The Quotable Black Scholar: Paul Gilroy on How Racism Hurts White People
Paul Gilroy (b. 1956)
The pursuit of liberation from ‘race’ is an especially urgent matter for those peoples who, like modern blacks in the period after transatlantic slavery, were assigned an inferior position in the enduring hierarchies that [racism] creates. However, this opportunity is not theirs alone. There are very good reasons why it should be enthusiastically embraced by others whose antipathy to race-thinking can be defined, not so much by the way it has subordinated them, but because in endowing them with the alchemical magic of racial mastery, it has distorted and delimited their experiences and consciousness in other ways. They may not have been animalized, reified, or exterminated, but they too have suffered something by being deprived of their individuality, their humanity, and thus alienated from species life. Black and white are bound together by the mechanisms of ‘race’ that estrange them from each other and amputate their common humanity.
–Paul Gilroy, from Between Camps: Nations, Cultures, and the Allure of Race (p. 15). Many thanks to Toban Black for bringing this quote to my attention on his outstanding WordPress blog.
Biographical Notes: Paul Gilroy is a professor at the London School of Economics. He has also taught at South Bank University, Essex University, Goldsmiths College, and Yale University in the United State. Born and raised in London, Gilroy earned his bachelor’s degree at Sussex University (1978), and he completed his Ph.D. at Birmingham University, in 1986.
Dr. Gilroy is the author of a scores of articles and several books, including:
Ain’t No Black in the Union Hack (1987)
Small Acts (1993)
The Black Atlantic (1993)
Between Camps (2000)
After Empire: Multicultural or Postcolonial Melancholia (2004)
Posted by Ajuan Mance