Amazon calculates a product’s star ratings based on a machine learned model instead of a raw data average. The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.
Anti-Blackness is framed through the Black Radical Tradition and the critical questioning of what it means to be free and liberated without capitalism. Anti-Blackness is ensconced in the long history racial capitalism that has negatively affected Black folk. I also appreciated the section about the history of guns and how Black people have protected themselves has gun owners since the state was never there to protect them anyway. The re articulation of ‘non-violence’ as not PASSIVE, but on the condition that it doesn’t mean Black people aren’t going to raise arms to fight back was good. The authors strip away the romanticized version of white liberals only focusing in ‘non-violence’ as if it means we can never go up in arms to fights oppression. I think it’s a necessary read for mainstream in the USA who really don’t understand how anti-Blackness operates and how Black liberation isn’t possible through capitalism.
This compact and highly-readable volume is something you need to add to your library and read immediately. Through their efforts to denaturalize history, Samudzi and Anderson challenge commonly-held assumptions about U.S. history, liberalism, and the parameters for political change. The ideas are tremendous and urgent, but I think what's most impressive is how accessible the authors made this book. Additionally, Samudzi and Anderson cite Black radical thought so extensively, that they provide any reader with a terrific syllabus. This text is certainly timely - in the long run it will prove timeless.
It has been a while since I felt that a book truly spoke my language. I read a lot of books about social justice, racial justice, feminism, and so on and while many of them are very good, I often leave feeling like they didn't quite match up with the level of unapologetic radical love that I was hoping for. As Black As Resistance by Zoé Samudzi and William C. Anderson really carved out a space in my heart while reading it. The book is short, but is not what I would call a short read. It is rather academic so it required me to take my time. I usually have some pretty strong critiques about academic social justice focused writing. Aside from accessibility to the masses, the biggest one is that a ton of academic texts I read aren't really saying much of anything. They often focus on talking big and self congratulation more than they do conveying a profound message. This book is not one of those academic writings. It is saying a hell of a lot and has a lot to offer in a very small space. Even though I know it would be a difficult read for some people, it is still a book I would hand out- especially as an introduction to... well... everything in the United States.
Samudzi and Anderson really wrap up a lot of topics into this small space and they use the voices they have quite well. They do not fall into the trappings that some books with a focus do where they leave other topics or the most marginalized people of the centered demographic behind. This book lifts up Blackness and centers the most oppressed Black people (Black women, LGBTQ people, etc.) At the same time, they leave no one else behind. The authors exemplify the "trickle up" system of resistance in which fighting for the most affected by systemic issues of oppression always positively affects everyone. The authors are direct, unapologetic, passionate, and fierce and at the same time there is a thread of great love and kindness woven throughout their writing. They do not attempt to ease the reader into the reality that the United States is a place of great horrors. Even if you are a person who is already familiar with many of the topics and much of the information in this book, I am going to guess that- like me- you will find it refreshing to read something so unapologetic that is, for once, not trying to couch what it is saying in something else. Dismantling white supremacy requires dismantling the United States, Black people (and some other oppressed groups) lack true citizenship and rights in the United States, slavery and settler colonialism are still present today and will be for as long as the United States exists. Period.
The section on self defense was my favorite part of this book. Part of this was because it was the part that really exposed me to things written in a way that I had not seen much before. But, part of it was because it was so empowering. Samudzi and Anderson tackle the historical inaccuracies about Black "nonviolent" resistance. They include quotes from W.E.B. DuBois, Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King Jr, and others all of whom defend the use of guns and violence for self defense. They also tackle the idea sometimes promoted by white manarchists that all fighting or violence is automatically self defence or justifiable. The writers take on a nuanced critique of violence and self defense in a way that calls attention to the critical need for communities to defend themselves and to not allow white washed rhetoric and false histories of nonviolent civil rights movemements be used to pacify them.
Even if you are a person who struggles with more academic writing, this is one that is worth grabbing your dictionary or google for and giving a shot. The authors also have a lot of footnotes where they do define many concepts and subjects, but some folks who are unfamiliar with anarchism or far left racial justice will still need help. It's worth it. This book is definitely one I will recommend to people for years to come.