Prophet of Discontent
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Prophet of Discontent

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Critique of Racial Capitalism

Title Details

Pages: 150

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 09/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6017-1

List Price: $120.95


Pub Date: 05/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6016-4


Pub Date: 09/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6018-8

List Price: $28.95


Pub Date: 09/15/2021

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6952-5

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Prophet of Discontent

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Critique of Racial Capitalism

A new look at King’s economic and political theories amid expanding awareness of the Black radical tradition

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  • Description
  • Reviews

This book is openly available in digital formats thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Many of today’s insurgent Black movements call for an end to racial capitalism. They take aim at policing and mass incarceration, the racial partitioning of workplaces and residential communities, the expropriation and underdevelopment of Black populations at home and abroad. Scholars and activists increasingly regard these practices as essential technologies of capital accumulation, evidence that capitalist societies past and present enshrine racial inequality as a matter of course.

In Prophet of Discontent, Andrew J. Douglas and Jared A. Loggins invoke contemporary discourse on racial capitalism in a powerful reassessment of Martin Luther King Jr.’s thinking and legacy. Like today’s organizers, King was more than a dreamer. He knew that his call for a “radical revolution of values” was complicated by the production and circulation of value under capitalism. He knew that the movement to build the beloved community required sophisticated analyses of capitalist imperialism, state violence, and racial formations, as well as unflinching solidarity with the struggles of the Black working class. Shining new light on King’s largely implicit economic and political theories, and expanding appreciation of the Black radical tradition to which he belonged, Douglas and Loggins reconstruct, develop, and carry forward King’s strikingly prescient critique of capitalist society.

It is no longer true that the radicalism of Dr. King is ignored . . . but no book so thoroughly shows how his radicalism, and changes in it, developed through study and, especially, through participation in a social movement confronting the deadly serious problems of racial capitalism. Prophet of Discontent is a significant contribution to the study of both King and the movement.

—David Roediger, author of The Production of Difference

This is an excellent book, full of terrific insights into the world of Martin Luther King Jr. and what he has to offer theoretically and methodologically to contemporary issues of race, economics, and politics. . . . It reveals, through superb writing, how King’s contributions stemmed from real-world, real-life social and economic circumstances.

—Edward J. Blum, author of W.E.B. Du Bois, American Prophet

If Douglas and Loggins are right, King is best understood as a critic of 'racial capitalism' who is among liberalism’s discontents. And if Douglas and Loggins are right about King, their thesis might unsettle defenders of liberalism who previously thought they stood shoulder to shoulder with the civil rights icon.

—Nicholas Buccola, American Political Thought

About the Author/Editor

Jared A. Loggins (Author)
JARED A. LOGGINS is a visiting assistant professor of Black studies and political science at Amherst College.

Andrew J. Douglas (Author)
ANDREW J. DOUGLAS is a professor of political science and a faculty affiliate in Africana studies and international comparative labor studies at Morehouse College. He is the author of In the Spirit of Critique: Thinking Politically in the Dialectical Tradition and W. E. B. Du Bois and the Critique of the Competitive Society (Georgia). He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.