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To steal one's life back: On the power of fugitive Blackness.


The institution of enslavement was to many divinely ordained. If one is to demonstrate a kind of agency or autonomy over their life and livelihood, then one must steal their life back. And that to me is a profound act of fugitivity. It's a subversion of the dominant, even divine power structure and heirarchy, to steal one's life back.

African American studies scholar Marquis Bey explores the fugitivity of Black life in White America - as a power in and beyond resistance to oppressive structures, a subversive source of joy in the face of imposed social death, and a posture of intention and resistance in an unjust world.

Marquis is author of the book Them Goon Rules: Fugitive Essays on Radical Black Feminism from University of Arizona Press.

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Marquis Bey

Marquis Bey is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University.


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