Being Black in White America: An Afrocentric Examination of “Black Lives Matter” In W.E.B Du Bois’s “The Problem of The Colorline”
The role of racial identity in structuring the hierarchical order in America cannot be neglected; its role in determining the status of a person or group in both socio-economic and sociopolitical domains, is enormous. Throughout history, American society is considered and seen as one where the Black and White binary—a binary where white people are placed atop while blacks are strapped at the bottom—is consciously or ‘unconsciously’ at play. The binary and racial hierarchy has been resisted by African Americans for ages mainly in forms of Civil Rights-liberation ideas and Black Power Movements—Afrocentricity, Afrofuturism and prominently in the context of this paper— ‘Black Lives Matter’. Whereas it may be argued that these movements/ideas have not brought about an era where race no longer determines the lives and well-being of African Americans or has it maaticized all humanity—that is, humanity that sees human race as the only ‘race’; humanity based on content of character, and values/virtues of justice, truth, reciprocity, propriety among others as embedded in Afrocentricity— it does not vitiate the fact that the actions surrounding resistance movements have to a significant extent been destabilizing the binary and hierarchy. Accordingly, this paper aims to discuss the idea and concept of being black in White America, examining “Black Lives Matter” from an Afrocentric perspectivewith emphasis on W. E. B. Du Bois’s ‘the Problem of the Colorline’, using data from Africological and Afrocentric sources.
Keywords - Being Black, White America, Colorline, Maat, AFROCENTRICITY