Sylvia Wynter: Black Metamorphosis: New Natives in a New World [1970s]

28 February 2021, dusan

Black Metamorphosis: New Natives in a New World is an unpublished manuscript written by Sylvia Wynter. The work is a seminal piece in Black Studies and uses diverse fields to explain Black experiences and presence in the Americas.

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Wynter worked with the Center for Afro-American Studies (CAAS) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to complete the project which was to be published by the Institute of the Black World. The manuscript presents early iterations of Wynter’s Theory of the Human and explores how Black experiences are essential to understanding the history of the New World.”

The only part of this manuscript that has been published is Wynter’s 1979 essay “Sambos and Minstrels”, though excerpts of and allusions to many of the other texts she wrote in the 1970s can be found in the manuscript, particularly “Jonkonnu in Jamaica” (1970), “Novel and History” (1971), “Ethno or Socio Poetics” (1976), “The Politics of Black Culture” (1977), and “In Quest of Matthew Bondman” (1981). … In the final 935-page manuscript, the page numbers break at page 251 and resume with page 370. The 120 missing pages correspond exactly to the number of pages in a series of descriptions of revolts by enslaved persons in Jamaica, and it appears that they were meant to be inserted at this point in the text.” (Kamugisha 2016)

Manuscript, written throughout the 1970s
[935] pages (252-369 missing)

Commentary and analysis: Derrick White (C.L.R. James Journal, 2010), Aaron Kamugisha, Demetrius L. Eudell, Greg Thomas, Katherine McKittrick, Tonya Haynes, Nijah Cunningham (Small Axe, 2016).

Wikipedia

PDF (21 MB)

DJ Lynnée Denise: Toni Morrison Inna London: Sonic Connections and the Literary Imagination (2020)

9 February 2021, dusan

“In this work, DJ Lynnée Denise offers a layered audio-visual response to the 1986 Guardian talk with Toni Morrison at the ICA. The visual essay brings together intimate reflections and propositions framed by Morrison’s 1992 novel Jazz. DJ Lynnée Denise explores the Black Atlantic sound, visuals and craft to render the life worlds behind Morrison’s oeuvre visible. Morrison’s writing is expanded into a visual vocabulary in which transatlantic conversations and new connections emerge. A praxis in translation.

Claudia Jones. Eartha Kitt. Fannie Lou Hamer. Lorraine Hansberry. Winnie Mandela. Sarah Vaughn. Lady G. Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Elizabeth Cotton. Augusta Savage. Judy Mowatt.

DJ Lynnée Denise creates what Louis Chude Sokei calls a diasporic “echo chamber” of Black women’s craft animated by the bricolage of drum and bass in which the sonic influences of Black Britain and Black America are an electronic undercurrent. The drum machine mixed with Morrison’s gestures, mannerisms, and reading speak to how Morrison’s is experienced through a multi-sensory engagement.

In Morrison’s interview with A.S. Byatt, she references the important inspiration of paintings in her writing practice and the relationship between musicians and their audience. In this work, a visual remixing of worlds happens in which Black girls jumping rope, everyday live in Harlem, the market space in Brixton are the aesthetics to Morrison’s writing or in her words “the access to the scene”. In DJ Lynnée Denise’s rendering, “the scene” is about Black wayward diasporic women whose craft is read through astrology, the politics of refusal and the secrets of Black social life.”

Publisher Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, March 2020
28 minutes
via ICA’s Five Volumes for Toni Morrison, HT dubravka

Interview with author: Chandra Frank (Journal of Popular Music Studies, 2020).

MP4 (218 MB)

Cedric J. Robinson: Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (1983–)

8 February 2021, dusan

“In this ambitious work, Cedric Robinson demonstrates that efforts to understand black people’s history of resistance solely through the prism of Marxist theory are incomplete and inaccurate. Marxist analyses tend to presuppose European models of history and experience that downplay the significance of black people and black communities as agents of change and resistance. Black radicalism must be linked to the traditions of Africa and the unique experiences of blacks on western continents, Robinson argues, and any analyses of African American history need to acknowledge this.

To illustrate his argument, Robinson traces the emergence of Marxist ideology in Europe, the resistance by blacks in historically oppressive environments, and the influence of both of these traditions on such important twentieth-century black radical thinkers as W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, and Richard Wright.”

Foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley
Publisher Zed Press, London, 1983
487 pages

Second edition
New Preface by the author
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2000
ISBN 0807848298, 9780807848296
xxxiii+436 pages

Third edition, Revised and updated
New Preface by Damien Sojoyner and Tiffany Willoughby-Herard
Publisher University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2021
ISBN 1469663724, 9781469663722
liii+436 pages

Commentary: Robin D. G. Kelley (Boston Review, 2017), .

Reviews: Cornel West (Monthly Review, 1988), Black Perspectives roundtable (2016): Paul Hébert, Joshua Guild, Jennifer L. Morgan, Carole Boyce Davies, Austin McCoy, Robyn C. Spencer; Bedour Alagraa (CLR James Journal, 2018), Austin Smidt (PPE Sydney, 2020), Minkah Makalani (Boston Review, 2021).

Publisher
WorldCat (2nd ed.)

PDF (2nd ed., 2000, 14 MB)
PDF (3rd ed., 2020, 4 MB)

See also Robinson’s An Anthropology of Marxism (2001).