Seldom without her little white dogs »« The “bodies” trope

Cargo

I think I’ve figured out one explanation of this “bodies” thing while puzzling over this bit of Pinn’s essay:

This old system worked based on the logic that black bodies were dangerous bodies and how they occupied space had to be watched closely. In a word, the system of slavery – the Atlantic slave trade – required a particular understanding of black bodies that continues to inform social interactions in the twenty-first century.

I was picking it apart and then suddenly I realized what he was getting at. There is one context in which this talk of bodies and how they occupy space really is exactly what is meant and exactly right.

 

Of course. Duh.

All right; that helps to make sense of the term. It would rather haunt the imagination.

Comments

  1. Felix says

    “the Atlantic slave trade – required a particular understanding of black bodies…”

    i.e That they are on average 5’8″ long and 35″ wide

    “…that continues to inform social interactions in the twenty-first century”

    How does it do that exactly?

  2. says

    I suppose the idea is by being still around, in a different version. Then it was as a bit of cargo, now it’s as a scary Unknown in My Neighborhood.

    But he should have said that, then, ffs.

  3. Thom Landon says

    Ophelia,

    Actual look at the drug war and the rate of incarceration of descendents of the slave trade, and I agree that there is a “understanding” of people of color.

    Thom

  4. says

    Oh dear. I read this post completely out of context and my first thought was what the hell does the slave trade have to do with an idealised material that absorbs electromagnetic radiation of all frequencies? I’ve since gone and read the previous posts that engendered this one, but I was completely confused there for a second.

    Is there a word for the erroneous conflation of two vastly different jargons?

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