American Sociological Association

Response to Weddington: More Lessons from Afro-pessimism

In this response to George Weddington’s critique of their recent article, the authors argue that Weddington rightfully critiques them for not paying enough attention to the role of psychoanalysis (exemplified by Frantz Fanon) in Afro-pessimist theory and for not giving primacy to the political ontology of blackness in Afro-pessimist thought. However, his critique is hindered by his mischaracterizing the authors’ argument as saying that black political ontology is merely different, not singular, and his lack of engagement with the authors’ analysis of critical race theory. The authors address these issues and suggest that Weddington’s reading of Afro-pessimist claims as empirically unverifiable is inconsistent with his proposal for incorporating the theory into ethnographic projects and would lead to the abandonment of the sociological project.


Antonia Randolph, Victor Erik Ray, Megan Underhill, and David Luke





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