His book is Strange Fruit of the Black Pacific: How can your book help BAR readers understand the current political and social climate? The problem of the 21stcentury is the problem of white supremacy—of its decline and inevitable collapse, and of the question whether the conditions of life on this planet will survive its demise. The rise of Trump is merely an acceleration of long-building forces, clarifying their stakes.
Gilles d'Aymery introduces this essay in Invent The Future. I am at a crossroads.
I spent more than half my life writing about people who tried to change the world, largely because I, too, wanted to change the world. The history of social movements attracted me because of what it might teach us about our present condition and about how we might shape the future.
When I first embarked on that work, nearly 20 years ago, the political landscape looked much clearer: We needed a revolutionary socialist movement committed to antiracism and antisexism.
Over time, the subjects of my books, as well as my own political experience, taught me that things are not what they seem, and that the desires, hopes, and intentions of the people who fought for change cannot be easily categorized, contained, or explained.
Unfortunately, too often our standards for evaluating social movements pivot around whether or not they "succeeded" in realizing their visions rather than on the merits or power of the visions themselves. By such a measure, virtually every radical movement failed because the basic power relations it sought to change remain pretty much intact.
And yet it is precisely those alternative visions and dreams that inspire new generations to continue to struggle for change. How do we produce a vision that enables us to see beyond our immediate ordeals? How do we transcend bitterness and cynicism, and embrace love, hope, and an all-encompassing dream of freedom, especially in these rough times?
I witnessed the World Trade Center go down from my bedroom window. Bombs have rained down on the people of Afghanistan and unknown numbers of innocent people have died, from either weapons of mass destruction or starvation.
Violence will only generate more violence; the carnage has just begun. Now more than ever, we need the strength to love and to dream. Instead of knee-jerk flag-waving and submission to any act of repression in the name of "national interests," the nation ought to consider Martin Luther King Jr.
The civil-rights movement demanded freedom for all and believed that it had to win through love and moral suasion. Those committed to the philosophy of nonviolence saw their suffering as redemptive.
The very heart of the movement, the extraordinary Southern black folks who stood nobly in the face of police dogs and water cannons and white mobs and worked as hard as they could to love their enemy were poised to become the soul of a soulless nation, according to Dr.
Imagine if that soul were to win out, if the movement's vision of freedom were completely to envelop the nation's political culture. Democracy in the United States has not always embraced everyone, and we have a long history to prove it, from slavery and "Indian wars" to the presidential election.
Indeed, the marginal and excluded have done the most to make democracy work in America.
And some of the radical movements have done awful things in the name of liberation, often under the premise that the ends justify the means.
Communists, black nationalists, third-world-liberation movements -- all left us stimulating and even visionary sketches of what the future could be, but they have also been complicit in acts of violence and oppression, through either their actions or their silence.Welcome to the Black radical tradition.” —Robin D.
Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination “This brilliant and powerful book is a clarion call to keep alive the Black radical tradition in these reactionary times. Kelley unearths freedom dreams in this exciting history of renegade intellectuals and artists of the African diaspora in the twentieth century.
Focusing on the visions of activists from C. L. R. James to Aimé Césaire and Malcolm X, Kelley writes of the hope that Communism offered, the mindscapes.
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination “ Saul has written a wise and trenchant study of a complex period in American culture.
-Journal of American History “Jeffries’s Bloody Lowndes is an important contribution to the literature of the African American freedom struggle. Jeffries reveals the deep historical roots of black struggles against racial and economic oppression in the Black Belt/5(13).
This essay was made up of excerpts from Robin Kelley's new book, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, Beacon Press, , ISBN Gilles d'Aymery introduces this essay in Invent The Future.
I am at a crossroads. I spent more than half my life writing about people who tried to change the world, largely because I, too, wanted to change the world. Freedom Is, Freedom Ain't is the first book to tell the broader story of this period in jazz -- and American -- history.