WELCOME to the


Archibald J. Motley Jr. ‘Barbecue’ 1960

The factsofwhiteness examines the ways white privilege and white supremacy are the underlying logics that maintain society for the benefit of white people. Ultimately, thefactsofwhiteness is a response to the myriad black academics, writers, artist, musicians etc who have over the centuries challenged that western dualistic notion, which in its most basic form, associates whiteness with purity and blackness with sin. This however, is not a general inquiry into the constructions of white positionality but rather a more particular, more specific investigation into how notions of blackness and the black subject have been deployed to support and inform our understanding of what it means to be white.
Moreover, thefactsofwhitness concentrates upon this relationship between notions of blackness and whiteness and how by accepting the view of whiteness from what bell hooks (born 1952) refers to as a ‘view from across the tracks’, the black oppositional gaze (1992), offers the best possible vantage point for examining what it means to be white?

Frantz Fanon

Frantz Fanon

The title of this website has been adapted from a chapter in Frantz Fanon’s (1925 – 1961) classic postcolonial text Black Skin, White Mask ([1952], 1960). Fanon exposes the whiteness behind the fact of blackness and in so doing exposes the anxiety upon which it is based; an anxiety of whiteness which is denied through transference to a black Other (Lacan, 1949). In so doing Fanon provides the space for an alternative, positive black identity. At the same time he also opens up the possibility to challenge the notion of white identity; if the fact of blackness is contested then its Other, whiteness, is equally contestable. Accepting Fanon, the notion of whiteness, of what it means to identify as white, is forever undermined, spurious and uncertain.

Thefactsofwhiteness is the result of some 25 years attempting to interrogate my own sense of being white. The website has been constructed with the primary purpose of offering the viewer an insight into how the visual, cultural, social, artistic, musical, philosophical and literatural expressions of black people have gudied, directed and enabled me to explore my own factsofwhiteness, my own sense of what it means to be white. At the sametime, the website aims to further provide a resource for people who are interested in exploring their own sense of being white through engaging and appreciating the vast catalogue of black intellectual and cultural thought that provides insights into living within white supremacist society, whiteness and white identity formation.

The website is divided up into four sections. In ‘essays’, the concept of identity is explored. Questions such as what do we mean by the term identity? Are are identities formed, constructed, ‘always already’ (Althusser, 1971) there for us to occupy? What does it mean to identify as being white? Is there a relationship between notions of what is means to identify as a black and white person? Will be examined in an attempt to interrogate how identities, the individual, the subject is formed.

This section also examines the underlying theories that have guided my approach to examining my sense of being white. The essays have been selected to demonstrate how I have developed and explored my own factsofwhiteness. The notion of the Black Gaze (hooks, 1992) and Critical Race Theory (Bell, 1973) are examined . It could be argued that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an extention, an academic coming together, of the what black people have experienced and observed (over hundreds of years) while living within a white dominated world. CRT centers whiteness, exposing thefactsofwhiteness with its three themes of interest convergence, the significance of storytelling and the centrality of racism as a permanet fixture of society (Ladson-Billings 1998).

The second section ‘Culture’ aims to provide the reader with a selection of some of the black cultural expressions and artifacts that encouraged, stimulated and directed my inquire into my sense of being of white. The archive of black knowledge, reflecting on living in a white supremacist society is arguably infinite. The particular observations that have guided me include Roots Reggae music (1973 – 1983) Afrobeat, particularly the music of Fela Kuti, Hip-Hop music and the writings and philosophical considerations of people such as Frantz Fanon (1925- 1961) , Malcom X (1925 –1965), Stuart Hall (1932 – 2014) and bell hooks (1952 -), through to the art of Harlem Renaissance and films such as Superfly (1973), Babylon (1980), Pressure (1975) and the work of directors such as Spike Lee, and Charles Burnett.

Closely related to this section is the ‘blog’. The purpose of the blog is to provide insights that that are current and up to date  and that demonstrate the continued relevance of the black gaze in reflecting and exposing thefactsofwhitenss  . Over the years I have considered writing a diary, a daily record of my life, with all that it may or may not entail. The development of the website has galvanised this notion of diary writing into writing and posting a blog. More than a diary the inclusion of a blog page is intended to form part of the overall project of the thefactsofwhiteness website. It will hopefully provide ongoing reflections upon thefactsofwhiteness that will add to and develop the ‘archive of knowledge’ of white supremacy that is exposed and highlighted through the black gaze.

The blog will be based upon my observations and thoughts upon current affairs, whether in culture, art or music, film or politics, sport or computer mediated communications. The blog therefore shall reflect my interests and what interests me. During the past couple of months for example films such as the ‘Hateful 8’ and ‘Creed’, books like ‘Between the World and me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Booker prize winning ‘History of Seven Killings’ by Marlon James have provided both entertainment but most importantly enabled reflections. I have equally been surprised and delighted in discovering music from artists such as ‘Black the Ripper’ and ‘Carl Handcock Rux’. The blog shall consist of posts from YouTube, Spotify and other media platforms and also the occasional written commentary on events.

In the final section ‘about the author’, it was considered important to present to you, the reader/viewer of this website dedicated to thefactsofwhiteness, an autobiographical account of how I came to be white. If I am to discuss thefactsofwhiteness, then I too, as a person who identifies as being white, should be as open as possible about own factsofwhiteness.