Grada Kilomba on racism in Europe


Grada Kilomba is a Portuguese psychiatrist, writer and scholar with roots in São Tomé and Príncipe in West Africa. She teaches at the Free University in Berlin. In her book “Plantation Memories” (2008) she wrote about stories of everyday racism – like about hair or the n-word – from a psychoanalytical point of view. A kind of latter-day Frantz Fanon.

Kilomba says that race is political, not biological, that it comes from a time when blacks were slaves and colonial subjects of whites:

White is not a color. White is a political definition, which represents historical, political and social privileges of a certain group that has access to dominant structures and institutions of society. Whiteness represents the reality and history of a certain group. When we talk about what it means to be white, then we talk about politics and certainly not about biology. Just like the term black is…

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