Radicals Against Race: Black Activism and Cultural Politics by Brian Alleyne

By Brian Alleyne

This ebook interrogates the information and practices of the recent Beacon Circle's activists as fairly strong components within the fast-changing scene of up to date radical politics. Highlighting how biography and self illustration have vital cultural, theoretical and political implications, Alleyne succeeds in making an unique contribution to a becoming literature on autobiography as a wealthy source for knowing social and political conception. He additionally presents an attractive account of a overlooked zone of British Activism. This booklet can be of curiosity to social anthropologists, sociologists, and a person drawn to the historical past of British activism or race and ethnic reports.

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Radicals Against Race: Black Activism and Cultural Politics

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A main structuring characteristic of the circle is that John La Rose is in several senses the leading figure. He has been a key initiator in all of the circle’s projects, and he was the founder of several. A large part of the circle’s collective political strategy is constituted under his influence. During interviews, other people would frequently defer and refer to John’s knowledge and acknowledged leadership. A common exchange went something like: ‘Of course you spoke to John about that . . John is the one who knows most about that’, to which I often had to respond ‘yes, but I’d like to get your view on it’.

A high point in the development of the native intellectual tradition in Trinidad (Cudjoe 1997) was the 1920s, when a group of local intellectuals started two pioneering literary and cultural journals: Trinidad, and The Beacon (Sander 1988). R. James was one, were not merely ‘non-whites seeking their way in a white literary world’ as suggested by Buhle (Buhle 1989: 26), but were descended from a history of struggle against colonial domination and hegemony that goes – 41 – Radicals Against Race back to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Though I never formally interviewed Roxy, we had numerous conversations on the ideas and work of the circle which proved invaluable to my work, and a publication of his (Harris, 1996) was crucial in helping me to shape the standpoint from – 22 – Beginnings: The Politics of the Word which I wrote this book. There are quite literally dozens of persons to whom I was introduced, who were described as close associates of John and Sarah. This is not a complete list of persons who would be seen by John or Sarah as core members of my imagined circle, but is restricted to those persons with whom I became personally acquainted over the four years.

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