A Postmodern approach to parenthetical Blackness

In a society where the mainstream media is misinformed about black progress denotes a change in thinking.

In a society where the mainstream is misinformed about black progress denotes a change in thinking.

If we look at Postmodernism, we also need to consider Reconstructivism, which is a philosophical theory holding that societies should continually reform themselves in order to establish more perfect governments or social networks. This ideology involves recombining or recontextualizing the ideas arrived at by the philosophy of deconstruction, in which an existing system or medium is broken into its smallest meaningful elements and in which these elements are used to build a new system or medium free from the strictures of the original.

By Don Allen, M.A. Ed – Publisher Our Black News

Postmodernism is Postmodern theory is a broad and somewhat ambiguous belief system tied to the philosophical and cultural reaction to the convictions of Modernism (sometimes equated with Humanism). Postmodernism is the philosophical proposal that reality is ultimately inaccessible by human investigation, that knowledge is a social construction, that truth-claims are political power plays, and that the meaning of words is to be determined by readers not authors. In brief, Postmodern theory sees reality as what individuals or social groups make it to be (All About World View, 2016).

In a parenthetical black society, one might argue there are those who have not shaken off the preverbal slave dust and only exist to be consequential. While most black people, especially in the United States, knows there are pockets of black communities ruled by self-appointed, consequential Negroes that too are the poorest in American black society, which is chained to the evolution and outsourcing of Jim Crow tactics so that black communities remain untouched by wealth, commerce, employment and education. But why would are own people do this to us?

The protagonist in this situation is a broken black man. The name “Black Man” inserts a certain masculinity, unfortunately the for some, they cannot live up to the physical or emotional expectations of the community or anyone else. Big Daddy (political parties) provides a lens for community members to see a possible example of compassion when they tell the black community it has no reason to be ashamed of being dependent on welfare.  Of course we find out later that Big Daddy has plans and a past and leaves “a lot unspoken.”. The black community, in some cases black men in the United States are like alcoholics; a man living a faux life with a bottle when he rather be with someone else. The cross-cultural and longitudinal perspectives of black male identity between the mainstream and the media, who chastised black men when they the only newsworthy community piece is a black on black killing. This was shadowed in an enigma from mainstream acceptance. The political and social limitations of the black community infrastructure is obscured to say the least –  for only a few who could see into the blind spots.

Looking through the lens of postmodernism as it pertains to color, race, class and more specifically, the African American, it becomes even more problematic to define the modern, postmodern and post-post modernism. Not because we cannot comprehend the meanings, but so few black intellectuals have been indoctrinated with postmodernism in a way that would lay bare to a very clear definition, claims or arguments.

In bell hooks’ “Postmodern Debates: Postmodern Blackness,” she is determined to cut relevance into her view of postmodernism at the sake of not stepping out and defining an apparatus of her own that can be used by black authors and society to make meaning for a ‘modern, post or post-post’ in ‘blackness.’  hooks writes, “I was told by another black person that I was wasting my time, that ‘this stuff does not relate in any why to what’s happening with black people.” (128).

I tend to agree with the other black person on the critique of hooks amazement and have been unsettled by the lack of black literary agents who have not looked to solidify a meaning exclusively to black culture. If hooks and others would look at the examples of modernism to include the post and post-post in black culture, there is an extensive prospect to break the mold set by the white-patriarchal construct as it pertains to having exclusivity in the hierarchy of community, identity and literary devises –  to say the least.

As a black writer, given the examples above, we could argue for a new name, or critical apparatus such as Current Relevatism. The meaning of Current Relevatism is that during our arts, society and literary history (black America), there were moments in the depths that are timely and relevant in our canons that lay bare to likening of Marxism, capitalism, modernism, postmodernism and postmodernity that can only be defined by the current state relevant to the black literary cultures purchase. Hence, while hooks understood what could be labeled as modern, she negates the opportunity to insert a new critical apparatus like Current Relevatism to account for the white-patriarchal construct and what it has used to create meaning and identity for black bodies, literature and culture for far too long. “During the sixties, black power movement was influenced by perspectives that could easily be labeled modernist,” (129).

If black intellectuals cannot idea, create and distribute new meaning in the areas of community, critical apparatus and redefine “us” to define and review for debate, we have not gotten any further as intellectuals then the common household cat. Black Postmodernism and the definitions, which have never been cleared or applied, might just be unnecessary.

Works Cited

Malpas, S. (2001). Postmodern blackness. Bell Hooks. Postmodern debates. New York: Palgrave, 2001. 128-135. Print.

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