Critique of Black Reason
Achille Mbembe is Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is coeditor of Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis, also published by Duke University Press, and the author of On the Postcolony as well as several books in French.
Laurent Dubois is Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History and Director of the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.
Epilogue: There Is Only One World
Blackness came into being with the figure of the Black slave, capitalism’s most visible symbol of the possibility of violence without limits and of vulnerability without a safety net. Without restitution, reparation, and a striving toward universal justice, the Becoming Black of the world is fast becoming reality. All of humanity, as coinheritors of the earth, must share in the responsibility to create a world of humans and nonhumans caught, not in global systems of depredation and exploitation, but in communities of mixture, exchange, reciprocity, and mutuality. Universal justice can be achieved only by restoring to the slaves of history their rightful share of humanity stolen centuries ago. The future of humanity relies on attending to the in-common and the reservoirs of life, to the Open rather than the enclosure, and to the recognition of difference as unkinning and inclusion rather than differentiation for profit, exclusion, and domination.