Critical World-Systems Analysis

Thoughts on Organizing Against Antiblackness Across Global-Local Boundaries


  • Marilyn Grell-Brisk University of California, Irvine



Antiblackness, Non-State Movements, Anti-systemic Movements, Disposability


From the first #BlackLivesMatter (#BLM) in 2013 to the summer of 2020, America and the rest of the world have been compelled, at minimum, to pay attention to the continuous rejection of Black being(ness). Black Lives Matter! isn’t just a call to attend to police brutality against Black people in America, it is a rallying call demanding that Black folx’s humanity be acknowledged and accorded without question—that we be seen. It is a declaration of resistance against the antiblackness that is embedded within racial capitalism. And, it is a demand that comes from years of frustration from Black lives being continuously and violently disregarded, of seeing “Black faces in high places” but no tangible institutional relief from the ever-present abjection of Blackness and Black folx. I argue that to pre-figure Black futurity, the movement for Black lives must necessarily be a movement that actively calls attention to and resists disposability regimes that highlight the tension between the world-system’s economics of inequality and its professed politics of equality. I contend that the active rejection of antiblackness and the movement for Black lives must be transnational in scope, and while implicitly occupying non-state anti-systemic spaces, it must reimagine the logics of solidarity, simultaneously embodying Black transnational and translocal collaboration; it must be radical in scope, seeking not simply to fix the existing structures of inequality and oppression but envision new structures, a complete reorganization of society where antiblackness no longer exists. To begin the work, I propose a multilevel analytical framework.


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How to Cite

Grell-Brisk, M. (2022). Critical World-Systems Analysis: Thoughts on Organizing Against Antiblackness Across Global-Local Boundaries. Journal of World-Systems Research, 28(2), 242–266.