Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery

Introduction This essay analyzes the questions, issues, frameworks and events that define the concept of Afro-pessimism advanced by Frank B. Wilderson III. I contextualize the works of Saidiya Hartman and Jared Sexton as antecedents to Afro-pessimism in order to explain the themes of racial violence found in terror, slavery, and antiblackness. The authors and titles More

The post Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery appeared first on


This essay analyzes the questions, issues, frameworks and events that define the concept of Afro-pessimism advanced by Frank B. Wilderson III. I contextualize the works of Saidiya Hartman and Jared Sexton as antecedents to Afro-pessimism in order to explain the themes of racial violence found in terror, slavery, and antiblackness. The authors and titles reviewed here use primary documents and secondary source literature that deal with slave narratives, legal briefs, pamphlets, newspapers, and books. Generally, the work on these topics informs the reader of African American Studies, American Literature, History, and Multiracial Studies. This work also extends more specifically to Marxist Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Material Culture Studies, Film Studies, Critical Theory, Psychoanalysis and Philosophy.

This thematic review describes how these topics developed over time, but more importantly, I discuss how these books and authors, in Wilderson’s case directly, help to establish a more concrete explanation in the shaping of a black identity that relates to anti-black violence. Afro-pessimism and its antecedents offer broader controversies regarding not only the thematic topics of regional antiblackness histories, but beyond that, multiracialism and convergent worldviews that surround a more inclusive global history as well.

Hartman asks, what are the strengths and weaknesses of testing the limits of the archives?  What are the consequences of an often casually written slave history? Her work investigates and connects secondary source critical theory to primary source diaries and literature. Concerning Sexton’s scholarship, he asks what happens when the guidelines for racial categorization differ.  Wilderson explains the internal and external inconsistencies that challenge the potential longevity for such a social scientific term Afro-pessimism. I argue that all three authors tackle the weaknesses found in the slave/free binary. Professor Konrad Tuchscherer refers to how some historical themes in identity fail to offer “clean dichotomies.”[1] Hartman, Sexton and Wilderson, in my view also challenge dichotomies that complicate the race narrative and notions of memory and how it competes with history. I also submit that these three works are existential revisionist histories that contain frameworks with broader viewpoints and implications and do more than simply serve as singular historical arguments with specific perspectives.

Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection

In Scenes of Subjection (1997) Professor of English at Columbia University, Saidiya V. Hartman “persuasively argues for a critical analysis of the modes of empathetic identification at work in narratives of physical violence against the bodies of slaves.”[2] By linking a study of race and identity with literary performance, Hartman writes as a revisionist using the archive within a Cultural Poetic and New Historicist intellectual framework. Hartman is an English professor engaging with literature and provides a contribution to the field of cultural history and social psychology. Hartman critiques the narratives of slave violence (scenes) that emerge predominantly from white accounts (subjection) thus erasing the black body and their agency. She captures the essence of violence and antiblackness in referring to the objectification of the slave. She writes that “the slave is the object or the ground that makes possible the existence of the bourgeois subject and, by negation or contradistinction, defines liberty, citizenship, and the enclosures of the social body.”[3]

In the Introduction of the book Hartman points out that the “terrible spectacle that introduced Frederick Douglass to slavery was the beating of his Aunt Hester. It is one of the most well-known scenes of torture in the literature of slavery perhaps second only to uncle Tom’s murder at the hands of Simon Legree.”[4] Hartman argues that self-making and identity is defined more by blackness’ social relationality, that includes a white subjective normative definition than a straightforward identity, contending that “blackness marks a social relationship of dominance and abjection, and potentially one of redress and emancipation; it is a contested figure at the very center of social struggle.”[5]

I also understand her thesis to center around notions of memory competing with history. In other words, for Hartman, the standard liberal orthodoxy and account of slavery fails to explain the corporeality of the enslaved and we will never find an objective truth within that history. What we find instead are narratives and memories reflected in our own understandings and consciousness. This pitfall motivated Hartman to take a multi-archival approach in order to provide what Professor Jessica Harris refers to as the practice of “privileging the voices of the enslaved people.”[6]

