Black/Radical/Subversive: On the anticommunist politics of U.S. racial capitalism

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Now more than ever, it is important for our campus body to have a strong knowledge of ongoing struggles for Black people. Sponsored by CLAS departments of African American Studies, History, English, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, and Philosophy. 

In “Black/Radical/Subversive: On the Anticommunist Politics of U.S. Racial Capitalism,” Dr. Charisse Burden-Stelly discusses communism and anticommunism in three ways.

First, she explains how, throughout the twentieth century, communism was constructed as a threat to U.S. racial capitalism in a way that entangled Blackness and radicalism as danger, subversion, and un-belonging.

Next, she explicates anticommunism as a governing regime through which antiblackness and antiradicalism became indivisible technologies of repression employed to maintain and reproduce ruling class domination rooted in racial hierarchy.

Finally, she illuminates anticommunism as a means of maintaining the super-exploitation of Black labor; continuing the expropriation of land, resources, and human capital from colonized nations; and criminalizing ideas that challenged racial capitalism as advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government by force or violence.


For more information about this event, please contact David Goldberg at 313-577-2321 or

Submissions for this form have closed on February 24, 2021 at 5:00 pm.