In this episode of the Pop Culturist, Special Guest Kina Reed, professor of Communication Studies and Director of the Forensics program at LSU. We talk about the difference between “racism” and “anti-Blackness.” But first, some context.
In the last two weeks, we have been inundated with stories. There have been stories of Black men and women, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, killed at the hand of police and by white men. We’ve witnessed protests. We’ve witnessed the collective outrage of the black community saying No More. And, of course, we’ve seen the politicized backlash of conservative white America pointing to the protesters as the problem. It’s helpful to recall the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said that riots are the “language of the unheard.” All that’s well and good, except that many of these so-called riots are actually perpetrated by white people.
But all that is not what we want to talk about today. We want to talk about the idea of “Anti-Blackness.” A recent New York Times article by Professor Kihana Miraya Ross titled “Call it What it Is: Anti-Blackness,” argues that racism is not a robust enough term for what, in fact, is at the root of America’s racial original sin: Anti-Blackness.
But what is Anti-Blackness? And how or why is it crucial to diagnosing what is wrong in America? And how to provide a strategy to combat it?
With me today is Kina Reed, a scholar, and professor at Louisiana State University. She’s the director of the forensics program in the Department of Communication Studies. Kina has actually recently started a new project called The Anti-Blackness Reader.
You can find Kina’s Anti-Blackness Reader project online: https://linktr.ee/theantiblacknessreader
Also on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theantiblacknessreader/
(And I should note that Kina Reed’s work can be supported by you, and me, and should be: https://venmo.com/kinam1)
This podcast is a dialogue between Kina and me about her project and why understanding Anti-Blackness is essential for confronting this moment in America.
Note: The First 12 minutes of our conversation is our thoughts about the Candace Owens video. Owens recently posted a video on social media describing why she does not support George Floyd. Owens is a conservative commentator and is well-known for her polarizing comments about race in America.
Also, Kina references another project she’s been involved with: HeySis, a community of Black women in Baton Rouge.
We recorded this on Sunday, June 7 using Zoom. You’ll notice I mention an ominous sound. That’s referring to the fact that when you record on Zoom, a computer voice announces that the session is being recorded.
Without further comment, Conversations about Anti-Blackness and Why it’s important for diagnosing American Racism.