By Jacqueline Scott, A. Todd Franklin, Robert Gooding-Williams
Explores convergences among the guidelines of Friedrich Nietzsche and African American thought.
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Extra info for Critical Affinities: Nietzsche And African American Thought (Suny Series, Philosophy and Race)
And the mother often says “Don’t be like niggers” when the children are bad. ” And so the word white comes to be unconsciously a Kindred Spirits 25 symbol of all virtues. It holds for the children beauty, morality, and money. The whisper of “I want to be white” runs silently through their minds. This young poet’s home is, I believe, a fairly typical home of the colored middle class. One sees immediately how difficult it would be for an artist born in such a home to interest himself in interpreting the beauty of his own people.
In this regard, Nietzsche’s use of the term genealogy is strikingly apropos, for it evokes a reconceptualization of values that regards them as organic in nature. In contrast to traditional philosophical methodologies that focus on ideas and deal in abstractions, genealogy is much more anthropological in bent and much more focused on human particularity. 25 Equally concerned about the ways in which value absolutism promotes “authoritarian conformity and subordination,”26 Locke follows Nietzsche in proposing a new critical methodology aimed at demystifying and delegitimizing tyrannical forms of culture.
Langston Hughes, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” in The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader, ed. David L. Lewis (New York: Penguin, 1994), 91. 18. Hughes, “Negro Artists,” 91. 19. As Nietzsche describes them, “Good Europeans” are those who are the “heirs of Europe’s longest and courageous self-overcoming” (GS 357). ” 20. Alain Locke, The New Negro (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 4. 21. Locke, New Negro, 10. 22. Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, trans. Myra Bergman Ramos (New York: Continuum), 29.