What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter? (Videos)


What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter? (Videos)


Talk by Robin D. G. Kelley on "What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?" recorded November 7, 2017 at Kane Hall, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Sponsored by the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities.

ADL Editor's Summary: Robin Davis Gibran Kelley is Distinguished Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is one of the foremost historians of African- American history and culture, especially its radical social movements.  According to Kelly, today we associate Racial Capitalism with Cedric Robinson and Black Marxism but it actually comes from South Africa, preceding the dismantling of apartheid, studied by SA academics as early as 1948. Robinson showed that European racism, racialism, and nationalism preceded capitalism when it emerged during the 13th to 15th centuries. This directly challenges the Marxist idea that capitalism is a revolutionary break from feudalism. In fact capitalism emerged from the old feudal order using slavery, violence, imperialism, and genocide. Tendency of European capitalism was not to homogenize but to differentiate, exaggerate regional, sub cultural and dialectical differences w/in Europe into racial ones. Race, racialism, racism emerged in Europe and preceded capitalism. The first victims of racialism were Europeans proletarians themselves, long before Africans: Irish, Jews, Roms (Gypsies), Slavs. This is a long lecture but a must watch and learn for all those interested in racial equity and justice. The linkages between capitalism and racism are made crystal clear.  To disrupt racism you must engage in a clearer understanding of capitalism for there is no such thing as just capitalism.  There is only racial capitalism.




Talk by Robin Kelley


November 7, 2017


1 hr 26 min 46 sec.





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Talk by Robin Kelley, “What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter? (Videos),” Anti-Racism Digital Library, accessed July 4, 2022, https://sacred.omeka.net/items/show/251.