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A Sampling of Black Perspectives Posts: July to December 2021


A Sampling of Black Perspectives Posts: July to December 2021

Hundreds of people attend at Juneteenth celebration at Brooklyn Public Library at the Grand Army Plaza, New York, June 19, 2020 (Shutter Stock)

Black Perspectives continued its tradition of tying Black intellectual history to a wide range of fields throughout the second half of 2021. Ties to Black internationalism, sport and intellectual history, and memory were key hallmarks of publishing at the blog. In addition, the relationship between Black intellectual history and gender also formed a critical part of the blog’s overall output. The following are just a few of the many pieces that made 2021 a particularly fascinating year for Black intellectual history. 

One essay that stood out for presenting a surprising element of Black music and the diaspora was Matthew Teutsch’s piece on “Blackness, Norwegian Identity, and Nationality.” Here, Teutsch juxtaposed the work of Paul Gilroy with the hip hop music of Norwegian hip hop artist Puma. Himself of Chilean and Peruvian descent, Puma (also known as Richard Edward Bravo) focused his music on identity and self-determination. For Teutsch, the importance of Puma’s work is that he showed “the malleability of his identity.” Being Norwegian did not mean complying with a certain assumption of skin or hair color. Instead, he refused to be put into any particular nationalistic or racialist box—identifying with a similar struggle of identity, race, and nationality that touches numerous members of the Black diaspora.

M. Keith Claybrook asked readers of Black Perspectives to rethink how they considered what is often referred to “Watts Riots” in public memory. Published during the anniversary week of the Watts Rebellion, Claybrook argued, “It was not a riot that occurred August 11-16, 1965. It was open rebellion against brutal policing and exploitative merchants alien to Black Los Angeles, and a message to the governing body that Black Los Angeles was demanding change.” Considering recent rebellions across the United States in 2020, “Remembering, Rethinking, and Renaming the Watts Rebellion” was an especially timely piece. It was also a…

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