“A never-quite-vanquished nationalism remains a poignantly unavoidable source for frictions between the articulation of group identities—those persistent fictions—and individual negotiations of either more-or-less orthodox cultural allegiance or cosmopolitan openness (even assimilationism). For most minority entities, then, a measure of cultural nationalism—or group unity—has been a prize element of their steady existences as quote-unquote communities. The hazard of nationalism—its tendency to decay into fallacious myths, misty romanticisms, and blood-rite fascisms—persists, then, despite the globally swaddling and homogenizing embrace of IBM and Coca-Cola.

Black intellectuals possess no immunity against the potentially toxic allure of nationalism. Rather, we have been notorious for being either ‘too’ doctrinairely race-conscious, or nation-conscious (consider Malcolm X), or for not being conscious ‘enough’ (consider Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).”