Black Hyper-Masculinity, its Interiority and the Importance for Black Leadership and Black Activism: Decolonise not Diversify, 8.10.16

Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon

In my micro lecture, I introduced Frantz Fanon’s concept of sociogeny as a tool for locating the interiority of Black Hyper-Masculinity and its role in underpinning racial contract theory. This theme was taken from my latest book:

Clennon, O. D. (2016) The Polemics of CLR James and Contemporary Black Activism. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 10: 3319475479, ISBN 13:978-3319475479

In this volume, I explore CLR James’ relevance to contemporary black activism but also his underlying application of racial contract theory to question and challenge African American citizenship during the war years. I track how CLR James hints at an interiority of blackness that is crucial for generating political agency for the African American and I transpose that across to the UK context in 2016.

The Event

Curated by a collective of artists, thinkers and doers, the day will explore decoloniality through visual art, performance, literature, media, academia, politics, entrepreneurship, & more, provoking shared learning through open conversations.

Decolonise Not Diversify will bring together thought-leaders from across the country to feed into the dialogue around #DecoloniseBrum, addressing issues surrounding race and gender head on. The day will host a series of microlectures, conversations, workshops, a DIY art exhibition and marketplace.

My reflections

The event was excellent. I particularly enjoyed the mix of academics, artists, thinkers and activists all sharing their perspectives of the various aspects of decolonisation. I was particularly taken with Dr Syed Mustafa Ali‘s An Introduction to Islamic Decoloniality

Where Dr Ali explained that the template for the racial contract of the Transatlantic slave trade was formed four centuries earlier by the Islamification of the Muslim world via an orientalising crusading European Christendom. I was particularly struck by his description of the sixteenth century Valladolid debate between Las Cassas and Sepulveda, which as the first important moral debate about human rights and agency culminates an orientalising epoch of determining humans and non humans (in terms of civilisation). It was particularly interesting to hear how Africans came out the worse in terms of their claim to humanity (as prescribed by the debate).

Demi Nandhra‘s History of Trauma, The Connection between Colonisation and Depression also caught my eye

I enjoyed Demi’s take on the political and social nature of depression that comes from the stresses of surviving a structurally racist system. Demi said that the medical model of depression that makes individual suffering sovereign and necessitates the need for personal medical intervention, very much obscures the collective experiences of systemic trauma that can underpin depression in BAME individuals.

A little taste of the day…

Decolonising Artistic Production

Decolonising Islam

Decolonising Depression

Decolonising Black Masculinities

Plenary

Post Event Performances…

More details, here.

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