Revolutionary Lives of the Red and Black Atlantic since 1917

Out in April 2022 in hardback with Manchester University Press as part of their ‘Racism, Resistance and Social Change’ series…

This volume explores the life histories of a wide range of radical figures whose political activity in relation to the black liberation struggle was catalysed or profoundly shaped by the global impact and legacy of the Russian Revolution of 1917. Detailed engagements with the political trajectories of figures including C.L.R. James, Paul Robeson, Walter Rodney and Grace P. Campbell opens up a set of diverse perspectives and engagements with different articulations of black internationalisms in the wake of the Russian Revolution. This enables a focus on the different and contested terms on which these relations were shaped, negotiated and lived. Such a biographical approach brings a vivid and distinctive lens to bear on how racialized social and political worlds were negotiated and experienced, and also on historic black radical engagements with left political movements and organising


Introduction: A galaxy of stars to steer by – David Featherstone, Christian Høgsbjerg and Alan Rice

I – Black Bolshevism
1 Hubert Henry Harrison: Black radicalism and the Colored International – Brian Kwoba
2 Wilfred Domingo under investigation: the ‘Negro menace’ of 1919 – Peter Hulme
3 Cyril Briggs: guns, bombs, spooks and writing the revolution – Jak Peake
4 Gendering the Black radical tradition: Grace P. Campbell’s role in the formation of a radical feminist tradition in African American intellectual culture – Lydia Lindsey

II – Interwar intersections of Red and Black
5 Clements Kadalie, the ICU and the transformation of Communism in Southern Africa, 1917-31 – Henry Dee
6 Pan-Africanism and Marxism in interwar France: the case of Lamine Senghor – David Murphy
7 Black Americans in Russia: Ira Aldridge and Paul Robeson – Lisa Merrill and Theresa Saxon

III – Politics and Poetics
8 Raya Dunayevskaya: the embodiment of the Red/Black Atlantic in theory and practice – Chris Gilligan and Nigel Niles
9 European Marxist or Black intellectual? C.L.R. James and the advancement of Marxism beyond Russian-Leninism – Tennyson S. D. Joseph
10 Poetry and Walter Rodney’sThe Unfinished Revolution- David Austin
11 ‘Hard Facts’: Amiri Baraka and Marxism-Leninism in the 1970s – David Grundy

Afterword – Hakim Adi


This luminous collection brings several revolutionary lives to its pages to show us how these figures both experienced and shaped the world around them. The legendary figures whose stories are told here, many of them central to the black radical tradition, emerged at the intersection of the “Red” and “Black” Atlantics. Their lives and struggles offer us rich visions of possibilities and solidarities beyond the confines of the nation-state which are needed now more than ever. This book is an invaluable resource for such hopes and dreams.’
Priyamvada Gopal, Professor of Postcolonial Studies, University of Cambridge

‘a valuable addition to the rich history of African-Atlantic Marxism’

Steve Cushion, author of A Hidden History of the Cuban Revolution: How the Working Class Shaped the Guerrillas’ Victory, in Socialist History Society Newsletter, vol 12, issue 1 (2023)