Mo’ money, fewer problems? Today, Brendane & Alyssa take on the question of getting that government guap – reparations, baby! Our new sound is finally here – shout out to our music producer Segnon Tiewul for di big tuuuune! Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, the Graduate Workers at Columbia University are currently on strike to push agreement on a fair labor contract with the university, who has threated to dock pay. Donate to the solidarity fund here. *Note* The conference panel Alyssa talks about moderating was postponed due to the strike.
An opinion poll released last summer found that 80% of Black Americans believed the federal government should compensate the descendants of enslaved people, compared with 21% of white Americans. In our segment What’s the Word? we discuss reparations – what it has meant and what it could mean. In What We’re Reading, we talk about Deborah A. Thomas’s introduction and coda to her monograph Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica (2011) to understand what it means to use reparations as a framework for thinking. In our last segment, What in the World?! we have Dr. Thomas on to discuss how her thinking has evolved from reparations to repair, embodiment to affect, and citizenship to sovereignty in her follow up book, Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Sovereignty, Witnessing, Repair (2019). We also talk about the questions that animate her research, the announcement of reparations for (some) Black residents in Evanston, Illinois, the ‘conjuncture’ that’s got everyone talking about reparations, and why we should mobilize for reparations and repair on multiple scales.
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Discussed this week:
Exceptional Violence: Embodied Citizenship in Transnational Jamaica (Deborah A. Thomas, 2011)
Political Life in the Wake of the Plantation: Sovereignty, Witnessing, Repair (Deborah A. Thomas, 2019)
The Case for Reparations (Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2014)
U.S. Museums Hold the Remains of Thousands of Black People (Delande Justinvil and Chip Colwell, 2021)
Payback’s a B**** (Code Switch, NPR, 2021)
ZD Merch available here and the syllabus for ZD 102 is here!