In the Wake: On Blackness and Being
In this chapter, Sharpe argues that the Weather is the totality of Black peoples’ environments; the weather is the total climate; and that climate is antiblackness as ‘the singularity.’ In the chapter, Sharpe introduces the practices of black annotation and black redaction as more examples of wake work, as ways of seeing and imagining responses to the terror visited on Black life in the contemporary; the ways that Black people inhabit, are inhabited by, and refuse that terror as the totality of Black existence. The chapter ends with what Sharpe theorizes as an “ordinary note of care” among the shipped and the held in the weather in the wake of those slave ships whose names are the start of the chapter. Sharpe locates this ordinary note in Beloved, in Brand’s “Ruttier for the Marooned in the Diaspora,” in Sissako’s 2014 film Timbuktu, and in two photographs by Roy DeCarava. This note, she argues, is practiced by Black people throughout the globe.