Tag Archives: Black Power Movement
Book Mini-Review: C.L.R. James, The Radical “Black European”
C.L.R. James: A Life Beyond The Boundaries.
John L. Williams.
London: Constable, 457 pp., $32.99.
The Old Man was once quite young–almost permanently so. And vibrant, always ready for socialist revolution. But not for the overthrow of European civilization and culture. In a new biography, John L. Williams pulls back the curtain just enough to show why intellectuals, particularly culturally complex ones, need platforms and bases. What results is a non-judgemental tale about a 20th-century charismatic Caribbean intellectual destined for the classroom, the typewriter, the lecture hall and the cricket field. His cultlike, harem-based sexism will rile 21st-century readers but his stamina and constant optimism never fail to impress. Most of all, James–whose long speaking and writing life spans the birth, revolutionary work, danger and martyrdom of fellow Caribbean Leftist world travelers such as Walter Rodney and Maurice Bishop–shows that revolution requires a lot of work.
Book Micro-Review: The True Believer
A Revolutionary For Our Time: The Walter Rodney Story.
Chicago: Haymarket Books, 340 pp., $22.95.
Quite a revelation about the power and pitfalls of complete faith in a revolutionary Tanzania and Guyana. The un-mentioned truth of this just-the-facts bio is that the Black world still produces people exactly like this in terms of energy and focus, but the difference is that they are completely and happily colonized. Reading this book from the 2022 prism was like absorbing very detailed speculative fiction. Rodney is the grassroots servant-hero personified, the Bizzaro version of what Harvard Law School will continue to turn out, thanks to its success with Barack and Michelle Obama and Ketanji Brown Jackson.