All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.
Black lives cannot matter until the most harmed among us matter: Black people in prisons and jails, Black people caught up in violent situations, Black people in the most exploited nations and territories, Black people who wholeheartedly reject respectability politics and traditional gender norms. I am publishing this "All* Black Lives Matter Reading and Resource List" to respond to the many requests that students have sent for something, anything that speaks to the times.
Although what occurs in the US will (and should) matter to those around the world, what occurs in the US is in no way the end of the conversation around the devaluation of African lives. The global militarization of police, the mushrooming of prisons and detention centers, neoliberal economic exploitation, and perpetual settler coloniality affect those racialized as Black in every part of the world. Collectively, these forces consign those of African descent to early deaths, whether in the belly of the colonial beast or in the peripheral nation. This consignment, in turn, is maddening - which only subjects us to further surveillance, criminalization and punishment.
In response, we must firmly pronounce that all Black Lives Matter.
(mad, poor, disabled, incarcerated, gendered, queer, violent,sex working, addicted, not-productive. All)
I have divided the All* Black Lives Matter Reading and Resource List into three sections. The first is a reading list of African authors throughout the diaspora, who use compassionate critique to forge Black futures. The second lists organizations with liberatory mission statements, that acknowledge there is no way forward without an intersectional and coalitional practice. The last section presents a short list of books specifically around whiteness, white privilege and holding conversations with (other) white people. None of these lists are imagined as exhaustive; they're merely drawn off of works, poets and organizations that I've engaged with, taught, enjoyed, and/or critiqued.
The lists span over 100 years of publications by some of my favourite radical Black thinkers. I have not dated them because, as I hope you will discover, they are timeless.
Whether written in the 20th or 21st century, these books provide analytical frameworks that remain relevant today. Abolish the devaluation, exploitation and punishment of Africans worldwide. Invite Black resistance and celebration.
Transcend to transform.