AMERICAN CRUCIBLE: The Tack of Clarence Munford

(Note: I asked Professor Clarence Munford – in my view the leading contemporary scholar of African civilizations, the African diaspora, and the globalization of racism over the last half millenium — to summarize a few of his recent arguments about the Western worldview, capitalism, and racial oppression. He has a book just out that develops these important and provocative ideas. See here.)

American Crucible examines the indissoluble bond in the history of the Western Hemissphere between racism and capitalism. The author presents Civilizational Historicism as a conceptual lens. The theory is a black secular world view applying the study of history and the social sciences as tools to achieve black liberation and equal empowerment and parity among humankind. American Crucible’s epistemology, philosophy and political economy are rooted in the black Diaspora experience.

Historical knowledge is never non-partisan. Intended to illuminate the present and influence the future, Munford’s narrative of the past is designed to reveal the power statuses of those who write history and those who benefit from it. American Crucible challenges white supremacy in its global guise, and provides theoretical underpinning for a neo-abolitionist coalition of antiracist whites and progressive peoples of color.

As the jumping-off point American Crucible surveys the original black civilization as constituted in the first six dynasties of Khafre & Khufu
Creative Commons License (photo credit: hackerfriendly)   pharaonic Egypt. Diluted, the seeds of this civilization were sown westward and southward in the African continent, eventually weathering the storm of the Middle Passage to impart cultural urges and philosophical concepts still current in the Americas. European slaving began its West African career in 1441. This volume traces the more than five hundred years of contentious engagement between black resistance and the white supremacist dominance of Western civilization. For political economy clarification, the institution of slavery during Western antiquity is contrasted theoretically and functionally with the black chattel enslavement of Africans that gave birth to the Western Hemisphere’s uniquely racist capitalist mode of production. From the mid-fifteenth century to the late nineteenth century African civilization was shattered. Through the holocaust of enslavement, along with its later twin, colonization in the African continent, the system of white supremacy adopted terrorism as its bottom-line arm of control.

American Crucible provides a detailed account of the phenomenon of antiblack racism in Western civilization. The historical artifact “race” – a social invention – has been used as a sledgehammer by white supremacists to justify their criminal behavior for centuries. Antiblack racism and “race” are genetic features in Western Hemispheric societies. The history of the United States is unintelligible apart from black chattel enslavement, peonage, segregation and institutional racism. The book’s final chapters weigh imperial globalization’s (IMF, World Bank, transnational and multinational corporations, etc.) shattering neocolonialist effects on today’s increasingly retribalized Africa.

(What do you think? Please add comments.)

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