Celebrating C.L.R. James in Hackney, London
Co-edited with Gaverne Bennett
This book celebrates an important symbolic event for anti-racism in Britain. In 1985, the Dalston Library in Hackney, north-east London, was renamed the C.L.R. James Library. Behind the decision to name the library after the great Trinidadian Marxist and Pan-Africanist lies an inspiring hidden history of resistance to racism.
With rare interviews and contributions from the activists who made it happen, the book commemorates a key moment when black self-organisation, municipal socialism and wider anti-racist campaigning came together and won.
It also includes a previously unpublished speech given by C.L.R. James in 1983 to Hackney Black Alliance. The speech still has great resonance for us today as attacks on our multicultural society see old arguments take on new forms and we continue to struggle for ‘an equal society, egalitarian in everything – education, social life, social behaviour and everything.’
Ken Olende, ‘Checking racism out of the library – an experiment in activism’, Socialist Worker 18 April 2015.