“A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language. What we are getting at becomes plain: Mastery of language affords remarkable power. Paul Valery knew this, for he called language “the god gone astray in the flesh” (Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks).
“Yesterday, awakening to the world, I saw the sky turn upon itself utterly and wholly. I wanted to rise, but the disemboweled silence fell back upon me, its wings paralyzed. Without responsibility, straddling Nothingness and Infinity, I began to weep” (140).
This CybeRio post marks the beginning of a genealogy’s birth by means of enunciation, the initial, groundbreaking penetrations of a fragmented historicity of race, and the outlined contours of a counter-cartography which attempts to enter into dialogue with the constellated works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, and contemporary activist anthropologists whom have forged the living, textual fabric documenting “the desperate struggles of a Negro who is driven to discover the meaning of black identity” (Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, 6).
From out of the furrowed contradictions between the Roots & Routes explanatory models emerge more than just a set of oppositions locked in dialectical interplay. Encounters with the “entangled tensions” (Clifford, “Diasporas,”__) of Diasporic Identifications during “observant participation” (Vargas, Hyper-consciousness of Race,__) call for both tempered receptivity in firmament and a passionate diligence; a concentrated pathos which is oft displaced by the distractions of an overly sentimental pseudo-praxis. In order to overcome the abhorrent system of social relations waging an anti-black genocide today, activists must return their attention to the most fundamental horizon of critical inquiry, namely, The Fact of Blackness, or the process whereby the “Negro [comes] face to face with his race” (sic, Fanon, ibid. 6 & Chapter 5).
Contemporary scholars must attend to the totalizing nature of the operations of Whiteness more comprehensively as “a massive psychoexistential complex” (Fanon, ibid. 5). Neither the methods that profess neutrality through detachment nor abstract, phenomenological accounts suffice alone. Nay, what is needed is an attempt at forging “a total understanding” (Fanon, ibid. 5). Or as Fanon once put it:
The black man must wage his war on both levels: Since historically they influence each other, any unilateral liberation is incomplete, and the gravest mistake would be to believe in their automatic interdependence. Besides, such a systematic tendency is contrary to the facts. This will be proved. Reality, for once, requires a total understanding. On the objective level as on the subjective level, a solution has to be supplied (emphasis mine, Fanon, ibid. 4-5).
Hopefully, this work will be able to map out a more sophisticated critique of race relations that accounts for the necessary frustrations involved in the reconciliations of man’s absent coherence, the dizzying experiences which occur where the Material and the Ideal collide, and the ambiguous crossings of “paths in a mobile space of translations, not equivalences.” (Emphasis mine, Clifford, 324).