Reconstructing black identity: The Black Panther, Frantz Fanon and Achilles Mbembe in conversation

HTS Theological Studies 75 (4):1-7 (2019)
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It is dehumanising to identify people in terms of colour. Stereotyping and discrimination come with racial identification. Black identity has been expressed in different forms over the centuries. For a long period black identity was a constructed identity assigned to black people through a white-dominated matrix. After the end of slavery, efforts were made to reconstruct black identity. This developed into two divergent lines: one resulting in an illusionary identity as identified by Frantz Fanon and a second line of thought of a continued search for a true authentic black identity as explicated by the Cameroon-born philosopher Achilles Mbembe. This process of creating a new authentic black identity is still ongoing and viewed by some as a pessimistic futile attempt. An example of the ongoing attempt for establishing an authentic black identity is illustrated by the movie Black Panther, which attempts to portray a different side of being black.



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