Annual Zantop Memorial Lecture

Annual Zantop Memorial Lecture

Black Scare, Red Scare
Theorizing Capitalist Racism in the United States
Charisse Burden-Stelly, Wayne State University

April 25, 2024, 5:00 pm
Carson Hall L02
Free and open to the public

In the early twentieth century, two panics emerged in the United States. The Black Scare was rooted in white Americans' fear of Black Nationalism and dread at what social, economic, and political equality of Black people might entail. The Red Scare, sparked by communist uprisings abroad and subversion at home, established anticapitalism as a force capable of infiltrating and disrupting the American order. In Black Scare / Red Scare, Charisse Burden-Stelly meticulously outlines the conjoined nature of these state-sanctioned panics, revealing how they unfolded together as the United States pursued capitalist domination. Antiradical repression, she shows, is inseparable from anti-Black oppression, and vice versa.

Charisse Burden-Skelly is a critical Black Studies scholar of political theory, political economy, intellectual history, and political and historical sociology. My research pursues three complementary lines of inquiry. The first interrogates the transnational entanglements of U.S. capitalist racism, anticommunism, and antiblack racial oppression. The second excavates twentieth-century Black anticapitalist intellectual thought, theory, and praxis. My third area of focus examines theories and discourses of economic development in the African diaspora.

Sponsors: Comparative Literature Program