Robin D.G. Kelley, “Mike Brown’s Body: A Meditation on War, Race, and Democracy”

Presented by the Hall Center for the Humanities

04.14.2016. WEB Photo

Robin D.G. Kelley, Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA, will open with the killing of Mike Brown and the wave of anti-police protests, and will suggest that the struggle for justice for Brown and other victims is not new, nor is it merely a consequence of the militarization of police. Instead, Brown is a casualty of a war originating over 500 years ago, a war to colonize, dispossess, enslave, and deny rights of citizenship to African Americans. He examines the struggle between the consolidation and expansion of racial capitalism and empire, on the one hand, and alternative visions of democracy, peace and justice, on the other. Kelley argues that during World War I, this social democratic vision erupted throughout the colonial and semi-colonial world. Its suppression required expansive militarization, intervention and escalation of colonial domination, and sophisticated forms of administration, surveillance, and exclusion.

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