Introduction: The Becoming Black of the World
Europe’s displacement from the center of the world and the universalization of the Black condition inspire this critical reevaluation of history, racism, and the future of humanity. Three historical moments conjoined the figure of the Black Man (le Nègre) and Blackness with the biological fiction and foundational category that is race. First, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, the Atlantic slave trade transformed Africans on the basis of skin color into human-commodities and human-money. Second, the eighteenth to twentieth centuries witnessed emerging consciousness among the enslaved and the colonized in the form of uprisings, revolts, decolonization, civil rights movements, and antiapartheid struggles. Third, twenty-first-century neoliberalism has globalized financial capital, increased partitioning and zoning, and seen the rise of electronic and digital technologies. This book argues that all of subaltern humanity—increasingly surveilled and objectified—has become Black in ways that challenge the very divisions on which universal equality was built.