Robinson, Cedric J.. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. London. 1983. Zed Press. 0862321271. 487 pages. paperback.




Black Marxism is a massively scholarly and politically significant examination of the conjunction, at the level of theory, of two distinct historical traditions of resistance: working-class radicalism in Europe, and Black resistance and rebellion in the African Diaspora. The author, Dr Cedric Robinson, argues that European Marxism articulated an inevitably Western experience of pre- capitalist and capitalist societies, and assumed – incorrectly - the primacy of class consciousness over other forms of mass ideology, notably racism, persisting from the pre-capitalist European past. Robinson goes on to explore in detail the history of Black radicalism, a tradition which he shows spans 400 years and three continents. He recounts critical historical junctures between African and European peoples in order to demonstrate the manner and scale of suppression of Black history in Western thought. Finally, he analyses the relationship between Black and European radicalism as reflected in the works of such 20th Century Black luminaries as W.E.B. DuBois, C.L.R. James, and Richard Wright. Their efforts mark the first systematic realization of the Black radical tradition in historical and theoretical terms. And their achievement is a major part of the intellectual legacy of that tradition. The achievement of Cedric Robinson's book is its exposition of the significance of radical Black thought in the context of constructing a penetrating critique of the Marxist understanding of class consciousness.


 University of North Carolina Press edition:                                   Penguin Modern Classics edition:          

    9780807848296                                          9780241514177





Robinson Cedric JCedric Robinson (November 5, 1940 – June 5, 2016) was a professor in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). He headed the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science and served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. Robinson's areas of interest included classical and modern political philosophy, radical social theory in the African diaspora, comparative politics, and the relationships between and among media and politics.









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