Blackness as a Universal Claim. Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen Futures and Black Power in Berlin

Damani Partridge (U Michigan), Rozena Maart (U KwaZulu-Natal) & Lewis R. Gordon (U Connecticut)

06/20/2023 6:00 pm

U Bremen CART 067 (Rotunde)

In this bold and provocative new book, Damani Partridge examines the possibilities and limits for a universalized Black politics. German youth of Turkish, Arab, and African descent use claims of Blackness to hold states and other institutions accountable for racism today. Partridge tracks how these young people take on the expressions of Black Power, acting out the scene from the 1968 Olympics, proclaiming “I am Malcolm X,” expressing mutual struggle with Muhammad Ali and Spike Lee, and standing with raised and clenched fists next to Angela Davis. Partridge also documents public school teachers, federal program leaders, and politicians demanding that young immigrants account for the global persistence of anti-Semitism as part of the German state’s commitment to anti-genocidal education. He uses these stories to interrogate the relationships between European Enlightenment, Holocaust memory, and Black futures, showing how noncitizens work to reshape their everyday lives. In doing so, he demonstrates how Blackness is a concept that energizes, inspires, and makes possible participation beyond national belonging for immigrants, refugees, Black people, and other People of Color.

Professor Damani Partridge (U Michigan) diskutiert sein neues Buch Blackness as a Universal claim. Holocaust Heritage, Noncitizen Furtures and Black Power in Berlin mit Professor Rozena Maart (U KwaZulu-Natal) und Professor Lewis R. Gordon (UCON). Moderation: Dr. Katrin Antweiler (IfEK/WoC, U Bremen).

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Bhabha on enlightenment and coloniality

“Homi Bhabha says about the contradiction between the ideals of the enlightenment, claims to democracy and solidarity and simultaneous colonization and ongoing coloniality: ‘That ideological tension, visible in the history of the West as a despotic power, at the very moment of the birth of democracy and modernity, has not been adequately written in a contradictory and contrapuntal discourse of tradition.’”

Kerstin Knopf
sustained engagement

“The history of Western philosophy can be understood as a sustained engagement with contradiction.”

Norman Sieroka
relational

“At first I thought contradiction was always a relational thing; but the more I ponder it, the more I think contradiction creates relation.”

Ingo H. Warnke
driver

“Contradictions are an important driver of scientific practice and knowledge.”

Norman Sieroka
l’illusion d’une unité

“Foucault speaks of contradiction as l’illusion d’une unité.”

Ingo H. Warnke