Ferguson’s Political Imaginary & The Political Normativity Of Black Lives Matter

Interanimations Of The Idea Of And The (Local) Administrations Of Justice

By Professor Frank M. Kirkland (CUNY)

July 14, 2016          Picture: Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS.

This article is part of The Critique’s May/June 2016 Issue “Black Lives Matter (Part II): Understanding The New Movement For Racial Justice”.


The police is generally regarded as part of the local administration of justice that protects and serves the local citizenry, as well as the idea of justice by which that citizenry abides. But the administration of justice is never identical with the idea of justice, since the former must act in accordance with and for the sake of the latter.

And therein lays the rub. On top of protecting and serving, the police bring in revenue in the course of administering justice by penalizing, i.e., issuing arrest warrants to and collecting fines and fees mostly, not solely, from those of the local citizenry for nonviolent violations, as they happen, of local statutes.

But, in Ferguson, the police administered justice by “over-penalizing,” i.e., routinely issuing warrants and collecting fines greatly in excess of or vastly larger than both the population of the citizenry itself and the average rate of non-violent criminal activity in a community its size.

Furthermore, this excessive penalization fell heavily and disproportionately on black citizens such that it appears that the fiscal well-being of Ferguson as a whole and as a generally peaceful community rested on the routine “over-penalization” of a major segment of its citizenry. In so doing, the administration of justice in Ferguson had been conducted in complete divergence from and indifference to the idea of justice.

This state of affairs appears to have been exposed as the backdrop to both the political imaginary of Ferguson as a peaceful community and the single event, which imperils Ferguson’s political imaginary as a peaceful community– the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

Unlike, for example, the demise of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice at the hands of the police in Staten Island and Cleveland respectively, the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year old African-American youth and citizen of Ferguson, has always been mired in circumstances rather opaque.

But its obscurity stemmed not from the absence of credible narratives about the event. It stemmed rather from the extraordinary delay in the public record of an official incident report from the Ferguson police officer directly and singly involved in the fatal shooting – Officer Darren Wilson.

For better than four months from the day of the shooting, Officer Wilson’s incident report was not placed on the public record and he never was arrested for either dereliction of duty or obstruction of justice or both in failing to file in timely fashion said report, let alone arrested for the shooting itself.

Immediately after the fatal shooting, he had been instead safely ensconced somewhere unknown with pay, his lack of detention officially unexplained, under color of authority of the Ferguson police force as part of Ferguson’s administration of justice. He resigned immediately after a grand jury determined there was no convincing evidence to bring charges against Officer Wilson for his fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

“The administration of justice is never identical with the idea of justice, since the former must act in accordance with and for the sake of the latter”

The credible narratives about that shooting have been taken to sustain the “unconventional wisdom” expressed in the outcries of the protesters influenced by “Black Lives Matter” (“BLM”), dead sure that Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown not in self-defense, not even with criminal negligence or recklessness, but with deliberate intent.

The problem, however, did not lie not with their “unconventional wisdom,” but with what the “conventional/official wisdom” of Ferguson had to become after months trying to figure out how it was to be framed. How was that conventional/official wisdom to sustain the narrative, prior to the grand jury determination, that Officer Wilson was justified in using deadly force on Michael Brown, that he did not bear either the malicious or the callous state of mind to murder Michael Brown, without the public filing of Officer Wilson’s report of the incident?

Yet, if it were to be persuasive, the “conventional/official wisdom” would have to confront the deadly shooting with a counter-narrative, revealing evidence which would mitigate at least or nullify at best the significance of the following five points:

(a) Michael Brown’s hands raised in surrender, (b) his admission of capitulation while walking wounded back to Officer Wilson, (c) being shot 5-9 more times thereafter, (d) the fatal shots striking, not glancing, the top of the head of his 6 feet, 4 inch body while he was collapsing forward from Officer Wilson’s gunfire, and (e) his bullet-ridden body left on the streets of Ferguson for 4-5 hours before receiving official and medical attention.

None of these points would make a possible counter-narrative an easy walk in the park. It can only be presumed that these points represented a thicket of inordinate difficulty for the “conventional/official wisdom” of the Ferguson authorities and police to make a full-throated appearance in public. But Ferguson’s authorities did make such an appearance to offer the “conventional/official wisdom” as the counter-narrative. Yet, despite that appearance, the “unconventional wisdom,” expressed in the narrative of “BLM,” still publicly held the field. It held for two reasons.

First, the backdrop to and the event in Ferguson combined to provide motivation for the protesters’ mien. The repudiation of the protesters, however, has been the source for the strategic efforts of the Ferguson police force to dampen and taint the protesters’ “unconventional wisdom.” The efforts of the police were meant to sully both the character of Michael Brown, not with much purchase, as a thuggish criminal, and the actions of the protesters, with some purchase, as under the influence of the outside agitation of BLM.

Second, the office of the Ferguson DA, it appears, dampened the protocol of the administration of justice to act both in accordance with and for the sake of the ideals of justice. The question to be asked is the following. Did the DA conduct a zealous yet fair presentation of the citizens’ case to the grand jury?

It is on this point that the similarities between the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases tend to converge. The similarities resonate since the cases against 2 police officers, Darren Wilson of Ferguson and Daniel Pantaleo of Staten Island, were each brought in front of a grand jury for possible indictment.

The claim that “mountains of evidence on both sides” were presented to the Ferguson grand jury and that “50 witnesses and 60 exhibits” were considered in the Staten Island grand jury does not mean that the respective DA’s carried out their presentations against the officers zealously yet fairly.

A DA can present cases such as these in which s/he does not serve as the citizens’ advocate, which is the DA’s role. Oft-times s/he rather serves as if s/he is an impartial referee between disputing parties, taking no side, and leaving the indictment up to the wits of the grand jury alone. Or s/he seems to be an impartial referee while quietly downplaying the peoples’ case to the grand jury.

In both scenarios, the protocol of the administration of justice is not in concert with the idea of justice, which s/he swears to uphold, and appears that the protocol serves to benefit the composition of that administration.[1]

Let’s flesh out more of what follows from each of the two reasons.

Re: 1) Without the submission of Officer Wilson’s incident report at the time, the Ferguson police chief in clumsy fashion released to the news media a tape allegedly showing Michael Brown stealing a box of cigarillos and physically intimidating the store owner.

“Allegedly” and “clumsy” are the operative words here, because the tape was at the time used furtively and ham-handedly to justify the employment of deadly force on Michael Brown moments not too long after the alleged theft and threat.

But the police chief ineptly could not confirm that Michael Brown had a criminal record of any kind, could not corroborate the identity of Michael Brown on the tape despite the resemblance, and finally could not attest, on the basis of the tape, to why there was not a warrant for Michael Brown’s arrest.

There was nothing in Michael Brown’s past or then present for Officer Wilson to pursue, struggle with, and ultimately kill him other than an alleged petty crime, if that. What, then, was the reason for releasing the tape to the news media? An official answer has to this day never been given. But chalk it up to the Ferguson police force, in a public moment all to itself, being unable not to forbear from, yet still fail at, eliciting favor and sympathy in its behalf for trying to make the “conventional/official wisdom” credible.

Given the incredible set of circumstances surrounding Michael Brown’s death, nothing was more astonishing for both the protesters and the by-standing general public than the militarization of Ferguson’s police force as the response for subduing the protesters and restoring the peace. Ferguson’s police force was armed and equipped with highly sophisticated military assault weaponry and military armored vehicles [See Kleinig for a more detailed discussion of police militarization].

Courtesy of the federal government’s largesse, this kind of military materiél was distributed to local police forces around the country for post-9/11 homeland security, since it was in overabundance and no longer to be militarily used. But, it can be safely argued, that it was distributed rather indiscriminately, without any assessment of the level of threat to localities from foreign danger.

Its use was never intended to quell local civil disobedient protests, but originally intended for combat in Iraq. With that kind of materiél now ready at hand, Ferguson’s police force initially confronted the protesters as if they were rioting enemies engaged in a campaign of hostilities toward the police and the town. They did not instead exercise caution and restraint toward them as fellow citizens engaged in civil disobedience in the very town it is supposed to protect and serve.

At the direction of Missouri’s governor, Jay Nixon, Ferguson’s police force made an “operational shift” from the initial confrontational to the later cautionary stance toward the protesters. This shift became short-lived and returned to the confrontational stance, albeit with a gradual toning down of it, since the hostilities (the looting and the lobbing of Molotov cocktails at the police) had been alleged to resume.

