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11.06.2020

The Black Angel of History and the Age of Necrocapitalism

Reaffirming the relevancy of Afrofuturism’s legacy and vision in the present, Reynaldo Anderson and Tiffany E. Barber suggest technology as a tool, albeit born of White Supremacy, to be “hacked” by global anti-racist movements in order to fight the agonizing hydra of Necrocapitalism.

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Notes

  1. “Denmark Vesey (also Telemaque) (c.1767 — July 2, 1822) was a literate, skilled carpenter and leader of African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina. In June 1822 he was accused and convicted of being the leader of “the rising,” a potentially major slave revolt which was scheduled to take place in the city on July 14. He was executed on July 2.” More information

  2. “Nat Turner’s rebellion was one of the largest slave rebellions ever to take place in the United States, and it played an important role in the development of antebellum slave society. The images from Nat Turner’s Rebellion — of armed black men roaming the country side slaying white men, women, and children — haunted white southerners and showed slave owners how vulnerable they were.” More information

  3. “Nanny, known as Granny Nanny, Grandy Nanny, and Queen Nanny was a Maroon leader and Obeah woman in Jamaica during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Maroons were slaves in the Americas who escaped and formed independent settlements. Nanny herself was an escaped slave who had been shipped from Western Africa. It has been widely accepted that she came from the Ashanti tribe of present-day Ghana.” More information

  4. Generally, Necrocapitalism names a form of capitalism where a country’s trade and industry are founded on, linked to, and dependent on death and the profits accruing from it. It provides a framework for understanding how different forms of institutional, material, and discursive power operate in the global political economy and the violence and dispossession that result from this paradigmatic shift.

  5. See Achille Mbembé and Libby Meintjes. “Necropolitics,” Public Culture 15, 1 (2003), 11-40. See also Karl Marx, Trans. Ben Fowkes and David Fernbach, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Volume 1 (New York: Penguin Books Limited, 1990).

  6. See Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee’s “Necrocapitalism,” Organization Studies 29, 12 (2008), 1541-1563. See also Sunny Singh’s “The end of necro-capitalism (but not necessarily capitalism),” Media Diversified (2017), and Anna More’s “Necroeconomics, Originary Accumulation, and Racial Capitalism in the Early Iberian Slave Trade,” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies 19, 2 (Spring 2019), 75-100.

  7. See Reynaldo Anderson and Charles E. Jones, eds. Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness (Latham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015).

  8. See Reynaldo Anderson, “Afrofuturism 2.0 & the Black Speculative Arts Movement: Notes on a Manifesto,” Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora 42, 1-2 (2016), 230-238.

  9. For the exhibition, Curating the End of the World, see and

  10. See P. Olisanwuche Esedebe’s Pan-Africanism: The Idea and Movement, 1776-1991 (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1994).

  11. Editor’s note: From our archives, we recommend reading: Cláudio Bueno, “Amerelo-Ouro” en Vibrán imágenes en la oscuridad, Terremoto #16 (Fall 2019), available in

  12. See Charlton D. McIlwain, Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019); Nick Srnicek, Platform Capitalism (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2017); and Cécile Wendling, Jack Radisch, and Stephane Jacobzone, “The Use of Social Media in Risk and Crisis Communication,” OECD Working Papers on Public Governance 24 (Paris: OECD Publishing, 2013),

  13. See Mark Bould’s “The Ships Landed Long Ago: Afrofuturism and Black SF,” Science Fiction Studies 34, 2, Special Issue Afrofuturism (July 2007), 177-186.

  14. See Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (London/New York: Verso Books, 2015/2016).

  15. See Jason M. Adams’ Occupy Time: Technoculture, Immediacy, and Resistance after Occupy Wall Street (New York: Palgrave, 2013).

  16. See Aria Dean’s “Notes on Blacceleration,” e-flux journal 87 (December 2017), < https://www.e-flux.com/journal/87/169402/notes-on-blacceleration/>

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