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Billy Budd

Imagining a Politics of Love: Hannah Arendt, Billy Budd, Meridian and the Civil Rights Movement

If freedom was overwhelmingly the central motif in the modern American Civil Rights Movement in its classic phase, then love enjoyed a place very near it. In both theoretical and historical terms, the proper relationship between politics and love could be vexed. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote and spoke about agape love and a “beloved community” for example, and James Baldwin, if considered a spokesperson for the movement, insisted that “relatively conscious” white and black people needed to love one another, as risky as that was. One of the lasting thematic legacies of the civil rights movement, love-talk has become Read more