Against invisibilization—towards “Blackness” as a universal claim

Damani J. Partridge


From post-World War II Germany to contemporary contexts beyond Europe and the United States, this contribution considers the extent to which “Blackness” has become a universal claim. It thinks through this claim in relation to Aihwa Ong’s discussion of invisibilization. In a context in which new immigrants to countries such as the United States or Germany face at best exclusionary incorporation through a process that also appends their potential noncitizenship to Blackness, a reinvigorated Blackness offers a different kind of possibility. Ong’s discussion of ethnic succession in the United States also illuminates the persistence of systemic racism and “White” supremacy, making analytical space for the academic and the activist to consider the possibilities for Blackness as a universal claim.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/712094