Beyond Black Lives Matter

  • Robin D. G. Kelley Temple University Press


Few activists who march behind the banner of Black Lives Matter conceive of their struggle as an appeal to white people for recognition, but until recently the movement’s objective echoed this implicit line of reasoning: if the dominant class, and/or the state, could just recognize that our lives matter, we would be treated differently. Such assumptions can easily lead us down a slippery slope of reducing five centuries of racism, slavery, and colonialism to a fixed ideology of anti-Blackness intrinsic to the European mind, or worse, mistaking a dynamic racial regime for negligence, ignorance, or “blindness” to our humanity, a humanity that requires a visible struggle to be seen. They can lead, that is to say, to a politics in which recognition takes precedence over revolution and reconstruction.