption in Ferguson and around the US have raised questions about the value of racialised life and the forms of struggle against race emerging in the face of displacement, immiseration and militarised policing. R.L. traces the coordinates of a militant younger generation that has a different relation to race and class belonging
In its encouragement of a group expression that supports musicians to ‘play beyond themselves’ and to evolve singularities within a shared ‘reservoir of artistic richness’, Howard Slater finds in jazz a response to the experience of slavery; one that evolved outside channels of sanctioned expression, and which preserves and propels a collective being. This is his third column for Mute Music