Since the twentieth century, and perhaps even dating back further, the phrase ‘Black internationalism’ has served as shorthand for a range of debates about Pan-Africanism and connections between various parts of the African Diaspora. The phrase has also been linked to other connected topics such as anti-Black racism, Black political activism, western colonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, anti-colonialism, and feminism, to name just a few. So how can we best define Black internationalism? How might the concept illuminate the variegated historical forces shaping the experiences of people of African descent? Olivette Otele, who serves as Distinguished Professor of the Legacies and Memory of Slavery at SOAS, University of London, explores those questions in conversation with History Workshop‘s Imaobong Umoren, in a wide-ranging discussion of the history of the concept of Black internationalism, the foundations of Black internationalist writing, and its future as a scholarly field and as a force for visionary political change.

Anna Julia Cooper, c 1902. Wikimedia Commons

Produced by Marybeth Hamilton


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