New Criticals

In a historical perspective, minorities have used the construction of monolithic identities as a strategy to rectify injustices imposed upon them by the majority. This process of ‘othering’ was often used, by those involved in the African American Civil Rights Movement, from the 1890’s to the late sixties. The ‘Monolithic Negro’ was a tactic used to give those involved a sense of community. By collectivizing all African Americans into one invariable mass, all effort was centered on the issue at hand; civil rights for their people. It was unquestionably advantageous as all citizens of the United States share the same rights; in terms of race at least.

The accusation that serves as the basis for this critique is that the modern African American has shepherded the same structure into the whole of black culture since. The movement has been romanticized to the point of not being seen as it was, (a crusade in which those involved gave up any attempt at some sort of individual, intellectual advancement) but as a model for how to deal with any disagreements, no matter how meager, in which they are the minority. Admittedly, this assumes that the plight blacks face today is not as intensely serious as that of those before them. It’s doubtful, though, that anyone would contest this knowing the privileges African Americans rightly hold now in comparison with what was held by African descendants living in the United States of America previously.