The anti-Blackness of global capital

Adam Bledsoe, Willie Jamaal Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper seeks to offer a new perspective on the interrelated questions of globalized capitalism and anti-Blackness. We engage with current geographical work on the question of Blackness, highlighting the ways in which prevailing forms of global capital accumulation—which take shape in numerous spatial and political practices around the world—coincide with acts of anti-Blackness. In recognizing the connections between capitalism and anti-Black violence, however, we choose not to frame anti-Blackness as an effect of capitalist relations. Rather, we insist that anti-Blackness remains a necessary precondition for the perpetuation of capitalism, as the perpetual expansion of capitalist practices requires “empty” spaces open for appropriation—a condition made possible through the modern assumption of Black a-spatiality. Drawing on theoretical discussions of both global capital and anti-Blackness, empirical examples of shifting global spatial-racial regimes, and the discursive and material practices of Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives, and the Afro-Brazilian community Ilha de Maré, this paper attempts to forge new geographical conversations regarding current capitalist practices and the matter of Black lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-26
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Black geographies
  • anti-Blackness
  • global capitalism
  • racial capitalism

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