Jan 15, 2022
In this episode we interview Andrew J. Douglas and Jared A. Loggins to discuss their recently published book, Prophet of Discontent: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Critique of Racial Capitalism.
Andrew Douglas is a professor of political science and a faculty affiliate in Africana studies and international comparative labor studies at Morehouse College. Douglas is also the author of In the Spirit of Critique: Thinking Politically in the Dialectical Tradition and W.E.B. Du Bois and the Critique of Competitive Society.
Jared Loggins is a visiting assistant professor of Black Studies and political science at Amherst College
We talk to Jared and Andrew about the mutually informing theoretical legacies of Martin Luther King Jr and Cedric Robinson. Loggins and Douglas share their insights on Robinson’s theoretical work around racial capitalism, the Black Radical Tradition, and leadership and examine some of King’s most potent radical critiques in dialogue with these concepts.
We also ask about King’s legacy as a dialectical thinker, and the authors share their insights on King’s critiques around the materialistic nature of the capitalist system in dialogue with Marx’s critique of commodity fetishism.
Douglas and Loggins also engage King’s thinking around guaranteed basic income, the welfare state, and building and learning through communal struggle.
They also explore King’s thought around riots, the organized abandonment coinciding with deindustrialization, and the ways his thinking anticipates the neoliberal turn that comes after his assassination.
Finally they share thoughts on King’s anti-imperialism and their own thinking around rebuilding a Black radical counter public, and building the types of formations and institutions that can resist the patterns of capture and cooptation that continue to plague Black movements and Black thought in the 21st Century.
You can read a free online copy of their book Prophet of Discontent: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Critique of Racial Capitalism or purchase a paperback copy. We’ll include links to it in the show notes.
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