A perspective on the Political Project of Blackness in America

Subaltern USA: Clarifying Our Concepts

Every subaltern political tradition begins first as the imposition of categories of oppression by the dominant groups. When African peoples–from different cultural traditions and cities—were taken from their homes and intentionally placed with peoples from different groups (ethnicities) the Black race begun. In  an article by socialist activist and educator Brian Jones he states that blackness is imposed on people and is not chosen. He is quite right. On the other hand what Jones doesn’t acknowledge so clearly is that historically blackness is not just a descriptive label for how people look, but a code indicating a long and enduring history of political, cultural, and economic processes of oppression and also resistance to oppression. The historic construction of blackness has been and continues to be firmly rooted in class/exploitation of human labor.

Once a dominant group successfully imposes on people a common social and material condition that is distinct from the…

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