Steve Biko and the Liberatory Potential of Non-racialism and Post-racialism

Critical Philosophy of Race 5 (2):223-242 (2017)
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Abstract

Discussions of non-racialism in South Africa and discussions of post-racialism in the United States are sufficiently similar to invite the question as to whether South African thinkers could help to develop new ways of thinking about post-racialism and its potential in the United States. Biko's ideas are rarely taken up in the United States, yet they are relevant to contemporary discussions in critical philosophy of race. This article begins with an evaluation of the typology of non-racialism provided by Rupert Taylor and the historical study of non-racialism provided by Julie Frederikse, distinguishing different understandings of non-racialism. The second section presents Biko's understanding of non-racialism, arguing that Biko's understanding of which is embedded in his account of Black Consciousness, and not a variant of racial eliminativism. The final section focuses on the striking similarities between understandings of non-racialism and post-racialism using a distinction it introduces between principled and progressive forms of both these terms. Ultimately, this article makes the case for a progressive understanding of post-racialism, which has yet to be articulated and is too easily dismissed in the United States.

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Kimberly Ann Harris
University of Virginia

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References found in this work

Racisms.Kwame Anthony Appiah - 1990 - In David Goldberg (ed.), Anatomy of Racism. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 3-17.
[Book review] race and mixed race. [REVIEW]Zack Naomi - 1995 - In Anthony Appiah & Henry Louis Gates (eds.), Identities. University of Chicago Press. pp. 1--4.
Decolonizing Gender, Decolonizing Philosophy.Rozena Maart - 2015 - Radical Philosophy Review 18 (1):69-91.
Understanding Non-racialism as an Emancipatory Concept in South Africa.Raymond Suttner - 2012 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 59 (130):22-41.

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