Quick Thoughts on Black Codes, Slavery, and #RatchetnessAsPraxis

Quick thoughts I posted on Twitter this morning. Tweets disappear and archives are important, so reposting them here, for reference…

Spent the last few weeks reading Black Code Studies submissions to be peer reviewed and WOW. Y’all are so smart and the work is SO good. I mean…each submission’s commitment to a radical praxis–to imagining another world!–& to dark love for black people reminds me of this:

Second and unrelated: Atlantic slavery and, yes and thus, black fugitivity and fungibility has a history. Diaspora has a history. But…beyond those steeped in slavery’s archive, that history is like lines on water. There for a moment (a film, a documentary) and gone. It isn’t offensive to me, it is just true. Black and non, people find it hard to hold on to how deep, complex and LONG the history. It is structural, this disconnection and maintaining the disconnect is the duty of a well-oiled machine telling us always to look away. To look away from this history that literally founded the world as we know it, as we were born into it–from our vote to our physical bodies. The disconnect and misplacing of thought is structural and violent.

And I suspect only Conquest compares in terms of lines on water, in the magnitude of the lie we tell ourselves about how we came to be here.

Third and last morning thought: These are back on sale, from the mind of @so_treu.

Why does it matter? First, the gear is fly and many of you asked where I got my shirt from. But second……there IS a theory around it, lol, a commitment and accountability the phrase invokes.

Sigh. Scratch that. Because what I mean is this:

Wild and restless black femmes, across time & space, by our very existence and refusal to be anything and everything, are a maroon practice.

This isn’t me, by the way. This is me trying to sum in a tweet the brilliant mind of @so_treu and her theoretical framing.

Wild and restless black femmes challenge the form of black political thought, cannot be assimilated, are not easily consumed.

And by form I mean literal bodies. Thighs, arms, skin, hair.

I also mean the form and body of the work–where is politics or scholarship when it isn’t where you think it should be? And the form of the challenge, when the question is liberation and possibility, absolutely matters as much as the words on paper.


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