Forever Idle: The Resilience of Colonial Ideas on Black Bodies
My argument hinges on the theme of time: how ideas attached to racialized bodies endure (and mutate) across time. I highlight the question of falling behind and/or failing forward by tracing the failings of social policy and its impacts on Black bodies by conducting a cross-historical analysis of seventeenth-century South Africa, specifically travel diaries from European incursions and twentieth-century United States, specifically works of social policy. My study analyzes the ways that idleness, as a pejorative social characteristic, is tied to racialized bodies across these two colonial contexts.
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