After Black Lives Matter (Hardcover)

After Black Lives Matter By Cedric Johnson Cover Image
On our shelves now:
Lake Forest Park (order processing takes 24 hours)
4 on hand, as of Jun 20 8:35am


Contemporary policing reflects the turn from welfare to domestic warfare as the chief means of regulating the excluded and oppressed

The historic uprising in the wake of the murder of George Floyd transformed the way we think about race and policing. Why did it achieve so little in the way of substantive reforms? After Black Lives Matter argues that the failure to leave an institutional residue was not simply due to the mercurial and reactive character of the protests. Rather, the core of the movement itself failed to locate the central racial injustice that underpins the crisis of policing: socio-economic inequality.

For Johnson, the anti-capitalist and downwardly redistributive politics expressed by different Black Lives Matter elements has too often been drowned out in the flood of black wealth creation, fetishism of Jim Crow black entrepreneurship, corporate diversity initiatives, and a quixotic reparations demand. None of these political tendencies addresses the fundamental problem underlying mass incarceration.

That is the turn from welfare to domestic warfare as the chief means of regulating the excluded and oppressed. Johnson sees the way forward in building popular democratic power to advance public works and public goods.  Rather than abolishing police, After Black Lives Matter argues for abolishing the conditions of alienation and exploitation contemporary policing exists to manage.

About the Author

Cedric Johnson is professor of African American Studies and Political Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His book, Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics was named the 2008 W.E.B. DuBois Outstanding Book of the Year by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.  Johnson is the editor of The Neoliberal Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, Late Capitalism and the Remaking of New Orleans. His 2017 Catalyst essay, “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now: Anti-policing Struggles and the Limits of Black Power,” was awarded the 2018 Daniel Singer Millenium Prize. Johnson’s writings have appeared in Nonsite, Jacobin, New Political Science, New Labor Forum, Perspectives on Politics, Historical Materialism, and Journal of Developing Societies. In 2008, Johnson was named the Jon Garlock Labor Educator of the Year by the Rochester Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. He previously served on the representative assembly for UIC United Faculty Local 6456.

Praise For…

"A virtuoso performance! Weighing the successes and limitations of Black Lives Matter, Johnson concludes that identity-based mobilization—confusing what people look like with what they need—cannot substitute for majoritarian political coalition-building."
—Barbara J. Fields, Columbia University

"Cedric Johnson delivers that increasingly rare experience in political writing: surprise. Whether telling the story of Louis Armstrong’s first hearing of Mack the Knife or reporting on the inequities of Chicago’s public transportation system or mounting a mini-memoir of his encounter with crime in Louisiana and Rochester, Johnson invests the drama of Marxist theory with new energy and vital detail. No matter how dark and dreary the landscape may be, it gets lit up wherever Johnson casts his sharp and appraising eye."
—Corey Robin, author of The Enigma of Clarence Thomas

"A brilliant scholar who is first and foremost concerned with equality and justice. It’s those very commitments that lead him, in After Black Lives Matter, to question today’s antiracism and its nostrums."
—Bhaskar Sunkara, founding editor of Jacobin and author of The Socialist Manifesto

"A compelling argument for reinstating a meaningful anticapitalist analysis and politics into the fight to end police violence and the harms of the criminal justice system in the United States. Readers will undoubtedly come away with new perspectives that deepen their understanding of the successes and limitations of Black Lives Matter and its political vision."
—Leslie Kern, author of Feminist City

"Essential reading for those weary of platitude-driven texts on race and criminal justice and in the market for an empirically grounded political analysis that points to practicable solutions to one of the biggest problems of our day."
—Touré F. Reed, author of Toward Freedom

"A provocative and expansive critique from the left of the loose collection of protest actions, organizations, and ideological movements-whether prison abolition or calls to defund the police-that make up what we now call Black Lives Matter...After Black Lives Matter should be commended both for the clarity of its message and the bravery of its convictions."
—Jay Caspian Kang, New Yorker

Product Details
ISBN: 9781804291672
ISBN-10: 1804291676
Publisher: Verso
Publication Date: March 21st, 2023
Pages: 416
Language: English