Black Life in the Americas: Economic Resources, Cultural Endowment, and Communal Solidarity

  • Carl E. James
Part of the Perspectives from Social Economics book series (PSE)


Black Social Economy is not merely concerned with the financial or material capital that sustains Black life, but with the interrelated educational, social, cultural, educational, judicial, religious, and agricultural structures that mediate the circumstances in which Black people find themselves in Western capitalist societies. Building on the observations of contributors, and following Ivan Light’s (Ethnic and Racial Studies 7(2):195–216, 1984/2010) analysis of the entrepreneurial opportunities and practices of immigrants and minoritized people, I offer a reading of the societal contexts in which Black people struggled against inequity, racism, and colonialism to assert their presence and gain respect. I discuss the hope and faith that are placed in education, the influential role of women, and why, despite individuals’ self-reliance, self-determination, and adaptability, “resilience” as framed by neoliberalism does not suitably explain their achievements.

Works Cited

  1. Braedley, S., and M. Luxton, eds. 2010. Neoliberalism and Everyday Life. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Chadburn, M. 2015. Resilience is Futile: How Well-Meaning Nonprofits Perpetuate Poverty., July 14. Accessed 3 Mar 2017.
  3. Deruy, E. 2016. How Black Lives Matter Activists Plan to Fix Schools. The Atlantic, August 5. Retrieved February, 2017, Accessed 14 Feb 2017.
  4. Diprose, K. (2014/15). Resilience is Futile: The Cultivation of Resilience is Not an Answer to Austerity and Poverty. Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture 56: 44–56.Google Scholar
  5. Gordon Nembhard, J. 2017. Collective Courage: African American Cooperatives and Solidarity Economics. Business and Society Lecture: Black Social Economy, York University, February.Google Scholar
  6. Hawkins, D. 2016. This is What Happens When a Black Lives Matter Flag is Hoisted at a Public University Right Up There With the U.S. Flag. The Washington Post, September 26. Accessed 24 Feb 2017.
  7. Head, W. 1975. The Black Presence in the Canadian Mosaic. Toronto: Ontario Human Rights Commission, Government of Ontario.Google Scholar
  8. Hill Collins, P. 2009. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Ingram, K. 2016. Four Hundred Years of African Canadian History in a Dalhousie Minor. Maclean’s, November 21. Accessed 20 Feb 2017.
  10. Iv, H.P.P., J.J. Blake, and B. Kelly. 2011. Promoting Positive Youth Development of Black Youth: A Rites of Passage Framework. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 29 (1): 98–112.Google Scholar
  11. James, C.E. 2012a. Life at the Intersection: Community, Class and Schooling. Halifax: Fernwood Educational Publishing.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2012b. Students At Risk: Stereotyping and the Schooling of Black Boys. UrbanEducation 47 (2): 464–494.Google Scholar
  13. James, C.E., and J. Samaroo. in press. Alternative Schooling and Black Students: Opportunities, Challenges and Limitations. In Alternative Schooling: Canadian Stories of Democracy Within Bureaucracy, ed. N. Bascia, E. Fine, and M. Levin. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. James, C.E., and T. Turner. 2017. Addressing Education Inequality for Black Students in GTA Schools. Toronto: York Centre for Education & Community, York University.Google Scholar
  15. Johnson, M. 2012. “To Ensure That Only the Suitable Persons are Sent”: Screening Jamaican Women for the West Indian Domestic Scheme. In Jamaican the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence, ed. C.E. James and A. Davis, 36–53. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.Google Scholar
  16. Joseph, J. 2013. Resilience as Embedded Neoliberalism: A Governmentality Approach. Resilience 1 (1): 38–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kitossa, T. 2012. Odyssey Home to a Place Within: An Autobiography of One of Jamaica’s Lost Children. In Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence, ed. C.E. James and A. Davis, 54–66. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.Google Scholar
  18. Light, I. 1984/2010. Immigrant and Ethnic Enterprise in North America. Ethnic and Racial Studies 7(2): 195–216.Google Scholar
  19. Nicola, M. 2016. Rethinking Identity: Afro-Mexican History. Rethinking Schools (Summer): 3641.Google Scholar
  20. Prince, A. 2001. Being Black. Toronto: Insomniac Press.Google Scholar
  21. Royal Commission on Learning (RCOL). 1994. For the Love of Learning: Report of the Royal Commission on Learning. Toronto: Ontario Ministry of Education. Accessed 7 Mar 2017.
  22. Tecle, S. forthcoming. Rude Acts: Creative Insubordinations on Lower Registers. In Northern Touch: The History of Urban Music in Toronto, ed. F. D’Amico.Google Scholar
  23. Tecle, S., and D. Austin. in press. Just Below the Threshold: A Conversation with David Austin on Black Leadership. In African Canadian Leadership: Paradoxes and Crises, ed. T. Kitossa, P. Howard, and E. Lawson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  24. Vega, T. 2016. The Next Battle for Black Lives Matter: Economic Justice. CNN Money, August 2. Accessed 25 Feb 2017.
  25. Wallace, A. 2009. The Case for All-Black Schools. This Magazine, July 8. Accessed 4 Mar 2017.
  26. Woodgreen Rites of Passage. 2014. Curriculum and Evaluation Framework. Toronto: Woodgreen Rites of Passage Program, Woodgreen Community Centre.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl E. James
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationYork UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations