Building on the work of Hortense Spillers and others, this article uses the “yet to come” of Black culture as a lens to read the political and cultural interventions of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). The “yet to come” also serves as an avenue to consider how, on what terms, and to what end Black political thought has evolved since #BlackLivesMatter emerged. By wielding an unapologetic Black joy as both a capacious embodiment of Black presence and a prefigurative politics that forecasts a world free of antiblackness, M4BL, and its demand for abolition, has shifted the meaning and mode of Black politics and thought. At the same time, when placed in conversation with earlier Black political-cultural formations, Black joy and abolition help crystalize the current conjuncture in Black thought as rooted in a temporality that is simultaneously now, before, and not yet. This multi-temporality follows what Margo Natalie Crawford describes as “the power of anticipation” in the Black radical tradition, facilitating a new correspondence between the Black present and the Black past, one that is attuned to historically situated racial regimes. Put somewhat differently, in its circulatory, its “back and forth flow,” Black culture and Black thought, intramural renderings of Blackness itself, builds and repurposes rather than simply breaks away. Seen through this light, I suggest that M4BL’s politics and culture are not merely pronouncements of the “yet to come” but a philosophical “return to the source”—the radicalism of the colonized and enslaved.

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