Event—Scholarly Seminars

Pedro Regalado, Harvard University


Fixed Capital: Building Transition and Drug Capitalism during New York’s ‘Urban Crisis, Pedro Regalado
This paper explores the history of how Latinx drug workers exploited New York City’s built environment to capitalize on the crack-cocaine drug trade during the 1980s. This under-historicized, immensely profitable drug industry propelled Latinx New Yorkers into the national spotlight. In the eyes of local and national politicians, mainstream media, and many within the city’s Latinx community, young, poor Latinx men emerged as the cause of urban crisis rather than its symptom. This paper examines this historical process and illustrates how wealthy drug capitalists simultaneously tapped into new streams of wealth while shaping the goals and state of New York’s broader Latinx community.