What is happening in those books?

I wrote: “If the carceral is not a detour or an aberration to be righted by reform but an essential feature of the modern world, recomposing itself when the ground shifts, what is to be done?”

Race as topic keeps arising in these books, too. And then getting “elided,” as I keep saying. Race keeps arising in new forms. And getting pushed away. And Blackness and incarceration seem to be the limits of this world.

In the Afropessimist map of the world, Black people are everywhere integral and at the same time, excluded. “[T]he spectacle of Black death is essential to the mental health of the world.”

The primordial question in the books seems to be how the criollo subject relates to Blackness, it seems. Where is the blackness in you, how do you relate to it, how do you show it, how do you distinguish yourself from what’s blacker? Effort is made to emphasize that these are racially stratified societies with inequality and discontent, but that is never addressed. (Is it my misplaced expectation that it should be? Maybe it’s not weird?)


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