- Aug 2018
Black Americans’ continuous experiences with racial injustice prompt questions: What is racism, and why does it exist? How do we survive in America? And, since no one ought to live like this, what is to be done? That the black experience both motivates and unifies these questions is exactly the reason we can identify and study something called black thought. It is the intellectual tradition concerned with systematically and imaginatively studying and conveying the worst social, economic, and political treatment ever visited on a population, for nearly four centuries, and with no end in sight.
One invigorating aspect of black thought — whether it is expressed in philosophy, literature, art, film, music or dance — is its clear and direct impact on society. Tied as it is to urgent questions of human dignity, freedom and justice, its manifestations and effects can ultimately be seen everywhere from the graffiti-graced brick walls of America’s inner cities to the halls of gilded centers of art and education.