Kamari Maxine Clarke and Deborah A. Thomas argue that a firm grasp of globalization requires an understanding of how race has constituted, and been constituted by, global transformations. Focusing attention on race as an analytic category, this state-of-the-art collection of essays explores the changing meanings of blackness in the context of globalization. It illuminates the connections between contemporary global processes of racialization and transnational circulations set in motion by imperialism and slavery; between popular culture and global conceptions of blackness; and between the work of anthropologists, policymakers, religious revivalists, and activists and the solidification and globalization of racial categories.
A number of the essays bring to light the formative but not unproblematic influence of African American identity on other populations within the black diaspora. Among these are an examination of the impact of “black America” on racial identity and politics in mid-twentieth-century Liverpool and an inquiry into the distinctive experiences of blacks in Canada. Contributors investigate concepts of race and space in early-twenty-first century Harlem, the experiences of trafficked Nigerian sex workers in Italy, and the persistence of race in the purportedly non-racial language of the “New South Africa.” They highlight how blackness is consumed and expressed in Cuban timba music, in West Indian adolescent girls’ fascination with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and in the incorporation of American rap music into black London culture. Connecting race to ethnicity, gender, sexuality, nationality, and religion, these essays reveal how new class economies, ideologies of belonging, and constructions of social difference are emerging from ongoing global transformations.
Contributors. Robert L. Adams, Lee D. Baker, Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Tina M. Campt, Kamari Maxine Clarke, Raymond Codrington, Grant Farred, Kesha Fikes, Isar Godreau, Ariana Hernandez-Reguant, Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe, John L. Jackson Jr., Oneka LaBennett, Naomi Pabst, Lena Sawyer, Deborah A. Thomas