From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution

From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution

From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution

From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution

Synopsis

Transcending geographic and cultural lines, From Toussaint to Tupac is an ambitious collection of essays exploring black internationalism and its implications for a black consciousness. At its core, black internationalism is a struggle against oppression, whether manifested in slavery, colonialism, or racism. The ten essays in this volume offer a comprehensive overview of the global movements that define black internationalism, from its origins in the colonial period to the present.

From Toussaint to Tupac focuses on three moments in global black history: the American and Haitian revolutions, the Garvey movement and the Communist International following World War I, and the Black Power movement of the late twentieth century. Contributors demonstrate how black internationalism emerged and influenced events in particular localities, how participants in the various struggles communicated across natural and man-made boundaries, and how the black international aided resistance on the local level, creating a collective consciousness.

In sharp contrast to studies that confine Black Power to particular national locales, this volume demonstrates the global reach and resonance of the movement. The volume concludes with a discussion of hip hop, including its cultural and ideological antecedents in Black Power.

Contributors:
Hakim Adi, Middlesex University, London
Sylvia R. Frey, Tulane University
William G. Martin, Binghamton University
Brian Meeks, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
Marc D. Perry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Lara Putnam, University of Pittsburgh
Vijay Prashad, Trinity College
Robyn Spencer, Lehman College
Robert T. Vinson, College of William and Mary
Michael O. West, Binghamton University
Fanon Che Wilkins, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

Excerpt

This project has its origins in a search for something we could not find: a single volume that offers a broad overview of the black international in time and space—from the late 1700s, the Age of Revolution, to the present, and on both banks of the Atlantic, west and east, from the Americas to Africa and points in between. the envisaged text would be grounded in the most recent and relevant sources, secondary and primary, and would at once attract the attention of scholars, teachers, students, and engaged intellectuals. Furthermore, the text would cohere around the central theme of black internationalism from the outset, that is, struggle. To qualify as black internationalist, those struggles, although situated mainly in specific localities, would have to be connected in some conscious way to an overarching notion of black liberation beyond any individual nation-state or colonial territory. That is to say, at the core of black internationalism is the ideal of universal emancipation, unbounded by national, imperial, continental, or oceanic boundaries —or even by racial ones. Such are the aims of this volume. They make for an ambitious goal. Our readers will have to determine how much, or little, success we have had.

Epistemically, the volume makes no claim to novelty. Its subject, the story of the black international, is as old as the black international itself. This narrative, as told by scholars, became more intellectually sophisticated and ideologically diverse in the early decades of the twentieth century. Black internationalism fared less well in the Western (or, for that matter, the African, Caribbean, or Latin American) academy in the post–World War II era, when regional area studies emerged as an intellectual handmaiden to the Cold War. Still, a hardy band of scholars, some within the academy (often in black studies and related ethnic studies programs) and others outside, continued to produce scholarship on black internationalism during this period. the end of the Cold War, and with it a loosening of the hegemony of area studies, along with concomitant efforts to demarginalize ethnic studies, opened new prospects for scholarship on black internationalism. the resulting output, often presented under the label of African Diaspora or Black Atlantic studies, attests to the renaissance in the black international narrative. This is not the place to offer an accounting of . . .

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