Click here to learn more about this new series from Edge Studios, and follow @npquarterly and @offthehookshorts on social to see episodes of “Off the Hook” as they are released.
(Saphia gets ready to head out the door.)
SAPHIA: Another phrase that stood out to me in bell hooks’s Where We Stand: Class Matters is the term “oppositional consciousness.” When discussing the difference in the psyche of the Black working class in the last 50 plus years, hooks says that “the vast majority of the black poor today (many of whom are young) lack the oppositional consciousness that our ancestors utilized to endure hardship and poverty without succumbing to dehumanization.” This is fascinating to think about in the context of last season’s theme of cancel culture. Some could say many of us have already become oppositional—I’d say this is a blessing and a curse, a standard of deep cultural critique that can nevertheless veer into the very thing oppositional consciousness is meant to be in opposition of, according to hooks—dehumanization, often of those who disagree with us. So, what does it mean to embody oppositional consciousness, in the true sense of the phrase, in opposition to dehumanization, today? And how does one embody it in a communal way, particularly if one does not have to endure personal hardships or poverty? True oppositional consciousness is beginning to sound a lot like what cancel culture was intended to be. We’re going to be exploring all this and more in this season, season four, on oppositional consciousness. You ready? Let’s go.
(Saphia walks down the stairs and out of frame, fade to outro.)