“The Afro-pessimist sees the world as structured by a non-black solidarity in preventing the ontological possibility of black life. Were ‘black’ meant as a metaphor for the condition of total alienation from self, this might make sense. However, because the Afro-pessimist imaginary ties itself to a morphological account of blackness, this leads us to a theoretical dead end. In this world-view, it therefore becomes necessary to begin by treating ‘race’ as a problem fundamentally rooted in the formation of sociality – in which the Black precedes the historical order and the processes, both violent and mundane, which create her. By contrast, to think through the implications of contingency is to confront the reality that these racial categories – categories that Wilderson and Sexton treat as absolute – are actually unstable as evidence that something else is afoot. It is to see ‘race’ not as an anchor, but as a mystification conjured to weather crises of legitimacy.”