But the hostilities were blamed on the “outside agitators” in the protesters’ midst. This allegation attempted to seal the impression that the protesters were incompetent or, worse, maleficent to conduct civil disobedience under their own lights in a peacefully sustained manner.

What was not addressed, however, by that allegation was whether the “outside agitators” were, in fact, unruly and undisciplined individuals acting under an aggressive idea contrary to what the protesters wanted to convey or whether they were provocateurs sent to disparage the “unconventional wisdom” of what the protesters wanted to convey—the injustice of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and the backdrop for it, the revelation that the administration of justice was not in sync with the idea of justice in Ferguson.

What the allegation holds may be true. Still that allegation of holding the protesters blameworthy for the behavior of “outside agitators” may signal something else. It may intimate the Ferguson police force’s reticence about their complicity in both the shooting of Michael Brown and the backdrop for it in favor of hyperbole about the protesters’ perfidy or incompetence. But, as we have seen, Ferguson’s quest for securing the conventional/official wisdom on both itself and the shooting of Michael Brown proceeded not without mischief and, most times, with poor sleights of hand.

Re: 2) How a DA presents her case to a grand jury depends on her knowledge of and about the community s/he serves lawfully as its advocate in the administration of justice. This knowledge, however, is not to compromise the idea of justice. Rather it is to determine how to place the community in alignment and in sync with that idea.

It is on this point that the similarities of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases tend to converge. The similarities resonate since the cases against the 2 police officers, Darren Wilson of Ferguson and Daniel Pantaleo of Staten Island, were each in front of a grand jury for possible indictment. In these cases, neither DA argued that the respective police officers compromised the badge or had engaged in wrongful/criminal action under the color of law.

A grand jury relies on the DA to argue directly, for the sake of indictment, that the police officer did not engage in an act to protect and serve, that s/he engaged in a wrongful or criminal act under the color of law, especially if the officer has a record for doing the latter, to establish that the officer, despite his participation in the administration of justice, acts outside the idea of justice.

A grand jury ought not to be reliant on the DA to present a case circuitously or obliquely against a police officer for the indictment’s sake. The latter appears to be what happened in the grand jury proceedings in Ferguson, and is why the DOJ re-examined the case to determine whether Brown’s civil rights were violated, although those proceedings were never disclosed to the public with coherency.

No one wanted more to obtain the public’s imprimatur to the “conventional/official wisdom” on Ferguson and the shooting than the mayor of Ferguson himself, James Knowles. But he didn’t have a clue on how to secure it.

Knowles appeared unaware that he never previously had to care a tad about it. He then scoured for whatever light might help him divine the restoration of Ferguson as a real peaceful community, even to bring in, rather lugubriously, then Republican presidential candidates, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, to proclaim “all lives matter” (even the unborn). Nevertheless he looked the person who took political office mindful of the bliss that inaction and inanition bring a politician’s way.

The governor, Jay Nixon, had tried to play his cards close to the chest to keep himself viable as a possible candidate for vice-president of the U.S. in 2016. But he too appeared to have been long a servitor to the practice that the mayor sought to embrace. Despite the presence of the “conventional/official wisdom” on Ferguson, his hopes for eminence have vacated. (The report by the Ferguson Commission, appointed by Governor Nixon, did not provide the end Nixon wanted in order to muster the political will to enact the changes the Commission recommended.)

Michael Brown and Eric Garner have been laid to rest. Whether they have been laid in peace is still a very open question. Their reputations are now, more than ever before, huge. Regarding Brown, it is that upon which Ferguson is either a real peaceful community, which the conventional/official wisdom wants to uphold, despite trepidation, or a community in name only, a peaceful community politically fictionalized, which the fully formulated “unconventional wisdom” of the protesters steadfastly endorses with dead certainty. That determination, one way or the other, is heavily dependent on Michael Brown’s reputation of a life lived only for 18 years. Either one would be a weighty burden for such a short-lived reputation to lift, but Ferguson’s reputation would hang in the balance.

With full cognizance of this view, the news media has been seeking to uncover with dead certainty what Brown’s reputation held out to be. Some have made this search a matter of enlightenment; others have made it a matter for discrediting his name. Although the latter is much worse, neither contributes to the peace one would think Michael Brown’s reputation now, world without end, deserves.

