Chattel slavery made black women’s reproduction the source of private property — and in doing so, invented race and American racism. Ever since, the denigration and regulation of black women’s childbearing has been central to the construction of white supremacy and the exploitative economic order that it protects, as scholar Dorothy Roberts explained in Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty, a pivotal book first published in 1997. In this episode, Roberts talks about the book and what lessons it holds today as Trump and Republicans seek to destroy yet more of the social safety net and use racism as a smokescreen to distract white Americans from their class war against working people. Thanks to Verso Books for their support. Check out Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War by Hito Steyerl versobooks.com/books/2553-duty-free-art. And please support The Dig with $ at patreon.com/TheDig!