Like Hartman, Harris emphasizes the importance of uncovering first-hand accounts of slavery in order to uncover the documents and dialogue that enable people to read in between the historical lines. She also gives humanity to the slave by utilizing a wide array of documents in two parts: “Formations of Terror and Enjoyment” and “The Subject of Freedom.” In short, she provides a historical account of anti-black violence but measures it against an assertion that socially constructed depictions of slavery grant some form of historical agency. For Hartman, Part I expresses in part, the master-slave relationship and how that prevents the ability for enslaved people to ultimately possess any legitimate form of agency.[7] In Part II, she analyzes slavery’s afterlife and “pessimistically” and claims that the slave whip never vanished, only repurposed itself in later generations.[8]

On October 7, 2017, Rutgers University featured a symposium entitled, Scenes at 20: Inspirations, Riffs and Reverberations.[9] This celebrated the 20th anniversary of Saidiya Hartman’s book and its influences on the history of black identity and current affairs. Several former students participated in the forum as the discussion included reflections, perspectives and discourses across a generation. Essentially the panelists, by talking about how the mundane is more terrifying than the actual slave history and slave afterlife, the symposium carried on the tradition set forth by Hartman in her seminal work. To me, it seems that the work and underpinnings in Scenes translates nicely into to the work of Jared Sexton and his Amalgamation Schemes.

Jared Sexton, Amalgamation Schemes

UC Irvine Professor Jared Sexton, author of Amalgamation Schemes: Antiblackness and the Critique of Multiracialism (2008) builds on Hartman’s theoretical work by linking social scientific concepts of identity and antiblackness to a broader set of sources and diverse histories. Like Hartman, Sexton bridges critical theory with narratives in the form of double entendre. For Sexton, “amalgamation schemes” are not only the successful or failed, politicized concepts and designs in critiquing multiracialism, but also contextualizes around a western idea of “mergers and acquisition,” or as Sexton puts it, “governance and economics.”[10]

The late great Derrick Bell, author of The Permanence of Racism, talked about the limitations that liberal humanism offered in ways of achieving equality. Sexton, like Bell and Hartman, uses critical race theory and postmodern philosophy, as well as Marxist theory, to challenge concepts of progress and advancement. In the case of Sexton, who believes that multiracial movements are incredibly political movements, he argues that they often reinforce depoliticized anti-blackness. On the one hand, multiracialism is rooted in a problematic liberal sphere, and to make matters more challenging, multiracialism is viewed through a lens with an added absurdity of conservative colorblindness. Sexton wants to explain the consequences of these political emphases in explaining multiracialism and how that movement creates broader anti-black sentiment.

Sexton argues that a part of amalgamation scheming is denying the forged common ground found in coalition politics and its design. He maintains that understanding race formations and color lines, that divide black people from multiracial people, replace black struggles against white supremacy. In other words, he observes that while black people may reject any inherent virtue of whiteness or white supremacy, they often reinforce a devaluing of black identity in the process.[11] Amalgamation Schemes provides multiracial people a more complex agency thus providing a shift and focus from black/white issues to multiracial ones. At the same time, the multiracial discussion can only liberate when it moves outside of the dominant paradigm and breaks ties with capital.

Amalgamation Schemes proposes a critique of commodified multi-racialism. More and more people in American society consider themselves multiracial but Sexton warns of a depoliticized capacity to increase along with it.  More specifically, Sexton considers “both the implications of multiracialism for de-realizing race and its restaging of sexual politics in the name of progressive social change.”[12] In stating that the political effects of multiracialism are neither a challenge to legacies of white supremacy nor a defiance of sexual racism, but rather the reinforcement of long-standing tenets of anti-blackness and the promotion of normative sexuality. Sexton maintains that “simultaneous ideologies of colorblindness and multiracial exceptionalism” praise middle-class virtues.[13] I understand him to be interested in the hypodescent concept and how the single-drop rule, which once meant enslavement, lost some of its power to do direct harm from the standpoint of white supremacy, only to reinforces a slave afterlife as multiracialism “de-realizes” blackness and steers itself away from ending anti-black violence.

