In his forthcoming book, The Afterlife of Race: An Informed Philosophical Search (OUP, fall 2023), Lionel McPherson argues that the perpetual stigmatized, wealthless condition of Black America is best understood as a caste phenomenon. Caste calls attention to intergenerational nature and national specificity of the Black American situation, rooted in inherited slavery and enforced segregation; “race,” by contrast, traffics in flat blackness. As McPherson explains it, race intrigue functions as a distraction—from the subjugation, exploitation, and nonrepair of the historical American “Slaves” caste—by (mis)directing focus to some global antiblack racism phenomenon of lesser importance.
The Louise M. Olmsted Fund for Ethics and The Philosophy Department
Contact: Professor Matthew Andler