— The Flaming Lips, Superhumans
trying not to keep feeling out in the open, like a dialogue of two people talking to themselves. oh fuck, now this is just Derrida’s explanation of how two blind people find each other with the Narcissus and Echo allegory. FUCK. just make it stop.
— The Archaeology of Knowledge, Michel Foucault (via thevioletpath)
To name that whiteness in the black imagination is often a representation of terror. One must face written histories that erase and deny, that reinvent the past to make the present vision of racial harmony and pluralism more plausible. To bear the burden of memory one must willingly journey to places long uninhabited, searching for the debris of history for traces of the unforgettable, all knowledge of which have been suppressed. [Itabari] Nejri laments that ‘nobody really knows us’. She writes, ‘So institutionalized is the ignorance of our own history, our culture, our everyday existence that, often, we do not even know ourselves.’ Theorizing black experience, we seek to uncover, restore, as well as to deconstruct , so that new paths, different journeys, are possible.
It is the telling of our history that enables political self-recovery. In a contemporary society, white and black people alike believe that racism no longer exists. This erasure, however mythic, diffuses the representation of whiteness as terror in the black imagination. It allows for assimilation and forgetfulness. The eagerness with which contemporary society does away with racism, replacing it’s recognition with evocations of pluralism and diversity that further mask reality, is a response to the terror. It has also become a way to perpetuate the terror by providing a cover, a hiding place. Black people still feel the terror, still associate it with whiteness, but are rarely able to articulate the varied ways we are terrorized because it is easy to silence by accusations of reverse racism or by suggesting black folks who talk about the ways we are terrorized by whites are merely evoking victimization to demand special treatment."
— Killing Rage: Ending Racism, Bell Hooks (ellipsis mine)
Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives (USA: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), p. 28.