Blackness and Modernity

Blackness and Modernity

Cecil Foster (CA)

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An exploration of what it means to be black and the meaning of blackness and multiculturalism.


Cecil Foster presents a rigorous interdisciplinary analysis of blackness by challenging existing notions of blackness and arguing for the viability of a multicultural world.

In Blackness and Modernity Foster traces the main philosophical, anthropological, sociological, and mythological arguments that support views of modernity as a failed quest for whiteness. He outlines how these views were implemented as part of a "world history" and shows how Canada became the first country to officially reject this approach by adopting multiculturalism.

Blackness and Modernity presents four categories for understanding blackness and whiteness: the somatic, cultural, status differential, and the idealistic. The somatic - the colour of skin - is merely one category, and perhaps the least meaningful for, while it may be the most important for some people, Foster argues that multiculturalism, which he views as ontological blackness, is an attempt to make rational idealism the only category that matters.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780773532472

Number of pages: 656

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: McGill-Queen's University Press

English en