Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Ruth O'Brien

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Comparative Literature | Ethnic Studies | Political Theory | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies


Black Marxism, Orientalism, Black Radical Tradition, Postcolonialism


The 21st century has witnessed the unquestioned supremacy of late capitalism. It holds coercive power over nation states; it generates increased inequality within countries and around the globe. It can, today, exploit everywhere at once. The poorest countries in the world reside in the Global South. Of the twenty poorest countries in the world, seventeen are in Africa; the rest are elsewhere in the Global South. Of the hundred poorest countries in world, over 95 percent are in the Global South. In the United States, Blacks, Latinos, and Indigenous people have poverty rates that greatly exceed the national average. Poverty and income inequality are only two metrics we can employ to get a sense of oppression. The aforementioned populations are at greater risk for health-related issues, violence, and incarceration. The epistemology that imagines capitalism to be neutral serves to rationalize the continued international exploitation and oppression of racially-marked groups. Any radical, emancipatory politics must include a critique of racist capitalism. Working with Black Marxism by Cedric Robinson and Orientalism by Edward Said, this article seeks to propose approaches that may elucidate theories of racial construction and the production of knowledge in the context of capitalism that upholds current systems of oppression which manifest in deep inequality across racial lines.

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