March 24, 2021
In this lecture, Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly examines how the scholar-activism of Black anticapitalists like Claudia Jones, James Ford, William Patterson, Paul Robeson, Dorothy Hunton, and W.E.B. Du Bois offered a fundamental challenge to the entanglements of United States racism, capitalism, and imperialism throughout the twentieth century. They offered positions on the “Negro Question,” superexploitation, self-determination, and the economic basis of racial antagonism that not only challenged U.S. racial capitalism, but also envisioned a world predicated upon peace, socialism, mutual cooperation, and human flourishing.

The talk also explicates the form of repression and state-sanctioned violence to which these freedom fighters were subjected because of their political orientation. This dialectic between Black radicalism and violent repression shaped the ways in which these actors forged movements, organizations, and communities that undergirded their struggles for a world beyond Euro-American exploitation and oppression.

Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly is the 2020-2021 Visiting Scholar in the Race and Capitalism Project at the University of Chicago. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science at Carleton College. A scholar of critical Black studies, political theory, political economy, and intellectual history, Dr. Burden-Stelly is the co-author, with Dr. Gerald Horne, of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Life in American History. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Black Scare/Red Scare: Antiblackness, Anticommunism, and the Rise of Capitalism in the United States.

Between Radicalism and Repression: U.S. Black Communists Against Racial Capitalism is co-hosted by the Wattis Institute with the Graduate Program in Visual & Critical Studies and is organized by Jacqueline Francis, Diego Villalobos, and Kim Nguyen.

Between Radicalism and Repression: U.S. Black Communists Against Racial Capitalism, a lecture by Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly

Online, 4 PM PST

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Land to Light On, is a collaborative public programming series between the Wattis Institute and CCA's academic departments focusing on racial capitalism, abolition, and decolonization.

Land to Light On is an ongoing conversation with no foreseeable end. We carry the words of Dionne Brand with each iteration: I don’t want no fucking country, here or there and all the way back, I don’t like it, none of it, easy as that. I’m giving up on land to light on, and why not, I can’t perfect my own shadow, my violent sorrow, my individual wrists.