December 2018

Tensions of Race in Liberal Spaces by John Harris


“Race” for the purposes of Dr Alexis Mootoo’s speech means Mootoo’s own ethnicity, African, described as “black (visible)” and studied in its interaction with the dominant colonialist ethnicity, which is European (Anglo-Saxon in the U.S. and Portugese in Brazil), described as “white.” “Tensions” are non-violent in the sense of attitudinal and institutionalized (“structural”). In liberal spaces, they manifest themselves verbally or as a subtle inhibiting of the aspirations of black people.