Though black aesthetic production has received much study, little attention has been paid to the challenge of constructing black aesthetics proper. In addition to articulating what aesthetics is as a field of inquiry, such a task also includes the problem of whether aesthetics has been colonized and its production is a form of colonizing instead of decolonial practice. This article explores such problems through contextualizing and exploring, in an age of neoconservatism and neoliberalism, recent theoretical responses, ranging from British cultural studies to recent developments in African diasporic philosophy such as theories of invisibility, critiques of authenticity and “appropriation,” black somatology, and the aesthetics of everyday life.

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