He may or may not “have been an angel.” But, if there is a Heaven, being an earthbound angel or not would be irrelevant to heavenly angels somberly weeping in unison over the loss of a young life, whose promise is no more, and properly showing righteous anger not to the way his life was lived, but to the way it was taken from him.



Still what has never been given pride of place in contemporary political news, discourse, or theory in the aftermath of the formation of Ferguson’s political imaginary is the normative stance assumed by the social movement “BLM.”

Indeed it can safely be said that “BLM” gained momentum and prominence from the wisdom it articulated and the advocacy it sustained, all on the side of the protesters, in shaping the counter-narrative to Ferguson’s political imaginary in the public realm during the events surrounding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

But its actions have been considered descriptively as empirical affairs in a political drama, not considered prescriptively as normative expressions entitling and guiding responsibility to call out and stand up to an injustice, even an injustice committed under the administration of justice or color of law. Under the former, its actions neither take precedence nor hold the upper hand, since events are reported as dominating the prescriptive outcomes and deflating the ends of such actions.

Under the latter, its actions prevail or hold the field on which the events are played, since those events ought not to be reported to drown out or render superfluous its actions without engaging in distortion or depreciation of the prescriptive ends of those actions.

In a very modest and straightforward sense, “BLM” is the name of a social movement which calls for the political reform of localities’ criminal justice system and the political abolition of police violence. That it is a name, a proper name, is important. Its name possesses a propositional form, but is not itself a proposition bearing truth values.

“All lives matter,” in contrast, is a proposition bearing them. No individual or group has yet either been identified by it or taken it as a name. So to claim that the proper name “BLM” is a denial of the proposition “all lives matter” is obfuscating and confusing, let alone wrong. Its name is neither per se a proposition or statement (like, say, “race matters”) nor a proposition or statement denying another proposition.

Rather it is that by which a group is known, identified by a name signifying the following set of ideas—that all human lives matter requires taking seriously and wisely, not indifferently and unwisely, (a) the abolition of the long-standing criminalization of the lives of people of color in the hands of local administrations of justice and (b) the abolition of the long-standing enactment of police violence on the lives of unarmed people of color in those same hands [See Thalos on the rationale of the ‘All Lives Matter’ mantra].

In this very modest sense, “BLM” affirms these two ideas as expressive of its name. It does so symbolically carrying and supporting the name of the antebellum abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but with a twist which shall be explained below.

First, why the antebellum Douglass? An answer to that question resides in an oft cited and well-known passage of Douglass from his 1857 speech entitled “West India Emancipation.”

“Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions, yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle…. If there is no struggle, there is no progress….This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with words or blows or both….”[2]

Like the antebellum Douglass, “BLM” recognizes and endorses the importance of struggle and resistance, which we call today “civil disobedient protest,” to extending moral claims in its demands to those in power. There is a longstanding tendency to separate such moral claims from those demands to power, believing that such claims possibly may engender binding convictions, but actually will not be effective as an element of, say, “BLM’s” struggle.

This tendency, however, presupposes that the struggle of “BLM” is that of a single action. On the contrary, its struggle is that of an ongoing action-repertoire, comprised of recruiting and mobilizing civilians into forms of association, reaching out to other like-minded associations, organizing demonstrations, holding public meetings, writing in the press, public speaking, and supporting and voting for candidates upholding its message, all legally guaranteed by right and historically supported by most black churches.

Outside of its action-repertoire, “BLM’s” normative claims would be rather toothless to be effectual in action. They may be right, but would be without any impact. Disconnected from the repertoire, they would leave persons too much alone engaging in moral discourse about the aforementioned reform and abolition. Alone, normative claims would place too great an encumbrance on persons in a political culture intractably unconcerned with and indifferent to the reforms and abolition “BLM” promotes.

Like the antebellum Douglass, “BLM” should not be regarded as solely exerting political pressure on those with power. Its action-repertoire continually tries to extend moral claims on the citizenry regarding the aforementioned injustices against people of color to cover those in power as well, since both the public sphere of the citizenry and the political institutions inhabited by those in power are, in principle, not impervious to normative claims. Indeed a political culture (public sphere + political institutions) can inhibit the capacity of its citizenry to identify and critique wrongs of administrative law enforcement and enactments of police violence.

