BLM & The Apocalypse (11/11)

This week our class began its investigation on how the Black Lives Matter Movement understands the end of the world. Even before engaging with the texts my beliefs and values were shaped by the recognition that in order to achieve true equality for all races, genders, classes, etc., some type of revolution was necessary. However, it never occurred to me to consider revolution through an apocalyptic/eschatological framework. When thinking of the apocalypse, my mind gravitates to images of chaos and destruction. In the Christian context, the apocalypse is defined as “imminent cosmic cataclysm in which God destroys the ruling powers of evil and raises the righteous to life in the messianic kingdom or afterlife.” With recent demonstrations across the nation protesting institutions that promote hate (or evil) through anti-blackness, levels of destruction are slowly rising into what some might eventually consider an apocalyptic scale.

In analyzing this week’s texts the Berkeley Center piece stuck out to me, specifically its assertion that “demanding the end of the world implies that interlocking systems of domination (anti-Blackness, patriarchy, capitalism, settler colonialism) have captured the world.” By making the claim of faith that the world is never fully captured by domination and that there is always a remainder, there is a centering of possibility that I find incredibly powerful. In order to fully understand Black Lives Matter’s relation to the end of the world, two things I had to consider were 1) where does the motivation for apocalypse stem from? and 2) what is the goal? The answer to the first question was simple: Black rage. When considering Black rage, I was reminded of Audre Lorde’s piece in which she describes using one’s anger as a source of power. Surely the collective rage brought on by years of oppression would be strong enough to spur an apocalyptic revolution to combat these interlocking systems of domination. The second question is one I am still grappling with, however, by recognizing that Black life cannot thrive within the structures in place, I am excited to see the imagined possibilities for Black life that emerge through this destruction. What will we as a collective choose to build in order to honor and make space for Black life?