As one of many examples of academic theory borrowed from social movements, “racial capitalism” was first articulated by anti-apartheid activists in South Africa. Racial capitalism is thus the product of a global system of colonization, and “race” itself a multiplicity of expressions. Histories of racial capitalism produced in the United States, however, have tended to remain contained within the United States and a Black/white definition of race. That story begins with slavery and moves through emancipation, segregation, redlining, and the creation of racial geographies and structural mechanisms of the production of property in whiteness. This is all essential work. Nonetheless, without the global context, US histories of racial capitalism can suffer from misalignment with Indigenous dispossession and settler colonization, erasing Indigenous people from land and from history.

Histories of Racial Capitalism breaks from that beaten path. This outstanding book makes a modest claim to demonstrate through history that race is...

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