ART BY MANZEL BOWMAN

PHD: “BEYOND THE PROBLEM OF BLACKNESS”

THE THESIS

This research engages the unremitting question imposed on Blackness, as explicated by W.EB DuBois in his seminal work The Souls of Black Folk (1903), “How does it feel to be a problem?” Through a critical reading of Barnor Hesse’s theory of Black fugitive thought, and escapology as Black routine, I re-envision Gilroy’s Black Atlantic as the digital space, in which the saga of the heroic Black subject continues to unfold. Here, Black consciousness is uploaded into the Digisphere in pursuit of the ultimate goal of Black liberation – disembodied and yet living through technology.

In my doctoral thesis, I theorise the emergent politics of Black consciousness online as the deliberate counter-cultural production of contemporary Black fugitives. That is, the practice of Black love; undeniably outlawed under capitalist white supremacist patriarchy. In the tradition of Black fugitives, I draw on autoethnography and digital text as testimony, to tell the story of Blackness consciousness tethered to Black identities in contemporary Britain.

LIVE RECORDING OF ACADEMIC PAPER:

Beyond the Problem of Blackness: Approaching the Research

Beyond the Problem of Blackness: Approaching the Research

When I started this project I knew I did not what to talk about race[ism]; but about “self-articulated Blackness”. That’s how I thought about it. I didn’t want to write about policing and criminalisation; housing and gentrification; education and low achievement; or any of the other ways of asking the question, “How does it feel to be a problem?” (W.E.B Du Bois, 1903). I wanted to write about Black joy.

I recognise now, as a social researcher, that that drive came in part from the pervasive sorrow in my personal life. This was a process of catharsis and generating hope. I wanted my research to reflect the gaps between the struggle, (against the state, each other, and even within ourselves). To magnify those quiet moments when you come home and take off your cool.

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PODCAST SERIES:

Black, Brilliant & Book Smart: Pleasure & Sexual Autonomy in Public Space (Bonus Episode)

Black, Brilliant & Book Smart: Pleasure & Sexual Autonomy in Public Space (Bonus Episode)

Three young Black British women, who are academics and friends, sit down to talk about their PhD journey, their research areas, the joys and the challenges… Twitter: @LeonaNBlack Facebook: Leona Nichole Black Instagram: nicholeblackonline Antoinette Kwegan: @MsAKwegan Monique Charles: @Neake81

Black, Brilliant & Book Smart EP3: Can We Have It All & The Politics of Dressing Down

Black, Brilliant & Book Smart EP3: Can We Have It All & The Politics of Dressing Down

Three young Black British women, who are academics and friends, sit down to talk about their PhD journey, their research areas, the joys and the challenges… Twitter: @LeonaNBlack Facebook: Leona Nichole Black Instagram: nicholeblackonline Antoinette Kwegan: @MsAKwegan Monique Charles: @Neake81

Black, Brilliant & Book Smart EP2: Finances, Starting Over & Life Beyond the Books

Black, Brilliant & Book Smart EP2: Finances, Starting Over & Life Beyond the Books

Three young Black British women, who are academics and friends, sit down to talk about their PhD journey, their research areas, the joys and the challenges…

[Podcast] Black, Brilliant & Book Smart Episode 1: Grime, Black Love & Education

[Podcast] Black, Brilliant & Book Smart Episode 1: Grime, Black Love & Education

Three young Black British women, who are academics and friends, sit down to talk about their PhD journey, their research areas, the joys and the challenges…