His analysis of multiracialism emerges from researching interdisciplinary work from the 1980s and 1990s. In highlighting sexual, racial, and interracial politics, he wishes to reverse the trend of the multiracial conversation. Further, he aims to address conservative propensities to coopt and minimize the multiracial concept as well as revisit the history of the hypodescent and what’s at stake in the contemporary freedom struggle. Sexton sets out to show the problematic logic concerning the politics of multiracialism, race and sexuality when it prevents a memory of the United States’ social formation. Failures to coherently discuss the social constructs of multiracialism exacerbate the legacies of slavery and genocide.

Sexton approaches multiracialism with an interdisciplinary approach and incorporates psychoanalytic theory, Marxism, Fanon, and of course modern day academics such as Hartman and Wilderson.  Amalgamation Schemes borrows from comparative ethnic studies and studies associated with hegemony to unpack race and sex while gaging how this research provides a lever for social movements and radical change. His interest in the discourses found in critical mixed race theory, the politics of interracial sexuality, and primary sources of autobiographies, political manifestos and anthologies, are essential in understanding how race is constructed. What he hopes “to demonstrate in Amalgamations are failures or impacts in the discourse of multiracialism and the difficulty exhibited with respect to the matter of racial blackness” and how that offers “considerable insight into its political and libidinal economies.”[14]

Additionally, he looks at racial structures, racial order, miscegenation and Jacques Alain Miller’s 1977 concept of suture. Sexton worries that if the multiracialism discussion is sent out into the world as an unanswered signal, it will arrive back in the form of amoral political liberalism and right wing suturing, thus closing the conversation, and the gap of identity.  This brings us next to what he outlines as the motionlessness of multiracialism in the US, referring to it as “the tableau of mixture.”

Early in the book Sexton re-examines the politics of multiracialism by investigating the 1990 US census clarification debates put forth by previous academics such as NYU demographer Ann Morning.[15] In “Beyond the Event Horizon: The Multiracial Project,” he points out that multiracialism is undervalued by its very commitments to mainstream neoliberalism and centrism at best and outright denied by right wing conservatism at worst. In “Scales of Coercion and Consent: Sexual Violence, Anti-miscegenation, and the Limits of Multiracial America,” Sexton “scrutinizes the depiction of the history of interracial sexual violence that underpins the contemporary discourse of multiracialism in the United States that illuminates key aspects of the tenuous conceptual frameworks they are in.”[16] Essentially, Sexton argues that complicated debates over current depictions of multiracial identity and sexuality are connected to enduring inconsistencies in the culture and scholarship concerning power and pleasure as well as subjugation and sexuality and what constitutes consent.[17] He traces these complexities to their historical roots of New World slavery and namely the consequences of three centuries of anti-miscegenation.

“There is No (Interracial) Sexual Relationship,” is where Sexton looks at interracial sexuality and discovers that “the pathology rising of the interracial couple that multiracial discourse seeks is accomplished retroactively by highlighting the soundness and healthiness of mixed race people.”[18] Further, when multiracialism is embraced in strict heteronormative terms, it serves as an exemption for an interracial couple and deracializes and depoliticizes interracial sexuality.

Near the end of the book, Sexton breaks down “The Consequence of Race Mixture” and provides an analysis of critical theories of anti-miscegenation’s historical processes and ends with, “The True Names of Race, Blackness and Antiblackness in Global Context.” Here, he tackles multiracialism in the context of a globalized discourse and world. I think by pointing out the US carceral state, South African apartheid, and broader resource extraction projects, Sexton implies the impossibility of progress toward a post-racial society. That is, if multiracialism is essentialized, merely by pointing to the powerful and the conventionally accepted multiracial relationships and representations.

In Scenes of Subjection, Saidiya Hartman includes a chapter on the “The Burdened Individuality of Freedom,” where she basically touches on how freedom and emancipation are perpetually immaterial without solidarity pushing back against abusive and unchecked systemic power in the slave afterlife. In my view, Hartman, Sexton and Wilderson, are accurate in opposing both the mainstream liberal orthodoxy and statist conservativism. All three authors perceive multiracialism as nothing more than barely posing fungible conflicts of interests versus failing to demonstrate any historical theme of exploitation.  For them, antiblackness need not be overt, for it manifests itself materially within historical, social, economic and political frameworks and contexts, no matter which sets or forms of capital harness illiberal and immoral power structures in the dominant group.

