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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