Black Dignity and Death – Forum Introduction

30 October 2023

Dignity or Death: Ethics and Politics of Race by Norman AjariThis week, Tocqueville 21 is hosting a forum on the topic of Black Dignity and Death, inspired by the recent publications of Vincent Lloyd’s Black Dignity: The Struggle Against Domination and the English version of Norman Ajari’s Dignity or Death: Ethics and Politics of Race. Four incredible scholars including Lloyd and Ajari themselves, will put these two groundbreaking monographs into conversation, reflecting on the topic in both France and the United States today.


We are thrilled and honored to host this forum, which includes contributions from leading scholars on both sides of the Atlantic. Nathalie Etoke is an Associate Professor of Francophone and Africana Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center and the author of, most recently, Black Existential Freedom (2022) and Shades of Black (2021). She also wrote L’Écriture du corps féminin dans la littérature de l’Afrique francophone au sud du Sahara and Melancholia Africana l’indispensable dépassement de la condition noire (2010), which was published in English as Melancholia Africana: The Indispensable Overcoming of the Black Condition (2019). Dalitso Ruwe is an Assistant Professor of Black Political Thought at Queen’s University and is currently a 2023-2025 Azrieli Global Scholar with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. Vincent Lloyd, in addition to being the author of Black Dignity, is also a Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, where he also directs the Center for Political Theology and the author of Black Natural Law, the co-author of Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice, and the Abolition of Prisons, and a co-editor of Race and Secularism in America. Norman Ajari is, in addition to being the author of Dignity or Death, a Lecturer in Francophone Black Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has also written Darkening Blackness: Race, Class, Gender, and Pessimism in 21st Century Black Thought (2024).Black Dignity: The Struggle Against Domination by Vincent Lloyd


We hope you enjoy the stimulating conversation among these incredible scholars, whose pieces will be published one at a time each day this week starting with Lloyd and followed by Ajari, Etoke, and finally closing with Ruwe on Friday.


Forum posts can be found here:

Black Dignity vs. Liberal Anti-Racism by Vincent Lloyd

Dignity, police killing, and France’s racial uprising by Norman Ajari

Cross-reflection on Black Dignity – Reading Vincent Lloyd and Norman Ajari by Nathalie Etoke 

Racial Symbols and Black Death by Dalitso Ruwe

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