Frank Wilderson, Afropessimism

Chancellor’s Professor and Chair of the African-American Studies Program at UC Irvine Frank B. Wilderson III is the author of Afropessimism. Wilderson states that Scenes of Subjection and Amalgamation Scenes both serve as fundamental antecedents to his work on Afro-pessimism. Unlike these critical theory texts by Hartman and Sexton, he wrote this is as a trade book, as opposed to a university press book, and argues that all three works still follow a consistent trajectory and pattern to explain how ritualistic violence has a distinct context within the identity of the black body.  “Afro-pessimism posits, first and foremost, that the structure of the modern world owes itself to a durable and unchanging relation: the human in the modern world is constituted by, dependent on, and committed to anti-Black violence.”[19]

Further, in drawing from Orlando Patterson’s Slavery and Social Death, Wilderson in forgoing the apparatus of critical theory, uses creative nonfiction or autobiographical memoir to explain some of Sexton’s core concepts: libidinal economy, economy of disposability, the hidden structure of violence, and the anxiety of antagonism; as well as Hartman’s, the slave is neither civic man, the slave is the object, and extension the of the master’s prerogative. In summation, these concepts show how the world “runs, parasitically, on the production and reproduction of anti-Black violence.”[20] Wilderson contends that “blacks are not human subjects, but are instead structurally inert props, implemented for the execution of white and nonblack fantasies and sadomasochistic pleasures.”[21]

KPFA Journalist C.S. Soong interviewed Wilderson back in 2015 and noted that he “believes that all Blacks are slaves, by which he means that every Black person is socially dead and continuously vulnerable to gratuitous (as opposed to reasoned) violence. Wilderson puts all non-Blacks into the category of the “master,” whose sense of human integrity and coherence is maintained precisely by the denigration and physical domination of Blacks.”[22]

I was fortunate enough to not only read Afropessimism but to speak with Frank B. Wilderson III in California from New York City on November 28, 2020 via Skype. I started out by asking him about Hartman and Sexton and how they provided a foundation for Afropessimism. Wilderson noted that Amalgamation Schemes, and Orlando Patterson’s Slavery and Social Death, are “foundations of Afro-pessimism, even if there are many people in the world, sometimes, the authors themselves” who will say, “Well, these books are not necessarily Afro-pessimist books.”  Additionally, Wilderson stated “the next layer of the foundation, are basically two books, Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection, and David Marriott’s On Black Men.”

Wilderson discussed how he and Sexton were both involved in political work at Berkeley. At this time, they, and others, started “to think about the ways in which multiracial coalitions cannot apprehend the singularity of anti-black violence” and how “they can’t really explain the essential nature of black suffering.” Both had grown tired of “questions of immigration and access to voting rights.” Wilderson argues that “these are not questions that will help us undo the American project completely these are questions that will help us make America better, which I’m not interested in.  I’m interested in revolutionary interventions, not reformist interventions.” After stating this at a reading group he had organized, Jared Sexton remarked, “What if we fought the essential antagonism through anti-blackness?”  As a result of this conversation Wilderson reshuffled his dissertation committee to include Saidiya Hartman and then he began working closely with Jared Sexton.  In 2004 he published his dissertation, Red, White & Black, which also “laid the foundation for a critical theory called Afro-pessimism.”

I asked Wilderson to comment on how his book Afropessimism was a departure from critical theory. Since Scenes, Amalgamation and Wilderson’s Red, White & Black are all academic press books, and Afropessimism is a trade book, was this democratizing format his intent and inherent in his approach, I wondered. He said yes and explained how Red, White & Black, “was a pure academic monograph which interrogated the structure of psychoanalysis and Marxism through the lens of blackness” and that he also “had no intention of writing the book” until a publisher approached him with ideas for a book intended for a trade audience.

