This discussion essay examines Lewis R. Gordon’s Fear of Black Consciousness (2022) and his analysis of ethics and politics within Black political philosophy. Gordon’s interdisciplinary book weaves together film, jazz, Judaism, and Egyptology (for instance) to interrogate the limits of political liberal concepts such as liberty, justice, and equality for analyzing and addressing anti-Black racism. A central concern facing Gordon is the degree to which bad faith is ignored or underexamined in political philosophy and public debates on social justice and freedom. Exploring how the racialization of the “Black” informs competing responses to anti-Blackness among Black and non-Black communities, this essay weighs the usefulness of Gordon’s metareflective framing for understanding the tension and significance of religion and moral claims in developing theories of freedom within Black political philosophy.

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