But “BLM’s” success bears normative relevance when its action-repertoire (1) renders a political culture conducive to influences enabling citizens to uphold that (a) and (b) above are morally right and to call for their immediate realization and (2) puts pressure, through (1), on those with power to enact legally (a) and (b), thereby abolishing both longstanding criminalizing treatment and longstanding police violence entrenched in local administrations of justice.

But this connection of “BLM” to the antebellum Douglass, as I stated above, is modest and rather uncomplicated, because it does not extend to the postbellum Douglass. This is the twist. Indeed its connection appears to be thwarted by any kind of association to him. This is due to the postbellum Douglass’ indifference to and silence on the institutionalization of a system that throttled African-American citizenship for decades immediately following the political failure of “Reconstruction,” viz., the convict leasing system (CLS).

CLS refers to the initial penal system, after “Reconstruction’s” failure, to indenture and incarcerate legally emancipated black men and women. Free black men and women were branded “criminal” by law, not by commission of crimes in breaking the law, in order to lease or rent them for the exploitation of their labor to private white Southern business men for profit free from wages. (Be mindful that previously there was no penal system, which incarcerated black convicts. Indeed there were no black convicts prior to and during the Civil War, because blacks as enslaved, not as emancipated, were “punished” or “disciplined” on plantations).

What is noteworthy is the complicity of the state and local administrations of justice and their police forces in the South on the inception and continual functioning of CLS. Douglass never subjected to critique CLS and the entire political and economic network enabling and coordinating it.

To be sure, Douglass biographically was in his ninth decade and would pass away in 1895. So it could be said that the more “vibrant” abolitionist antebellum Douglass was no longer prime or “ready for prime time.” But philosophically Angela Davis has strongly criticized Douglass’ reticence on and unconcern for CLS.

In her insightful essay, “From the Prison of Slavery to the Slavery of Prison: Frederick Douglass and the Convict Lease System,”[3] she attributes Douglass’ unresponsiveness to his commitment to the legal transformation from once enslaved Africans without rights to now emancipated African Americans with citizenship.

She argues that his commitment to this legal transformation and to what ensued from it (right to vote) was so fervent that it disabled his belief that the law itself could be employed to thwart the effectiveness of that transformation. As long as that legal transformation takes place, for Douglass, “there is nothing the matter with the Negro whatever; he is all right, learned or ignorant.”

In fairness to Douglass, the quote above is drawn from his 1894 speech, “Lessons of the Hour.” Following Ida B. Wells, he conveys it critically against what they each took as pre- Civil War allegations (potential for the insurrection and killing of whites and potential for rape and sexual abuse of white women and children) used to justify the lynching of black men and, at times, black women for the former allegation.

Still that quote represents Douglass’ stance that the aforementioned legal transformation, constitutionally guaranteed, was sufficient to handle and resolve in juridical manner any problem (lynching or convict leasing) created to smother African-American emancipation and citizenship.

Furthermore there is nothing to suggest that Douglass was a precursor, say, to Mary Church Terrell’s groundbreaking critique of CLS.[4] Besides Terrell’s, Davis’ critique of CLS relies on W.E.B. Du Bois’ assessment of it as well. “The whole criminal system came to be used as a method of keeping Negroes at work and intimidating them. Consequently there began to be a demand for jails and penitentiaries beyond the natural demand due to the rise of crime.”[5]

For Davis, CLS forms the historical basis of her own critical evaluation of the 20th century’s “prison industrial complex.” But, from her critique of CLS and of Douglass’ silence thereon, it would not be wrong to infer that the importance, which the antebellum Douglass placed on the connection of moral and political progress to struggle against the wrongfully “imprisoned enslavement” of black people denied freedom and personhood, was neutered by the postbellum Douglass in the face of the wrongfully “enslaved imprisonment” of black people emancipated, but foreclosed from political, economic, and social life.

In this light, “BLM” appears to have nothing in common with Douglass to suggest even modestly an emblematic connection with him on aspects of the very issues surrounding “enslaved imprisonment” “BLM” would hold dear. Locally juridical administrations’ criminalization of the lives of unarmed people of color and enactments of police violence on those same lives are, as mentioned earlier, both longstanding. This fact has, as Davis recognizes, its historical source in CLS; it historically provides and amplifies the normative resonance to “BLM’s” struggle.

