ANT 391 • Black Genocide & Resistance
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Why the silence about possible genocidal processes affecting Afrodescended peoples in the United States and other nations of the Americas? What are the analytical and political implications of locating Black genocide in the United States and in the Americas? As the introductory theoretical readings indicate, the literature on genocide rarely, if at all, applies the concept beyond well-known cases: North American Indians, Armenia, the Soviet Union, the Jewish Holocaust, Rwanda, the Balkans, and other terrible events that certainly deserve moral outrage and analytical rigor. Yet such cases have become standards against which other possible genocidal processes are measured and often silenced. Drawing theoretical and political inspiration from William Patterson's We Charge Genocide (1951), based on which Civil Rights Congress accused the United States of genocide against African Americans at the United Nations, this course explores the competing concepts and manifestations of past and ongoing genocide of black communities in the Americas. As importantly, it examines alternatives to such genocidal processes. Emphasis will be given to the theoretical and practical efforts black communities have employed in combating their imposed marginalization in the areas of housing, employment, health, and politics.
Possible readings include William Patterson's We Charge Genocide, Dorothy Robert's Killing the Black Body, Robert Williams's Negroes With Guns, Robin Kelley's Yo' Mama's Disfunktional!, Gerome Miller's Search and Destroy, and Cathy Cohen's The Boundaries of Blackness.