The Power Trip of the Black Exceptionalist in Space-Time


The fate and evolution of Black (American) exceptionalists is strange, tragic and multifaceted to say the least. Black exceptionalism against the greater Black diaspora follows the legacies of notorious Black revolutionary cultists – as Huey Newton would refer to them as, the Duboisian “talented tenth,” coons and sychophants, American Garveyites attempting to reclaim Black masculinity and regality; all the way to hapless Black post-modernist rappers like Tyler, the Creator, contrarians, oppositionalists, post-racialists and respectable Negroes not catering to stereotypes. However, these extreme conceptions and binaries don’t speak of the fair-weather Black exceptionalists, who rise above collective punishment and responsibility to seek group agency while seeking refuge and resources in community as it best suits them. Is it possible all the same for the individualist to assume this position because of the ultimate benefit to themselves, let alone symbiotic to the great Black diaspora as it continues to fight to rise above white supremacy, necropolitics of Black bodies, and culture vampires? What sort of Afrofutures does this way of survival create?

In order to give this conceived Black exceptionalist the benefit of the doubt, we must assume they act with an understanding of Huey P Newton’s idea of Intercommunalism that is based in both translocalism and plurinationalism. Intercommunalism as conceived by Newton is the unification of global communities of people in order to combat an enemy like the American white supremacist empire and transnational corporations that control political self-determination on a global scale. Translocalism and plurinationalism expands intercommunalism’s sustainability, as explained by GBAN’s Anthony Day, with the former opening up exchanges between localities, or “cultural geographies of place, existential territories…overlapped by three ecologies of the mental, social and natural environment,” to create “spaces for multi-ethnic development work” as localities are “the smallest common unit in the matrices of global empire” (Day 6). Plurinationalism expands these exchanges for the Black exceptionalist, being “the theory that modern nation-states are actually composed of many nations with different aspirations based on their shared but separate cultural, political and socioeconomic context” if we consider the exceptionalist as their own community (Day 7).

Black exceptionalism never implies the political rights and respect of the Black body; the only way to achieve such self-determination and agency is by being part of the greater community, to ensure translocalism is sustainable and intercommunalism extends to the entire black global diaspora. Acting as a single-person community as an act of plurinationalism connects the exceptionalist to no other safe zones as they leave their own home and would assumedly be amongst the enemy. To emphasize, I offer two quotes by both Anthony Day & Frank Wilderson:

“New institutions should be built by the community and for it reflecting the means in which the whole of the diaspora exist in space as full beings in cultural practice and peacefulness.” – Anthony Day

“The ruse of analogy erroneously locates Blacks in the world – a place where they have not been since the dawning of Blackness. This attempt to position the Black in the world by way of analogy is not only a mystification, and often erasure, of Blackness’ grammar of suffering (accumulation and fungibility or the status of being non-human) but simulatenously also a provision for civil society, promising an enabling modality for human ethical dilemmas. It is a mystification and an erasure because, whereas masters may share the same fantasies as slaves, and slaves can speak as though they have the same interests as masters, their grammars of suffering are irreconcilable.” – Frank Wilderson

As discouraged as the Black exceptionalist may be from claiming political sovereignty despite not discarding the community wholesale, they still have the ability to imagine and create an afrofuture for themselves. A Black exceptionalist that is a self-conceived Afrofuturist acquainted with the quantum mechanics of non-locality and entanglement of the quantum beings in space-time could in theory map out future time events local to their future state of being (their surrounding environment), astral project, and then travel forward to that timeline’s events. They would simply need to understand quantum particle superposition, which posits that “a particle exists partly in all its particular theoretically possible states simultaneously,” similar to multiverse theory (Afrofuturist Affair 1). This is the basis for understanding quantum particle entanglement, “the phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be spatially separated,” non-locality of entangled particles that “behave as a single physical object, no matter how far apart they are” and time travel according to the Afrofuturist Affair’s Rasheedah Phillips. This individualist can theoretically conceive an Afrofuture based in African traditional time because they can be the foca