It was at this point Wilderson thought to himself “What do I really want to do?”  He thought “it would be really nice if Afropessimism could reach a lay audience.”  Some think that Wilderson was writing an autotheory such as Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts “because that’s a book of storytelling and critical theory, which is what Afro-pessimism, is.” Further, he cited Assata: The Autobiography of Assata Shakur as “a book I’ve taught every year since it came out, even taught it in South Africa, and thought to myself, this is the way to do Afro-pessimism, by bringing the leader into the stories of my life.” When the reader is comfortable, “with the flow of storytelling, you then introduce them to the foundation of the theoretical logic of Afro-pessimism, which starts in full force in around Chapter Five.”[23]

Chapter Five is where he discusses Hartman’s concept of the “extension of the master’s prerogative,” Sexton’s “Race, Sexuality and Political Struggle,” as well as references to Patterson, Marriott and Fanon. In effect, this chapter synthesizes the work of previous Afro-pessimist outlooks and uses storytelling and personal narrative to explain how the concept continues to evolve with spatial coherence.[24]

I explained to Wilderson that I have noticed balanced reviews of Afropessimism and three separates reactions to the book: (1) one view subscribing to the Afro-pessimistic world view, (2) another group that has intense misgivings and (3) a third group that is both skeptically torn and tempered by the reality that they are connected to people really impacted and respectful to the concept and work. One person even commented to me how Afropessimism “treats the simple things hard and the hard things simple.” At the same time, if you go back and review Hartman’s work in Scenes of Subjection and Sexton’ Amalgamation Schemes and read it closely, they both present how the mundane is almost worse than the more telegraphed, deliberate acts of race hatred, violence or concepts of perpetual slavery. Professor Jared Ball, in pushing back against critiques of Afropessimism, suspects that some critics of Wilderson haven’t read his work or the critical theory behind it. Wilderson, Ball pointed out, is known for saying that he’s “not opposed to police brutality, but the police.” This part of Afropessimism lends itself to discussions around race and class, and contributes to the revolutionary discourse.

Wilderson explained that people often read Afropessimism “as though they are being mugged, especially non-black people or black people who are overtly interested in coalition politics.” The thought that the work found in his book is attacking people in some way is what Jared Sexton refers to as “the anxiety of antagonism”, according to Wilderson. What he finds interesting about left-wing political circles, and progressives around the world, includes “American radicals, that seem unable to deal with questions for which there are no ready solutions.” The problem with Afropessimism, argues Wilderson, is that it says “to be human, there is a sphere, or a space, an ensemble, of essential beings that cannot be part of that process of reciprocity.”

Ultimately, Afropessimism has to do with how we construct the meaning and Wilderson is interested in how the “word black comes up after AD 625 when the Arab, Chinese, Iranian and Iraqi worlds are beginning to develop.”  He finds in England, the United States and Canada, “people who purport to be revolutionaries cannot struggle against something without knowing what they’re struggling for, and that’s a problem when you read Afropessimism.” One of the more compelling arguments, in my view, found in the book is how he demonstrates that progressive worldviews need to be differentiated to be better understood.

For example, “the performance of oppression in the city of Basra has different technologies than the performance of anti-blackness in the state of New York, just like the performance of capitalism is different in a sweat shop than it at a university,” argues Wilderson.

Furthermore, Afropessimism gives us “a weather report on the condition of black suffering.  It does not tell you how black people can become free.  If you’re not black, it doesn’t tell you how you can live your social debt.  It doesn’t tell you what’s on the other side of it.  It’s simply a report on structural violence and suffering, and I find that the Anglo-American pedagogy and the Anglo-American political mind experiences a hard time dealing with problems for which there are no answers.”

I next asked him to comment on how his work in Afropessimism ties to an ongoing debate in the United States and critiques of liberal identity politics and their inability to reduce social justice to racial justice. This line of argument highlights both Stuart Hall‘s position that social class contains race and Fred Hampton’s perspective that addressing capitalism addresses racism. Wilderson stated that he is trying to advance these arguments even further. As he references in Afropessimism and Hartman’s illustration of a black woman in a nineteenth-century rape case, with the court saying, “I see you.  I agree that what you said happened, but you cannot be transposed into a violation because you, black women, do not embody consent.  You are extension of the master’s prerogative.  Black people can be shot, whipped, cut, or mutilated.  We the court, agree that’s rape. We agree.  That’s how four million black people were produced out of 369,000 in less than 30 years due to forced violence.  But, we cannot agree that you’ve been injured.  Injury cannot happen to black people.  Injury happens to free men,” explained Wilderson.

