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  • Writer's pictureSegolene Py

The Black Atlantic, Paul Gilroy

Photo: @University College London

One cannot talk or study Black culture and history without mentioning the work of Paul Gilroy.

Next on the very long list of books to read I present to you today (as you must already know) 'The Black Atlantic' by Paul Gilroy.

Published in 1993, Paul Gilroy (b.1956, London, UK) - one of the most renowned and cited writer, sociologist, cultural historian, and one of the foremost theorists of race and racism (the list is long) - redefines the Western modernity through the inclusion of the Black Atlantic: black communities being more than just African, Caribbean, or British alone, a culture that transcends ethnicity or nationality. What Johny Pitts calls Afropean ? and what I call (Cultural) Plurality (although more related to POC on my part. See my next curatorial project on this, a little self ad never hurts @pluralitynow)

Gilroy utilises geographical and historical facts to tell us about the multifaceted identity of Blackness, and the Eurocentric narratives constantly omitting crucial parts of Black History. The main idea of the book is to show black culture as essentially hybrid, a product of centuries of exchange, slavery and displacement. He highlights the importance of diaspora consciousness and 'the memory of slavery [which] are key components of the shifting, recombinant quality of Black identity as a political strategy in the modern world.' (ref @supersummary)

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#identity #paulgilroy #blackatlantic

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