21st Century Chains
This dissertation examines Internal Colonialism Theory's importance to a comprehensive understanding of the oppression of African Americans still living in USA ghettos. It briefly explores the180 year history of Black activist depictions of a "nation within a nation," the impact of the depression-era Marxist notion of a Negro nation, Latin American influences on Robert Blauner, and the pervasive effect of international anti-colonialism and the Black Power Movement upon the development of American academic Internal Colonialism Theory. This appraisal evaluates Blauner's seminal presentation, Internal Colonialism and Ghetto Revolt, and the major contributions of Robert L. Allen and Mario Barrera in analyzing African American and Chicano internal colonial experiences respectively. It re-assesses colonialism and moves beyond Eurocentric characterizations to elaborate a Continuum of Colonialism, including direct, indirect, external, internal, and "end of" colonialisms. This analysis addresses the contradiction that the American Revolution supposedly decolonized America without improving colonized conditions for African Americans or Native Americans, and defines internal colonialism as geographically based, disagreeing with the prevailing interpretation which contemplates the existence of diasporic African America as one collective colony. While summarizing the USA's course from settler colony system to today's inner cities of the colonized, this investigation explores African American class formation utilizing a variation of Marable's conception of Racial Domains as historical context through to the present. With the majority of African Americans in ghettos [internal colonies] scattered around the USA, this document outlines the positive and negative means of ending internal colonial situations within the contemporary USA. While elaborating how Internal Colonialism Theory quite practically fits harmoniously within several differing conceptualizations of American and global racial relations, this perspective offers a framework for more rigorous future discussions and debates about Internal Colonialism Theory, and previews three major international populations to which this assessment of Internal Colonialism Theory can be extended.