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By Wahneema Lubiano | with thanks to NewBlackMan (in Exile)

 

 

Friday, February 14, 2014.

 

I discovered his work in graduate school at Stanford in the same period of time that Sandra Drake and Sylvia Wynter were offering me whole new worlds of thought in literature. Stuart helped me imagine a bigger and more complicated understanding of how to think the world than I had ever imagined, how thought itself could become a worthy goal that could take me past the limits of what an academic future might promise in service to a complicated social world. 

 

When I met him, years after my first encounter with his writing and years after I entered the profession, his presence at the Race Matters conference pushed everyone present to think about critique as pleasure and service both to political thought and to building fellowship among activists, not by reducing our goals for the sake of intellectual or strategic efficiency, but by enlarging them in order to bring more people along with us.  

 

Considering that more than 30 years have passed since I first encountered him on the page, and more than 20 years since I first met him face to face, I don’t know how I could have thought that he would live forever, but I did.  And he does.

 

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Wahneema Lubiano is Associate Professor of Literature and African & African-American Studies at Duke University. She is the editor of the acclaimed The House that Race Built.

 

On Stuart Hall

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