BLM” appears to have nothing in common with Douglass to suggest even modestly an emblematic connection with him on aspects of the very issues surrounding “enslaved imprisonment”

But, despite her critique of Douglass on CLS, Davis seeks to incorporate and amplify his antebellum abolitionist aims and spirit with Du Bois’ conception of “abolition democracy.”

Briefly, “abolition democracy” for both Davis and Du Bois, is the expansion of democracy as both normative prerequisite and outcome of the (1) abolition of enslavement together with both (2) abolition of “formal” and “real” subsumption of labor under capital in favor of ongoing subsumption of capital under labor, and (3) abolition of even a democratic politics wherein horizontal inequality thrives in favor of a democratic politics wherein horizontal or vertical equity would reign.[6]

Abolition democracy does not entail the abolition of local administrations of justice and their police forces. It is rather, in the threefold comprehensive sense above, both (incipiently) required and (amply) fulfilled in democracy’s expansion. Such expansion is its goal. Neither Davis nor Du Bois nor “BLM” would diverge from this view.

Furthermore neither of them would diverge from broadening Douglass’ aims and struggles beyond the abolition of the “peculiar institution” itself to the abolition of the burdensome afterlife of points 1-3. Without their abolition, their legacy saturates local administrations of justice and their police forces, adversely affecting peoples of color not just by harming them to the point of homicide, but by tarnishing their fidelity in the cultural, political and economic arrangements of democracy belting the world.

“BLM’s” connection to Douglass then is not direct and straightforward, but mediated through “abolition democracy.” On its website, “BLM” affirms the abolitionist principles and global outreach through whetting, not dousing, the capacity of citizens to struggle against not just present inequalities and injustice, but also the historical processes through which present inequalities and injustice are still longstanding across the world.

That task is enormous, but one “BLM” has not forsaken. “BLM” believes democracy stagnates, when those historical processes are not brought to bear on its challenges, continuously if needs be, to a politics and ethical life, which normally disable and besmirch appeals to constitutional faith and democracy’s normative, not just “globalized,” expansion worldwide in its struggles.

“BLM” does two things. It extends Douglass’ abolitionist aims, through abolitionist democracy, to nullify in its action-repertoire the longstanding enactments of local administrations of justice against the idea of justice. But, in so doing, it amplifies in its action-repertoire Douglass’ aims, again through abolitionist democracy, for the sake of the normative growth of democracy in the face of political, cultural, and economic matters threatening and thwarting that growth, especially for peoples of color representative of those harmed by those who deny or foreclose democracy’s normative expansion.

Footnotes & References

[1] In the recent Chicago case, the DA did neither. Instead she withheld bringing charges for more than a year against a Chicago police officer solely for the purpose of concealing from the public any information that the fatal shooting of Lacquan McDonald, an unarmed black youth, involved any degree or kind of wrongdoing or criminality by the police.

[2] Douglass’ speech can be found in the Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass, vol. 2, ed. P.S. Foner, (New York: International Publishers, 1950), p. 437.

[3] Her essay can be found in Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader, ed. B.E. Lawson & F.M. Kirkland, (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), pp. 339-60.

[4] See her 1907 essay “Peonage in the United States: The Convict Lease System and The Chain Gangs” reprinted in Beverly Jones, Quest for Equality: The Life and Writings of Mary Eliza Church Terrell, 1863-1954 (Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, 1991), pp. 255-73.

[5] See his Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (New York: The Free Press, 1998), p. 506.

[6] See her book Abolition Democracy–Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture: Interviews with Angela Davis (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005).

Frank Kirkland
Frank Kirkland
Frank M. Kirkland is professor of philosophy at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, both of the City University of New York (CUNY). Besides editing two books on phenomenology and Frederick Douglass respectively and writing a small monograph on Du Bois, he has published articles on Kant, Hegel, and Husserl, as well as on Douglass, Crummell, Du Bois, Kant on race, Hegel on race, Hegel and the Haitian Revolution, and the theme of modernity and intellectual life in the African-diaspora. He has been long at work on a book provisionally entitled Hegel’s Idealism and the Black Atlantic Tradition.
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