This anthology interrogates two salient concepts in studying the black experience. Ushered in with the age of New World encounters, modernity emerged as brutal, complex and multiple, from its very definition to its manifestations. Equally challenging is blackness, which is forever dangling between the range of uplifting articulations and insidious degradation. The essays confront the conflicting confluences of these two terms. Questioning Euro-centric and "mainstream'" American interpretations, they reveal the diverse meanings of modernities and blackness from an equally diverse set of milieus of the black experience. Interdisciplinary and wide-ranging in thematic and epochal scope, they use theoretical and empirical studies to demonstrate that, indeed, blackness is relevant for understanding modernities and vice versa.