Justin A. Lang

Justin A. Lang is a second-year Ph.D. student in Africana Studies at Brown University. His research interests include African and African diasporic revolutionary thought, post-1960s Black political history, and prison/police/state abolitionisms.

Concept: Structural Adjustment

This presentation engages the concept of “structural adjustment” as a lens for approaching the landscape of Black political thought in the U.S. Structural adjustment refers to both imposed and consented-to modifications in political grammars that are based on the disavowal of one’s structural position within U.S. civil society. Frank Wilderson and Jared Sexton present Afropessimism as an intervention into a political landscape that increasingly creates conditions which structurally adjust Black political demands and practice. Placing Wilderson in conversation with George Jackson, the presentation examines how the theorists understand the structural position of “the Black” as coterminous with slaveness and considers the implications of assuming, rather than disavowing, this position.