Last week we left off at that height of the black power movement, one that was defined by increasingly critical responses to the growing representation and visibility for exceptional individuals from marginalized communities. Access to the proverbial table was becoming less so an issue about race but about upholding a particular culture, practice, and political economy as some of you pointed out. What would later become the notion of “exceptionality vs Disposability” discussed in Lipsitz’s piece in particular.
This week we’re forging a bridge between the periodization of the black power/freedom movement and the neoliberal period the emerges soon after in the late 1970s. It was right before this period that the latest iteration of black power had shifted away from cultural nationalism – a national identity built on shared culture, what Huey Newton disparagingly referred to as pork chop nationalism – to a broader definition of revolutionary politics, one that opens up a broader socio-economic analysis. In many ways, neoliberalism’s economic policies and social pedagogy was a direct response to the broader calls for radical distributive policies against racial capitalism.
This week’s question is two-pronged: How did the late Black Power movement begin to make connections across race AND class? How did this undermine the cultural nationalism that preceded it?
Bringing in neoliberalism, how have preoccupations with exceptionality exacerbated socio-economic divide? In other words, have the foundations of the unjust system critiqued by the black power movement changed with the inclusion of select individuals from marginalized classes? Why or why not?
Please reference a minimum of three sources including supplemental readings and videos.