Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

Reconstructing black identity: The Black Panther, Frantz Fanon and Achilles Mbembe in conversation

Jaco Beyers
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5469 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5469 | © 2019 Jaco Beyers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 March 2019 | Published: 30 October 2019

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Jaco Beyers, Department of Biblical and Religious Studies, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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It is dehumanising to identify people in terms of colour. Stereotyping and discrimination come with racial identification. Black identity has been expressed in different forms over the centuries. For a long period black identity was a constructed identity assigned to black people through a white-dominated matrix. After the end of slavery, efforts were made to reconstruct black identity. This developed into two divergent lines: one resulting in an illusionary identity as identified by Frantz Fanon and a second line of thought of a continued search for a true authentic black identity as explicated by the Cameroon-born philosopher Achilles Mbembe. This process of creating a new authentic black identity is still ongoing and viewed by some as a pessimistic futile attempt. An example of the ongoing attempt for establishing an authentic black identity is illustrated by the movie Black Panther, which attempts to portray a different side of being black.


black identity; culture; race; religion; Mbembe; Fanon; Black Panther; postcolonialism


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