Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

Critical Whiteness: An Old Critique for a New German Debate

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa by ruben eberlein on April 28, 2013

Political activists in Germany are six steps behind again when it comes to discussions about racism and imaginations of Africa and Otherness at large that moved the US and UK, for instance, decades ago. And make the same mistakes again. The debate about “Critical Whiteness” is getting more and more a carneval of identity politics negatively connoted, self-flagellation and victimization. The latest example is the aggressive intervention of political activists at a taz-sponsored event on racism. There is antivenom against this kind of thinking, and it is out for eleven years now: Achille Mbembe’s “African Modes of Self-Writing”, still relevant and already a modern classic. Read it if you don’t know it!

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