The ‘black man’s question across continents: possible intercultural translation from the struggle practices?

Maria Paula Meneses About the author


This article is based upon the assumption that no global social justice may exist without a global cognitive justice. Through a critical analysis of the waves of xenophobic violence that have shaken black communities living in South Africa over the last years, this article, based upon the theoretical proposals of the Epistemologies of the South advanced by Boaventura de Sousa Santos, points to the urgency of a more complex and detailed understanding of cultural diversity and cultural hierarchies, conditions for a broader translation of the impact of colonial violence. From a reflection on racial discrimination in Brazil and xenophobic attacks in South Africa, this article seeks to decentralize the dominant Eurocentric narratives, betting on a social as plural space composed of multiple interconnected narratives, often contradictory. The construction of an intercultural dialogue as a means of translating among the struggles in the world is, as this article argues in its final part, a challenge to the wider understanding of the roots of inequality in the world. Various cosmopolitan experiences shape modern urban contexts in the Global South, and the non-recognition of this cultural and epistemic vibrant diversity exemplifies a pressing demand for a broader sense of citizenship and belonging.

Africa; Citizenship; Diversity; Cognitive justice; Epistemologies of the south

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