This type of exchange illustrates both Afropessimism and why significant contributions of Hall and Hampton do not go far enough. Afropessimism, he then argues “what do you do with a collective unconscious, whether it’s 1853, 1953, or 2020, that cannot translate injury as something that happens to black people, even if the same people are saying in their preconscious adorations, black people are injured?”  In short, his argument is that injury cannot be translated to black flesh, something laid out very well in the rape case scenarios by Hartman and in the interventions through Lacan and Fanon that David Marriott makes on lynching.

Wilderson broke down for me that “institutions are constructed by a lot more than what is said through conscious speech, they are actually constructed as much through phantasmagoric projection.”  In other words, “Once something is repressed,” states Wilderson “it’s still part of the unconscious and works as an engine in the psyche with greater power than it would work if that same individual could speak it through conscious speech.” Afropessimism tries to account for what Marxism cannot. In other words, he advances in the book that “anti-black violence is not a form of discrimination, but it’s a necessary ensemble of rituals.” Jared Sexton once noted the importance of understanding white people’s fantasies because tomorrow they’ll be legislation.

I finally asked Wilderson to comment on where he saw his book and the concept of Afro-pessimism in ten years. He stated that although “Afro-pessimism is not supposed to explain an emotional disconcertion, it is actually an analytic and intellectual pessimism.” Which seeks to say that, “yes, most black people suffer as working-class people, but a working-class theory is pessimistic on its limiting capacity to explain the essential nature of black suffering.”  Since the black person can never become full agents of Marxist political economy, “black people are always options, financial options, political options, and not political actors,” maintains Wilderson.

He argues that the direction of Afro-pessimism depends on “the intellectuals who are black and in the streets creating havoc.”  If you do a graph on “the impacts of black letters on black life” and the American people more generally, Wilderson puts forth that “you’ll find when there were eras of quietude, in other words, like the 1980s and the 1990s, you see the effects of COINTELPRO crushing the black movement.” He wrote Afropessimism to “reenergize black people in the streets at a time when the rest of the world is interested” even as it fails to fully conceptualize what black people want, “because this is all much larger than language.”  An appropriate black agenda for Wilderson includes everything, “It’s the past, cosmology, genealogy.  It’s every single aspect of human life that is needed to restore blackness. Black people have to continue to be enraged in the streets and moving on our terms. That often is chopped at the knees, first by the state and then by our so-called progressive allies.” When he states “I’m not against police brutality, I’m against the police,” it is an articulation of black embodiment, but what the progressive allies want to do, according to Wilderson “is to take that and turn it into defunding the police, which is not a policy demand, you know.  The black demand is the end of the police.”

Wilderson realizes that regardless of what happens next Afropessimism may be doomed inherently as a conceptual failure. On the one hand, if it dies out or fades away, it will be largely at the hands of white supremacists. On the other hand, if it succeeds it might only do so as a result of cooption and commercialism. Patrice Douglas, a professor at Duke University, and a major Afropessimism theorist once asked Wilderson, “How do we keep Afropessimism black?” He was shocked to realize his only reply was “we can’t.”  Perhaps then, at the heart of the book Afropessimism, as well as Scenes of Subjection and Amalgamation Schemes, lies that everything black people do, becomes the possession of everybody else.


Frank B. Wilderson III, Saidiya Hartman and Jared Sexton collectively explain the themes of racial violence found in terror, slavery, and antiblackness. With the usage of primary data, critical race theory, and memoir, they unpack together how Afropessimistic topics developed over time, but more importantly, they launched a more concrete explanation in the shaping of a black identity and how that relates to anti-black violence. Afropessimism and its antecedents offer perspectives of current and larger debates regarding not only the general topics of provincial antiblackness, but outside of that, multiracialism and worldviews involving a more wide-ranging world history.

By testing the strengths and weaknesses of the archives, and weighing the costs of an often nonchalantly documented slave history and canon, their respective scholarship asks for a new dimension in discussing identity, race and racial justice histories. All three authors and books confront the flaws of slave/free binaries. Further, they reshape and rehabilitate sound historical thinking. Even if Afropessimism isn’t to survive specifically in the lexicon, it seems the concept of antiblackness is sadly ongoing. The most gripping aspect, in my view, of all three books are how they collectively break free from class reductionism while still maintaining that stopping antiblackness can’t be reduced to fighting white supremacy.


Bell, Derrick. Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. New York, NY:

Basic Books, 1992.

