What Does it Mean to Move for Black Lives?

Philosophy Today 64 (2):275-291 (2019)
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I argue that the key ideas of the movement for Black lives have resonances with Frantz Fanon’s ideas particularly in Black Skin, White Masks. I first demonstrate how the mission to repudiate Black demise and affirm Black humanity captures Fanon’s critique of universal humanism. The fear of the Black body was central to the testimonies of Darren Wilson, Jeronimo Yanez, and George Zimmerman. Fanon prioritized the role of the body in his account of racism. It is difficult to not see the relevance of Fanon’s analysis when one considers these testimonies. Lastly, I demonstrate how the chants “Black lives matter,” “Hands up, don’t shoot,” and “I can’t breathe” are acknowledgments of the significance of Black lives and serve as contemporary instances of Fanon’s sociodiagnostic approach.

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Kimberly Ann Harris
University of Virginia

References found in this work

Rawls on Race/Race in Rawls.Charles W. Mills - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (S1):161-184.
Homo, Humanus, and the Meanings of 'Humanism'.Vito R. Giustiniani - 1985 - Journal of the History of Ideas 46 (2):167.

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