Race and Ethnicity

Afropessimism and Its Discontents

By Greg Tate, The Nation

A guide for the perplexed, the puzzled, and the politically confused.

Afropessimism is all the rage among millennial Black academics and activists—most notably among Black feminist critical race theorists, who themselves are now the prime targets of the MAGA crowd. Black intellectuals haven’t enjoyed this much pop currency among the right wing since Black Power took over buildings to demand Black studies in state universities and the Ivies 50 years ago.

Afropessimism’s recent emergence in the mainstream of Black political conversation could not have been better timed. Particularly for that critical race sistren group, given their issues with suddenly woke white America—especially their bête blanche, white academic feminists. Here the grounds for suspicion are not gratuitous but experiential and statistical: 48 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump. Beyond that tempestuous internal struggle between feminists of different hues, though, just what is Afropessimism? And why should you, dear Nation reader, even give a good goddamn?

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Categories: Race and Ethnicity

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