Scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds have been critical of history’s vision of itself as grounded in empiricism, its function as a secularist theodicy, and its commitment to humanism. Meanwhile, Black studies has exposed the Human as a sociopolitical construction masquerading as mere ontological fact. Yet historians remain committed to the fiction as if it were fact, occluding the ways that narrating the Human requires evading full recognition of the ubiquity and permanence of anti-Blackness in the modern world. Indeed, this article argues, this is the unstated function of history, conceived here as a discipline, or constraint, on what it is possible for historians to think and register as significant as they bring order to chaos in the form of narrative. Against empiricism and the humanist compulsion to explain suffering rather than abide in its meaninglessness, this article suggests an embrace of antidisciplinarity. By shifting perspective through Afropessimism, embracing methods such as critical fabulation, and inventing the past through cross-disciplinary borrowing, autobiography, and explicit empathy, the article demonstrates the implications of an antidisciplinary approach to historical inquiry. It engages the historiography and archives related to the Houston Police Department’s attack on Texas Southern University students in 1967 and in doing so exposes the incoherence of historiography that speaks of peace in an anti-Black world and that relies on an ontological certainty of the Human as a simple fact of existence, alongside its attendant codes, specifically those of linear time, gender subjectivity, and agency.

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