The Long Emancipation
Moving toward Black Freedom
In The Long Emancipation Rinaldo Walcott posits that Black people globally live in the time of emancipation and that emancipation is definitely not freedom. Taking examples from across the globe, he argues that wherever Black people have been emancipated from slavery and colonization, a potential freedom has been thwarted. Walcott names this condition the long emancipation--the ongoing interdiction of potential Black freedom and the continuation of the juridical and legislative status of Black nonbeing. Stating that Black people have yet to experience freedom, Walcott shows that being Black in the world is to exist in the time of emancipation in which Black people must constantly fashion alternate conceptions of freedom and reality through expressive culture. Given that Black unfreedom lies at the center of the making of the modern world, the attainment of freedom for Black people, Walcott contends, will transform the human experience worldwide. With The Long Emancipation, Walcott offers a new humanism that begins by acknowledging that present conceptions of what it means to be human do not currently include Black people.
About this Author
Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto, author of Queer Returns: Essays on Multiculturalism, Diaspora, and Black Studies, and coauthor of BlackLife: Post-BLM and the Struggle for Freedom.
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