Black Power and Market Economy

The Black Power social movement and debates about black empowerment have shaped the market sphere. From Marcus Garvey to W. E. B. Du Bois, from Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam to Martin Luther King Jr., there have been pitched debates about black power, black empowerment, and the role of the market economy in bringing about cultural and political goals. Similar to Jürgen Habermas’s discussion of the bourgeois public sphere, one can imagine the market sphere as an arena where people use their private consumption demands and their aesthetic preferences in public to make demands for social justice, equality, and the right to determine group identity. The market sphere is rife with debates about marketing practices and representations: What counts as aesthetically beautiful? What ...

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