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Monday, June 27, 2005

Let’s Play Master and Servant

Posted by on June 27 at 13:19 PM

I spent my weekend thinking about this: Now we know that Hegel’s slave/master narrative influenced Franz Fanon’s concepts. He, as Stuart Hall points out in the opening essay to Fact of Blackness, “After-life of Frantz Fanon: Why Fanon? Why Now? Why Black Skin, White Masks,” located the scene of black liberation (or black male liberationas Fanon knew nothing about black women) as “a savage struggle,” which is a racialization (or epidermalization) of Hegel’s “life-and-death struggle.” What the slave struggles for is recognitionto be noticed, to be seen. He sees the master and wants the master to see him, which is why the ideal relationship between the a black man and a white man would be one of “absolute reciprocity … `They recognize themselves as mutually recognizing each other’.”

But what exactly is “absolute reciprocity” and is it even possible? I will spend next weekend thinking about “absolute reciprocity.”