Major and Classification
Nayan B. Shah
Dornsife American Studies & Ethnicity
Research Gateway Project
“Reflecting on the Black Radical Tradition”
We are currently living in a historical and political moment in which the United States’ capitalist economy has demonstrated its inability to take care of us. The mishandling of this pandemic has illustrated the limitations of privatized healthcare as the United States takes credit for having the most COVID-19 cases in the world and as new cases continue to soar to record heights, while this pandemic exists only in memory or is no longer a severe threat in many other countries. And who has had to suffer the most consequences from this gross incompetence? Black Americans. As a consequence, I wanted to look towards some solutions that previous anti-capitalist Black intellectuals, academics, thinkers, and movement leaders have provided. I did this by reviewing four books concerned with Black liberation—Freedom Dreams – The Black Radical Imagination by Robin D.G. Kelley, Black Marxism – The Making of the Black Radical Tradition by Cedric Robinson, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, and Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams.