Racial Capital, Abolition, and a Geographic Argument for Reparations

Joshua F.J. Inwood, Anna Livia Brand, Elise Andrea Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Tracing the development of Lehman Brothers from their roots as a dry goods store in Montgomery, Alabama, into a Fortune 500 global financial services company that collapsed in the 2007 financial crisis reveals the contours of US-style racial capitalism. We highlight how race and capital are geographically rooted in the United States. At the heart of our argument is an understanding of the geographic imperative of capital which creates and exploits differences to wrench capital’s profits from the blood, sweat, and toil of racialised bodies. Perhaps most geographically significant, we advance a second, interrelated argument, the geographic case for reparations. By arguing the system itself is entirely and wholly wrapped in race in ways that extend and advance practices of exploitation, we understand reparations that do not fundamentally undermine, transform, destabilise or smash the system as doomed to be short-term solutions to long-term structural problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1103
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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