“Blackness anarchises anarchism” – Marquis Bey on the theory of Black anarchism

To coincide with the release of their new book with AK Press , Anarcho-Blackness: Notes Towards a Black Anarchism, Marquis Bey sits down with Chuck Mertz from This is Hell to discuss the conceptual and historical synergies of anarchism and Blackness.

In this provocative and wide ranging conversation, Bey goes beyond a critique of anarchism’s whiteness (past and present) to sketch the outlines of a theory of Black Anarchism, founded not on a list of “all the Black people who are anarchists and the anarchists who are Black people,” but a radical, transformative encounter between anarchism and Blackness.

This encounter begins, Bey argues, with the recognition that anarchism and Blackness have always shared a certain subjective relationship to power, a way of understanding and inhabiting the world, characterised by a desire to be ungoverned and ungovernable. Through the lens of a Black feminist and transgender theory that unsettles and subverts social hierarchies, Bey goes on to discuss what we can learn by making the kinship of Blackness and anarchism explicit, including how anarchsim itself is transformed by the encounter.

The interview is essential listening for anyone who desires the abolition of the state and white supremacy alike.

Carl Spender