Series of essays on “The Intersection of Power, Race, and Commerce”

Rebekah Mod­rak part­nered with Roland L. Leak, Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Mar­ket­ing in the Col­lege of Busi­ness and Eco­nom­ics at North Car­olina A&T State Uni­ver­sity to curate a series of essays on ​The Inter­sec­tion of Power, Race, and Com­merce” for Spark mag­a­zine, a pub­li­ca­tion of the National Cen­ter for Insti­tu­tional Diver­sity (NCID). The series was pub­lished on June 32021.

The series con­tains a col­lec­tion of five invited sub­mis­sions from diver­sity schol­ars whose schol­ar­ship speaks to the rela­tion­ships between com­merce, power, and race in light of shift­ing opin­ions and epipha­nies about racial jus­tice, in the wake of mas­sive racial protests over the past year. Essays sur­vey the impact of white­ness and white man­age­ment on sports cul­ture; ques­tion whether pro­gres­sive rep­re­sen­ta­tions in Nike ads actu­ally trans­lates into racial jus­tice; cri­tique the ways that uni­ver­si­ties’ exhi­bi­tions of diver­sity in their mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als mis­leads prospec­tive stu­dents into think­ing that an aspi­ra­tional iden­tity has already been achieved; exam­ine the his­tory of Wedg­wood dec­o­ra­tive porce­lain being founded on a sin­gu­lar act of loot­ing ​White Earth” from South Car­olina Chero­kees; and ana­lyze adver­tis­ers’ use of skin as a com­mod­ity, sig­nal of brand mean­ing, and sub­ject of fetishism.