Black Internationalism: Embracing an Economic Paradigm

This Article proposes a paradigm shift away from the traditional rights-based, Pan-Africanist trajectory of black internationalism, grounded largely in concerns over racial justice and Pan-African solidarity, and instead embraces an economically grounded black empowerment strategy that is responsive first and foremost to the unique economic imperatives of the emerging world economy. Indeed, the growing complexity of the emerging global economic order as represented by a shift toward rule formalism in the, international trade sphere and embodied in multilateral initiatives like the North American Free Trade Agreement, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the World Trade Organization, mandates that black institutions reassess traditional empowerment strategies that have little chance of succeeding in this fluid environment. In the absence of such a fundamental ideological and programmatic reassessment, black internationalism will never realize its inherent potential to serve as an effective platform for black economic, political, and institutional empowerment. Indeed, a critical assessment of black internationalism is both essential and long overdue.