Multicultural Literacy, Epistemic Injustice, and White Ignorance

Catala, Amandine


The traditional blackface character Black Pete has been at the center of an intense controversy in the Netherlands, with most black citizens denouncing the tradition as racist and most white citizens endorsing it as harmless fun. I analyze the controversy as an utter failure, on the part of white citizens, of what Alison Jaggar has called multicultural literacy. This article aims to identify both the causes of this failure of multicultural literacy and the conditions required for multicultural literacy to be possible. I argue that this failure of multicultural literacy is due to hermeneutical injustice and white ignorance. I close by considering possible avenues for fostering multicultural literacy.

Catala, A. (2019). «Multicultural Literacy, Epistemic Injustice, and White Ignorance», Feminist Philosophy Quarterly, vol.5, no 2. DOI:


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