Date of Degree

6-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Nathalie Etoke

Subject Categories

Africana Studies | American Studies | Civil Rights and Discrimination | Fourteenth Amendment | Human Rights Law | Law and Race | Race and Ethnicity | Social Justice

Keywords

Globalization, Colonialism, Chattel slavery, Black, Triangular trade, Capitalism

Abstract

The problem of Blackness in America is a consequence of the historical reality and continued legacies of colonialism, the triangular trade and chattel slavery that have been facilitated through violence and capitalism. This thesis will argue that this problem that is pronounced through racialized institutional systems of violence such as mass incarceration and housing inequality, which disproportionately negatively impacts Black Americans is part of a larger discourse on the human and (mis)recognition. This violence has created a quintessential incompleteness for Black Americans who neither are recognized as citizens nor human. The problem of Blackness will be continuously grounded in this this thesis as a crisis of the human and citizenship – both nationally and within the international community. Prioritizing prominent scholars in Black Studies, this thesis reframes issues of race within the United States to its colonial European empire fundaments as a global project with global ramifications. This thesis offers both an internationalist and humanist framework for discoursing America’s realization and reification of race and racism in terms of capitalism, institutional racism, extralegal racial violence, and identity politics by focusing on chattel slavery in the United States and Caribbean and the triangular trade. In addition, it will include discourse on the legacy of slavery and colonialism within the United States through popular news sites and by advocacy groups. These conversations will surround slavery reparations, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration and discriminatory housing policies. This thesis will maintain that Blackness is a global project that has been largely defined by Europe and America and thus, will also include analysis of international organizations such as the United Nations.

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