The middle class is the ultimate social construct. What we in the US have been told, in regards to the middle class, is that it is the class between the working classes and the upper classes. The average person in the US has accepted that definition, a definition that is based on income. But that is only part of the definition. It is not even a necessary part of the definition. The most important characteristic of the US middle class is whiteness. The middle-class dream in the US is that you can be not that smart, not that competitive, but somewhat competent and get a house, a car, a spouse, and 2.5 children. It is your birthright, that you should not have to fight for. It is a class of complacency and mediocrity. It is a protected class for whiteness. It is a protected buffer, that will not allow you . . .
Does gentrification hit differently when it’s a Nupe that pushes you out of your neighborhood? Or do the Somali teenagers dodging hellfire missiles after they’ve been declared terrorists for falling into the wrong gender and age brackets in the wrong country at the wrong time feel the #BlackGirlMagic when the dev-ops engineer that keeps the Pentagon’s drone infrastructure humming on AWS is an African woman? Put another way – are African people who are able to find professional and material success within the genocidal global system of capitalism individual examples of what we as a people should aspire to? Do their contradictions weigh less than their representation? And does that representation count as a real contribution toward our struggle for liberation? Afrotech is those contradictions made flesh and an interesting jumping-off point for considering those questions. AfroTech is just what it sounds like: a gathering of Africans in the tech . . .
Last September, Time Magazine released a provocative yearbook picture of Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada. It was taken at a costume party for teachers college, in Vancouver. He dressed up as Aladdin……. with Black face. My first thought seeing this picture, “Which version of Aladdin is this?” I wasn’t aware of the Jim Crow era of Arabia nights. Before I knew it, media tried to spin this story, calling it “brown face” because he was dressed as an Arab/middle easterner. Since then, he has apologized for his behavior in 2001. He properly recognized his actions as Black face and acknowledged his white privilege. He also admitted to a separate instance in high school when he wore Black face for a performance singing Harry Belafonte’s “Day-o”. Well that’s that right? Trudeau was right in the middle of washing his white privileged hands of an ignorant past in the . . .
“Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our specific economic situation as Black women.” —the Combahee River Collective Statement, 1977 “The concept of the simultaneity of oppression is still the crux of a Black feminist understanding of political reality and, I believe, one of the most significant ideological contributions of Black feminist thought.” —Black feminist and scholar Barbara Smith, 1983 The situational systematic position of Black women, particularly in the US, has long been explained throughout the decades whether it has been called “triple oppression”, “double jeopardy”, or more notably, “intersectionality”. While the mode of thought that has progressed Black feminism varies in political tendency, they all acknowledge the axis of oppressions that exist when Black and a woman. As this acknowledgement . . .