By C. L. R. James
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Additional info for A History of Pan-African Revolt
8 The impressive gathering of black radicals in Moscow not only contributed to the development of a left-wing Pan-Africanism but probably shaped Padmore’s vision of a black international working class movement that could unite Africa and the diaspora in a coordinated effort to overthrow colonialism, racism, and ultimately capitalism. Thus, when he became secretary of the International Trade Union Council of Negro Workers (ITUC-NW) and editor of its journal, Negro Worker, Padmore saw no conflict between his work on behalf of African liberation and the struggle for socialism.
N. 27 What is unique is James’s claim that revolutionary mass movements take forms that are often cultural and religious rather than explicitly political. He forces the reader to re-examine these seemingly odd movements with new eyes, to take the beliefs and superstitions of Africans and African descendants seriously. 28 Or perhaps he was moved, as many people were, when he reached page 124 of DuBois’s Black Reconstruction and found his brilliant defense of the power of the Divine: “Foolish talk, all of this, you say, of course; and that is because no American now believes in his religion.
50 In reading and re-reading this classic text, we ought to reflect on our own times and determine how this book might inform our own actions. What can this book tell us about postapartheid South Africa under president Nelson Mandela? The desperate situation in James’s beloved Haiti? “Ethnic cleansing” in Rwanda? What of heightened racism and anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States? The incredibly high rates of unemployment and violence in Western capitalist cities and the Left’s virtual abandonment of America’s black ghettos?
A History of Pan-African Revolt by C. L. R. James