In the 1970s and ‘80s, the image of the Black “welfare queen” was used as a racist scare tactic and a propaganda tool to justify gutting the postwar welfare state, “public good” institutions, and economic programs that benefited the poor and working class. This systemic and systematic assault, which we now attribute to the political project of neoliberalism, was very much a bipartisan effort that extended well into the ‘90s and 2000s. Now, scaremongering about single mothers of color taking advantage of “the system” has increasingly been overtaken by celebrations of “Black girl magic” and the veneration of a growing Black bourgeoisie. How did we get here?

In their latest interview for TRNN, co-hosts of THIS IS REVOLUTION Jason Myles and Pascal Robert speak with Dr. Joy James about the destructive triumph of neoliberalism in the US and about the different institutions, classes, ideological strands, and clashing factions that have developed within the sphere of Black politics in the neoliberal era. Dr. James is a world-renowned scholar and activist, Ebenezer Fitch Professor of Humanities at Williams College, and the author of numerous books, including: Resisting State Violence: Radicalism, Gender, and Race in US Culture; States of Confinement: Policing, Detention, and Prisons; and Seeking the Beloved Community: A Feminist Race Reader.

Read the transcript of this interview:

Pre-Production/Studio: Jason Myles
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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