Free Library of Philadelphia: Author Events, “Frank Wilderson III, Afropessimism,” accessed

October 21, 2020, Frank B. Wilderson III | Afropessimism – YouTube.

Hartman, Saidiya. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-

Century America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Scenes at 20,” Inspirations, Riffs and Reverberations, This symposium at Rutgers University celebrated the 20th anniversary of Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America and its impact on studies of Black lives in the past, present, and future, accessed November 1, 2020,

Sexton, Jared. Amalgamation Schemes: Anti-blackness and the Critique of Multi-racism.

Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

The Politics of Multiracialism in an AntiBlack World, “Jared Ball, imixwhatilike,” accessed

November 4, 2020,

What’s Radical About Mixed Race? “Asian/American/Pacific Institute: NYU,” accessed

November 11, 2020,

Wilderson, Frank III. Afropessimism. New York, NY: Liverwright Publishing Corporation, 2020.

Women and Performance, “Reading and Feeling after Scenes of Subjection,”

Sampada Aranke and Nikolas Oscar Sparks, Accessed November 7, 2020, Reading and Feeling after Scenes of Subjection | Issue 27.1 — Women & Performance (


1. Tuchscherer makes this point when referencing identities found in the novel, Houseboy, by Ferdinand Oyono.

2. Elizabeth Jane Wall Hinds. The Multiple Worlds of Pynchon’s Mason and Dixon: Eighteenth-Century Contexts, Postmodern Observations. (Boydell and Brewer: Camden House, 2009), 5.

3. Saidiya Hartman.  Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 62.

4. Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection, 3.

5. Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection, 56.

6. History Department Colloquial, St. John’s University, October 14, 2020.

7. Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection, 53.

8. Saidiya Hartman, Scenes of Subjection, 140.

9. “Scenes at 20,” Inspirations, Riffs and Reverberations, This symposium at Rutgers University celebrated the 20th anniversary of Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America and its impact on studies of Black lives in the past, present, and future, accessed November 1, 2020,  

10. “The Politics of Multiracialism in an AntiBlack World,” Jared Ball, imixwhatilike, accessed November 4, 2020,

11. “The Politics of Multiracialism in an AntiBlack World,”

12. Jared Sexton, Jared. Amalgamation Schemes: Anti-blackness and the Critique of Multi-racism (MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2008), 1.

13. Jared Sexton, Jared. Amalgamation Schemes, 1.

14. Jared Sexton, Amalgamation Schemes, 18.  

15. “What’s Radical About Mixed Race?” Asian/American/Pacific Institute: NYU, accessed November 11, 2020,

16. Jared Sexton, Amalgamation Schemes, 36.

17. Jared Sexton, Amalgamation Schemes, 37.

18. Jared Sexton, Amalgamation Schemes, 37.

19. Nick Mitchell, “The View from Nowhere: On Frank Wilderson’s Afropessimism.” Spectre (Fall) 2020: 112.

20. Nick Mitchell, Spectre, 113.

21. Frank Wilderson III, Afropessimism, 13.

22. “Against the Grain,” Blacks and the Master Slave Rebellion, Accessed November 8, 2020

23. Frank Wilderson III, “Chapter Five: The Trouble with Humans,” Afropessimism, 191.

24. Frank Wilderson, Afropessimism, 347.

The post Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery appeared first on

Print Share Comment Cite Upload Translate
Daniel Falcone | Peace (2024-07-16T06:13:28+00:00) » Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery. Retrieved from
" » Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery." Daniel Falcone | Peace - Friday February 5, 2021,
Daniel Falcone | Peace Friday February 5, 2021 » Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery., viewed 2024-07-16T06:13:28+00:00,<>
Daniel Falcone | Peace - » Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery. [Internet]. [Accessed 2024-07-16T06:13:28+00:00]. Available from:
" » Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery." Daniel Falcone | Peace - Accessed 2024-07-16T06:13:28+00:00.
" » Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery." Daniel Falcone | Peace [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 2024-07-16T06:13:28+00:00]
» Reviewing Anti-Black Terror: Works on Afro-pessimism, Multiracialism and Perpetual Slavery | Daniel Falcone | Peace | | 2024-07-16T06:13:28+00:00