“Planting a Seed is a Revolutionary Act”

July 31st, 2020

How a “blues epistemology” can establish the critical historical consciousness crucial for determining more just futures in the Anthropocene.

 

A Blues Epistemology for the Anthropocene?

In this reflection upon experiences in Natchez, Mississippi as part of the Anthropocene River Journey, Jason Ludwig, whose research explores racial capitalism and environmental injustice, describes how the town’s Black history—for so long suppressed in favor of an antebellum heritage tourism economy—has been asserted through the efforts of local activists. It is only through paying attention to these histories, he argues, that the intersecting Anthropoenic relations of extraction, enslavement, and inequality are revealed. Here, Ludwig puts forward what Clyde Woods has termed a “blues epistemology” as a means of establishing the critical historical consciousness crucial for determining more just futures in the Anthropocene.