Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Cedric J. Robinson: In Memoriam

Academic journal article Journal of Pan African Studies

Cedric J. Robinson: In Memoriam

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Cedric J. Robinson (1940-2016) was a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Black Studies and the Department of Political Science. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. He has served as Chair of the Department of Black Studies as well as of Political Science and has also served as the Director of the Center for Black Studies at University of California at Santa Barbara. His fields of teaching and research were modern political thought, radical social theory in the African Diaspora, comparative politics, and media and politics.

Robinson is the author of Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition, an ambitious work, first published in 1983, which demonstrates that efforts to understand Black people's history of resistance solely through the prism of Marxist theory are incomplete and inaccurate because 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 to argue that Black radicalism must be linked to the traditions of Africa and the unique experiences of Black people, hence, any analyses of African American history need to acknowledge this. And to illustrate his argument, Robinson traces the emergence of Marxist ideology in Europe, the resistance by Black people 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.

Second, he authored Terms of Order: Political Science and the Myth of Leadership and Black Movements in America originally published in 1980 and again in 2016 contends that perceptions of political order is an illusion, maintained in part by Western political and social theorists who depend on the idea of leadership as a basis for describing and prescribing social order. …

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