Red Africa: Reclaiming Revolutionary Black Politics
Salvaging a decolonised future
Red Africa makes the case for a revolutionary Black politics inspired by Marxist anti-colonial struggles in Africa. Kevin Ochieng Okoth revisits historical moments when Black radicalism was defined by international solidarity in the struggle against capitalist-imperialism, that together help us to navigate the complex histories of the Black radical tradition.
He challenges common misconceptions about national liberation, showing that the horizon of national liberation was not limited to the nation-building projects of post-independence governments.
While African socialists sought to distance themselves from Marxism and argued for a ‘third way’ socialism rooted in ‘traditional African culture’ the intellectual and political tradition Okoth calls ‘Red Africa’ showed that Marxism and Black radicalism were never incompatible.
The revolutionary Black politics of Eduardo Mondlane, Amílcar Cabral, Walter Rodney and Andrée Blouin gesture toward a decolonised future that never materialised. We might yet build something new from the ruins of national liberation, something which clings onto the utopian promise of freedom and refuses to let go.
Red Africa is not simply an exercise in nostalgia, it is a political project that hopes to salvage what remains of this tradition—which has been betrayed, violently suppressed, or erased—and to build from it a Black revolutionary politics capable of imagining new futures out of the uncertain present.
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