In celebration of African Heritage Month, for profiles and excellence, we honor CLR James, 1901 to 1989. James was many things over a long distinguished career—revolutionary organizer, historian, professor, journalist, are just some of them.
Born Cyril Lionel Robert James in 1901 in Trinidad, he worked for radical and revolutionary causes on three continents, perhaps best known for his masterpiece, Black Jacobins, a groundbreaking history of the Haitian Revolution.
James is lesser known as a grassroots activist and organizer who was involved with a small group of fellow revolutionary organizers in virtually every resistance movement in the Black world. He worked with the main African independence leaders during the anti colonial movement of the 40s 50s and 60s.
He was a part of perhaps the greatest generation of activists and revolutionaries from the West Indies: Marcus Garvey, Cesaire, George Padmore, Franz Fanon. He corresponded with Kwame Ture when he was a young man named Stokely Carmichael.
CLR James died in 1989, after nearly nine decades of resistance.
For Hard Knock Radio and Prison Radio, This is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.