By Stephen Marshall
In the self-discipline of yankee political technology and the sphere of political concept, African American prophetic political critique as a kind of political theorizing has been mostly overlooked. Stephen Marshall, within the urban at the Hill from less than, interrogates the political considered David Walker, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison to bare an important culture of yank political theorizing and engagement with an American political imaginary cast by means of the town at the Hill. initially articulated to explain colonial payment, kingdom formation, and nationwide consolidation, clone of the town at the Hill has been remodeled into one richly suited for assessing and reworking American political evil. the town at the Hill from less than indicates how African American political thinkers appropriated and revised languages of biblical prophecy and American republicanism.
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Extra resources for The City on the Hill From Below: The Crisis of Prophetic Black Politics
F. Hegel’s Philosophy of History and anticipating arguments that would resurface one hundred years later in the writings and rhetoric of twentieth-century black nationalism, Walker insists that, contrary to popular Western beliefs, higher learning originated in Africa, resurfaced in Athens (where Westerners insist it originated), and then moved on to Rome. When we take a retrospective view of the arts and sciences—the wise legislators—the Pyramids, and other magnificent buildings—the turning of the channel of the river Nile, by the sons of Africa or of Ham, among whom learning originated, and was carried thence to Greece, where it was improved upon and refined.
Joseph was able to demonstrate his superior talents precisely because he was not quarantined from the rest of humanity by a stigma that ascribed an inhuman identity to Jews. Once having demonstrated his superior talents, he was able to scale the heights of Egyptian society. As another token of the Egyptian recognition of his humanity, Walker notes that Joseph was allowed to take wives in Egypt. By contrast, American blacks, free or enslaved, were forbidden to marry whites. Although Walker insists, in an aside, that he could never desire to intermarry with whites, and holds nothing but scorn for those blacks who harbor such desires, the possibility for intermarriage within Egyptian society illustrates, for him, the rigidity of the white commitment to the absolute alterity of blacks.
They powerfully articulated the experiences of blacks who were hoping, waiting, and preparing for deliverance from slavery and other forms of social denigration. 54 When read alongside the Christian Gospel, these biblical stories afforded a political theology of individual dignity that opposed white supremacist discourses of black inferiority. 55 Prophetic language also facilitated a convergence of the ultimate concerns of African Americans and white Americans. Enacting the dreaded proposition that African Americans read from the same texts as white Americans, prophetic political critics asked the national community about the i n troductionâ•… 19 content and status of America’s constitutive obligations.