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You're a credit to your race.

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Mar 2Liked by The Equiano Project

"This approach doesn't uplift or empower, and any semblance of empowerment it offers is merely superficial. I often find that the highlighting of black excellence or “black achievement” still perpetuates the narrative of "black adversity" instead of subverting it."

Is the reason that many who self-identify as "black" are terrified that others will be jealous and resentful of them, and that they will suffer large scale backlash?

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Is emphasizing "black adversity" a way of blunting the attack:

"You didn't earn that. You stole that. You made your success off the backs of poor and marginalized people by oppressing, exploiting, suppressing, harming and engaging in hegemony against them. You are a coon black white supremacist. You made your success by engaging in the patriarchy, systemic racism, whiteness and capitalism."

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Mar 2Liked by The Equiano Project

Is the real danger with concepts such as "black excellence" that it will exacerbate the jealousy and resentment people who don't identify as "black" feel towards successful "black" people?

This ties into a related question. When people discuss "racism", is this generally but not always a proxy for "jealousy" or "resentment"? If so, why use the less descriptive phrase "racism" instead of the more precise terms "jealousy" and "resentment"?

What can be done to facilitate people being less jealous and resentment of "black" perfection, excellence, merit, competence, capacity, values, culture?

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Feb 25·edited Feb 25Liked by The Equiano Project

As the self-styled leading black British philosopher of my generation and founder of Black Cartesianism I've been dismissed as stupid, deluded and more. I'm okay with that. I never say 'we need more black philosophers', I set out long ago to be that person. Truth be told I never really set out to be a 'black philosopher'. 'Black Cartesianism' is a joke, I'm not 'black' as a matter of consciousness I am not 'black' and never have been. When I say Cartesian I mean a way of thinking or philosophising. I mean that I begin with me. To be a ' black philosopher' I would have to take a metaphysical leap. I would have to adopt a consciousness of the world that is chosen? selected? Imposed? Not a consciousness that evolves out of my own experience.

If we want to be great, then we have to become great, this involves recognising that we aren't great right now, perhaps divising a plan, and maybe at some point acknowledging that despite our best efforts we didn't quite make it. As for praise and recognition, who do we want praise and recognition from? The great jazz musician Miles Davis would famously turn his back to the audience as a sign of his indifference to them. A well-known soul singer, I can't remember who, said ' you need one other person apart from your mother who values what you do'. If we want to build something new (perhaps we need a 'we'), 'we' need to grow with our audience. To understand my Cartesianism you might need to find out something about Descartes. We (the new 'we') need to praise, recognise and challenge and criticise each other.

I think that Apa's list is a mixed bag, certainly Inaya has a remarkable skill-set. My super power is conceptual thinking, my challenge is to 'you', if you think that I'm wrong or deluded or whatever, that's okay, let me know. 'We' can combine our abilities.

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PS some including Davis himself have said that he was not showing contempt for the audience but conducting the band, but the apocryphal version suits.

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Excellent point!

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