REGISTER: Contact Professor Long Bui via email at

About the talk:
Building on the work of Hortense Spillers and others, this talk uses the “yet to come” of Black culture as a lens to read the political and cultural interventions of The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). More broadly, the “yet to come” of Black Culture serves as an avenue to (re)consider how, on what terms, and to what end Black political thought has evolved since #BlackLivesMatter emerged, particularly when placed alongside earlier iterations of the fight for Black liberation. By wielding an unapologetic Black joy as both a capacious embodiment of Black presence and a prefigurative politics that forecasts a world free of anti-Blackness, M4BL has shifted the meaning and mode of Black politics and thought against the grain of the dominant ideologies, strategies, and leadership models that have defined Black movement up until now.  At the same time, when placed in conversation with these earlier political-cultural formations, M4BL’s unapologetic Black joy, along with its calls for abolition, help crystalize the contours of the present conjuncture in Black thought as rooted in a temporality that is simultaneously now, before, and not yet. This multi-temporality closely follows what Margo Natalie Crawford describes as “the power of anticipation in the Black radical tradition,” a bridge that aids “new way[s] of thinking about the relationship between earlier and later cultural movements,” one that is attuned to historically situated racial regimes. Put somewhat differently, in its circulatory, its “back and forth flow” Blackness, Black political thought, and Black culture builds and repurposes rather than simply breaks away. Seen in this light, Harris suggests that M4BL’s politics and culture are not merely pronouncements of the “yet to come” but a philosophical “return to the source,” by which he means the radicalism of Black folk culture and the plantation politics of the colonized and enslaved.

connect with us


© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766