Whose Black Lives, Whose Voices? Or How Do We Organize for a Transformative Democratic Socialism? Race, Class, and the Praxis of Blackness

The American Anthropological Association’s Raising Our Voices 2020 series presents “Whose Black Lives, Whose Voices? Or How Do We Organize for a Transformative Democratic Socialism? Race, Class, and the Praxis of Blackness” on Monday, Nov. 9 from 3:45pm to 4:45pm. This event is a live-stream cross-disciplinary roundtable that will explore the challenges that await a transformative movement of social justice that would resonate with poor and working people across boundaries of race.

Please consider registering for ROV 2020 to join the panelists for what promises to be an engaging conversation.

The panelists are scholars and social-justice activists Philippe Marius (College of Staten Island/Sociology and Anthropology), John Lawrence (College of Staten Island/Psychology), and Daniel Falcone (St. John University/History).

Arguing (with a nod to Stuart Hall) that class contains race, Philippe will sketch how middle- and upper-class blacks experience (alongside middle- and upper-class whites) race and racism of middle-class and upper-class lives, and poor and working-class blacks similarly experience race and racism of poor and working-class lives. Racial subjects of color can thus routinely be elite subjects of power that injure working- and middle-class interests across the racial landscape, or deploy a specifically classist racism against blacks below. It is all to wonder finally how, or if, the Left might yet find new vocabularies and new imaginaries to engage the working classes across boundaries of race in political resistance to capitalism’s variegated violence.

John will discuss how the “Left” in the U.S. is highly fractured. The U.S. Left does not have an institutional home. The two-party system has blocked the development of a Workers’ Party. John will further discuss the possibility of creating a workers’ caucus that could operate in and outside of the Democratic Party. This would develop the institutional basis for creating the democratic solidarity necessary to compete for power with corporate capital.

Daniel is interested in the possibilities of a “working-class” identity, and its potential political implications as such. He will discuss the ideological political framework of Staten Island, one of New York City’s five boroughs, in the context of race and class and electoral politics since the murder of Eric Garner there by the police in July 2017. Staten Island is generally thought of as New York’s most conservative borough. This is not an altogether false depiction, but it does not explain a dynamic political consistency with a host of up-and-down discourses. Daniel is seeking to understand contemporary U.S. politics through a political ethnography of Staten Island.

To join the conversation on Monday, November 9, 3:45-4:45 pm, please register for ROV 2020.

Please note: the “Triple-A” has programmed Raising Our Voices 2020 in lieu of its annual conference, which was canceled this year due to the pandemic. There is a relatively small fee to register.