There are two new nonfiction books that are a must-have of any Black reader’s library. Duke University Press has announced the releases of “The Long Emancipation: Moving toward Black Freedom” by Black Canadian academic author Rinaldo Walcott, who was born in Barbados; and “Selected Writings on Race and Difference,” a collection of writings from the prolific Jamaican British writer and theorist, Stuart McPhail Hall, who died in 2014.
The books break down the complex and intricate strings that weave the Black reality of racisim and discrimination by examining, deconstructing and commenting on the roots and basis of their presence and effect on culture. These books are highly recommended if you are in search of answers on how to explore oppression and articulate the depths of the Black experience.
In these descriptions, the publisher offers some insight for what readers stand to learn and glean from these books, but there is no truer understanding of these new nonfiction offerings than what comes straight from the reader’s perception and understanding. The exploration of the texts will surely be enlightening and will expand anyone’s understanding of the Black
“The Long Emancipation: Moving toward Black Freedom” – Duke University Press, April 2021 Written by Rinaldo Walcott
In “The Long Emancipation,” Rinaldo Walcott posits that Black people globally live in the time of emancipation and that emancipation is definitely not freedom. Taking examples from across the globe, he argues that wherever Black people have been emancipated from slavery and colonization, a potential freedom has been thwarted. Walcott names this condition the long emancipation—the ongoing interdiction of potential Black freedom and the continuation of the juridical and legislative status of Black nonbeing. Stating that Black people have yet to experience freedom, Walcott shows that being Black in the world is to exist in the time of emancipation in which Black people must constantly fashion alternate conceptions of freedom and reality through expressive culture.
“Selected Writings on Race and Difference” – Duke University Press, April 2021 Edited by Paul Gilroy, Ruth Wilson Gilmore
In “Selected Writings on Race and Difference,” editors Paul Gilroy and Ruth Wilson Gilmore gather more than 20 essays by Stuart Hall that highlight his extensive and groundbreaking engagement with race, representation, identity, difference and diaspora. Spanning the whole of his career, this collection includes classic theoretical essays such as “The Whites of Their Eyes” (1981) and “Race, the Floating Signifier” (1997). It also features public lectures, political articles, and popular pieces that circulated in periodicals and newspapers, which demonstrate the breadth and depth of Hall’s contribution to public discourses of race. Foregrounding how and why the analysis of race and difference should be concrete and not merely descriptive, this collection gives organizers and students of social theory ways to approach the interconnections of race with culture and consciousness, state and society, policing and freedom.
Both books can be ordered through www.dukeupress.edu.