Black Knowledges/Black Struggles: Essays in Critical Epistemology explores the central but often critically neglected role of knowledge and epistemic formations within social movements for Black “freedom” and emancipation. The collection examines the structural subjugation and condemnation of Black African and Afro-mixed descent peoples globally within the past 500 years of trans-Atlantic societies of Western modernity, doing so in connection to the population’s dehumanization and/or invisibilization within various epistemic formations of the West. In turn, the collection foregrounds the extent to which the ending of this imposed subjugation/condemnation has necessarily entailed critiques of, challenges to, and counter-formulations against and beyond knowledge and epistemic formations that have worked to “naturalize” this condition within the West’s various socio-human formations.
The chapters in the collection engage primarily with knowledge formations and practices generated from within the discourse of “race,” but also doing so in relation to other intersectional socio-human discourses of Western modernity. They engage as well the critiques, challenges, and counter-formulations put forth by specific individuals, schools, movements, and/or institutions – historic and contemporary – of the Black world. Through these examinations, the contributors either implicitly point towards, or explicitly take part in, the formation of a new kind of critical – but also emancipatory – epistemology. What emerges is a novel and more comprehensive view of what it means to be human, a formulation that can aid in the unlocking and fashioning of species-oriented ways of “knowing” and “being” much-needed within the context of ending the continued overall global subjugation/condemnation of Black peoples, as a central part of ending the “global problematique” that confronts humankind as a whole.