Using cotton as a central focus, Arabindan-Kesson presents new interpretations of the way art, commerce, and colonialism were intertwined in the 19th century Atlantic world. Highlighting the tie between Blackness in artistic renderings of cotton and the monetary value of Black bodies. By analyzing both 19th century and contemporary artists, Black Bodies, White Gold (Duke University Press) draws a link between constitutions of Blackness and meaning of labor.