The killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor combined with the disproportionate suffering and death felt by black people during the Covid-19 pandemic have left millions disillusioned with the current system. The Black Lives Matter movement is transnational and unrelenting. Conversations once too “niche” and “unsavoury” are being forced into public and private spheres, reverberating everywhere despite vast populations confined to their homes.
The liberal civil rights tradition has revealed itself insufficient to remedy the abuses committed against black people. At the end of the movement a new model awaits. In our efforts to redraw a society where the humanity of black people goes unquestioned, the topic of intersectionality comes to the fore amidst the protests. Being black is layered at its core. It is an identity that cannot be extricated from other realities like gender, class, sexuality, etc. These various intersections are rightfully added to the current agenda.
Within blackness exists a pecking order. All black people know it too. Men, higher socio-economic bracket occupiers, the able bodied, native English speakers are amongst other subsets of privilege that exist beyond the context of race. However, the distinction comes from the visibility that being black has, which some argue supersedes any bubble of privilege occupied.