Africa Now September 16, 2015 Haki Madhubuti and Pan-Africanism & Communism

Topics and Guests: Liberation Cultural Activist Haki Madhubuti; and Pan-Africanism and Communism.  In Africa Now's continuing spotlight on the International Decade for People of African Descent, which commenced January 1, 2015 and ends December 31, 2024 today the show features two writers who have connected the peoples of the African World with their writings—Dr. Haki Madhubuti and Professor Hakim Adi.  Their works have highlighted the liberation struggle in the African World.  We start with a previous conversation with Dr. Haki Madhubuti and in the second part of the show Africa Now! talks to Professor Hakim Adi on Pan-Africanism and Communism.

For over 40 years Professor Haki Madhubuti has been a pivotal figure in the development of a strong Black literary tradition and a major figure of the Black Arts Movement.  He has published more than 31 books (some under his former name, Don L. Lee) and is one of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and non-fiction. Madhubuti’s latest books are Honoring Genius: Gwendolyn Brooks: The Narrative of Craft, Art, Kindness and Justice (2011) and By Any Means Necessary, Malcolm X: Real, Not Reinvented (co-edited with Herb Boyd, Ron Daniels and Maulana Karenga, 2012).  In 1967 he founded Third World Press, the oldest independent publisher of Black thought and literature in the country.  For more than forty-five years, Third World Press has published a rich tradition of African American writing by authors such as poet and publisher, Dudley Randall; Illinois Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, Gwendolyn Brooks; poets Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Mari Evans, Margaret Walker, and more.

The connection of Pan-Africanism and Communism is the subject matter in the book Pan-Africanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and The Diaspora, 1919-1939 by Hakim Adi. Sage Journals states that “Hakim Adi in Pan-Africanism and Communism sets out to demonstrate historically the ways in which Pan-Africanism and Communism were not such completely separate currents in the inter-war period…but rather became briefly, to some extent, fused in the struggle for black and colonial liberation. …Adi’s Pan-Africanism and Communism stands as a valuable and pioneering institutional history of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers (ITUCNW), which he rightly notes was ‘a communist organization with a Pan-Africanist orientation.’”

Dr. Hakim Adi is currently Reader in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester in England.  Professor Adi has written extensively of Pan-Africanism and the modern political history of the African Diaspora.  He is the author of West Africans in Britain 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London, 1998); joint author with M. Sherwood of The 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress Revisited (London, 1995) and Pan-African History: Political Figures from Africa and the Diaspora since 1787 (London, 2003).