Derrida's Black Accent: Decolonial Deconstruction

Barnor Hesse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the extent to which the French-Algerian philosopher of so-called deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, has been misread as thinking and writing exclusively in a white, Western idiom. It addresses and investigates Derrida’s infrequent claim that his approach to deconstruction was always focused on racism and Eurocentrism, by revealing and theorizing what is designated as ‘Derrida’s Black Accent’. Namely a critically accentuated idiom of thinking and writing, performed and informed by drawing upon the Black Radical Tradition, that challenges the colonial-racial hegemony and white sovereignty of the West. The article concludes that deconstruction in Derrida’s Black Accent is a radical intervention in decoloniality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-33
Number of pages30
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Derrida
  • Eurocentrism
  • accent
  • decoloniality
  • racism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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