Black Marxism by Cedric J. Robinson discussion on Monday, January 9, 2023 at 7 PM
This is the first book of next year because, by this time, all the books we've read before this point will have given us a decent enough vocabulary and helped us to shed some antiBlackness enough to grapple with this text. It's a dense one, so we'll only be reading a few chapters. But, it's a must read for anyone who considers themselves a Marxist or wants a better grasp on the Black Radical Tradition. Robinson goes hard on Marx and his lack of perspective. he advocates us to think beyond Marx and to center the diasporic, Black Afrikan experience over some white guy who came up with a solid analysis that didn't include or consider people who are not white and living in Europe and depending on industrialization.
In this ambitious work, first published in 1983, Cedric Robinson demonstrates that efforts to understand Black people's history of resistance solely through the prism of Marxist theory are incomplete and inaccurate. Marxist analyses tend to presuppose European models of history and experience that downplay the significance of Black people and Black communities as agents of change and resistance. Black radicalism, Robinson argues, must be linked to the traditions of Africa and the unique experiences of Blacks on Western continents, and any analyses of African American history need to acknowledge this.
To illustrate his argument, Robinson traces the emergence of Marxist ideology in Europe, the resistance by Blacks in historically oppressive environments, and the influence of both of these traditions on such important twentieth-century Black radical thinkers as W. E. B. Du Bois, C. L. R. James, and Richard Wright. This revised and updated third edition includes a new preface by Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, and a new foreword by Robin D. G. Kelley.
About the Author
Cedric J. Robinson (1940-2016) was professor of Black studies and political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His books include The Terms of Order, An Anthropology of Marxism, and Forgeries of Memory and Meaning.