By C. L. R. James
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Extra info for A History of Pan-African Revolt
3 He had set out to tell the story of the so-called “inarticulate” masses in motion, of black workers and peasants fighting their European masters, of an ambivalent black petite-bourgeoisie whose stand vis-à-vis capitalism and colonial domination was never certain. By broadly defining black workers as all who labor or whom colonial powers hope to turn into cheap wage slaves or market-driven peasants, James casts his net widely and includes slave revolts, strikes, millenarian movements, and a vast array of anti-racist protests.
G. Kelley, Haitian Independence Day, 1994 1. A History of Pan-African Revolt, 103. I am deeply grateful to Franklin Rosemont and David Roediger for inviting me to write a new introduction for A History of Pan-African Revolt, to Scott McLemee for sharing some of his research with me; to James Early for taking time out of his busy schedule to track down members of the original “Drum and Spear” Collective; to Charlie Cobb for providing valuable information about how Drum and Spear brought this book back into print in 1969; and to Paul Buhle, Robert Hill, and Cedric Robinson for their mentorship over the years—particularly with respect to James’s life and thought.
By making Ghana the center of a continent-wide African liberation movement, James surmised, Nkrumah would keep the revolution permanent. 42 By the mid-1960s, however, his enthusiasm for Nkrumah and Ghana had diminished. He admitted that the new society he had hoped for was not built, and that Nkrumah allowed bureaucratic corruption to take over. Ghana’s failure provided James with two critical lessons for constructing postcolonial society, both of which carried over into A History of Pan-African Revolt.
A History of Pan-African Revolt by C. L. R. James